During a special March 3 assembly, grade 5 students were treated to an entertaining and thought-provoking presentation on Internet safety by six middle school students: grade 6 students Alexis Gauba and Zahra Budhwani, grade 7 students Logan Drazovich and Chandler Nelson and grade 8 students Jonathan Armer and Jai Ahuja. The presentation, titled “Pause Before You Post,” warned students to take precautions before posting content online. “This is a difficult message for adults to get across to children, yet it is crucial because whether they are using e-mail, IM, a blog or a social networking site, their actions have enormous ramifications,” said Angela Neff, middle school assistant director of technology.
The students spoke about difficult topics such as cyber-bullying in a mature, yet light-hearted, manner that captivated the fifth grade audience. “They were at once sincere, articulate, intelligent and funny,” Neff said.
The presentations were the culmination of a monthlong collaborative advisory-based digital poster and video project led by Neff. The goal of this project was to get students to think before they post online content that could be hurtful to themselves or others. Each advisory’s poster answered a question that students should ask themselves before posting, such who will see their posts, who might be hurt or embarrassed by them and what their family or teachers might think upon seeing them.
Presenters also covered real-life examples of the consequences of hurtful online posts, discussed how the project made them think differently about what they post online and urged students to tell parents or teachers about online harassment.
In addition to the presentation, laminate posters illustrating the lessons learned at the assembly were posted around the lower school campus to keep the lessons fresh in the minds of the young students.