Gates students learned about fostering a positive and safe digital footprint during Wednesday’s Academic Advisory. Plymouth County Asst. District Attorney Kristen Stone met with the 7th grade to discuss steps students can take to use to digital social tools safely and responsibly. Simultaneously Scituate High School teacher Steve Maguire explored how to cultivate a positive and kind digital identity.
“Your digital footprint will be there forever”, stated Asst. Dist. Attorney Stone. “If someone says they can take it down or won’t share what you’ve posted, they are lying. There is no way to be confident someone hasn’t ‘screen-shot’ or copied it. It’ll be there forever.”
Ms. Stone described the criminal troubles that a person could find themselves in for posting, creating or sharing inappropriate digital images, posts, etc. She also described steps to stay safe online. (See below)
“It is important that student realize that even the pictures students take and share have metadata or geo-tagging embedded in them” explained Ms. Stone. “A predator with a modicum of computer expertise can track down a young person’s location using this information. It is so critical that students refrain from posting these pictures online for anyone to find.”
“It is scary that there might be people out there who want to harm kids”, said a 7th grader who saw Ms. Stone’s presentation. “But it was great that she gave us ways to stay safe.”
Meanwhile Steve Maguire explored important digital life lessons with 8th grade students. Mr. Maguire, a member of the SHS Science department offered lessons shared by his current students.
Lessons from SHS students included:
– Don’t have your fights on social media for the world to see
– Don’t ever post anything you wouldn’t want your parents to see
– Nothing is really anonymous…everyone always finds out
With humor and warmth, Mr. Maguire emphasized the fostering of a digital persona characterized by empathy and kindness.
“If your digital footprint is permanent do you really want to be remembered for how cruel you were to someone else? How you ruined someone else’s day?” asked Mr. Maguire. “Use every opportunity to be positive, to be kind, to touch someone else and make their life a little better.”
“[Mr. Maguire] was really hilarious but he also made me think about the power I have to connect with others and make them happy”, observed one 8th grader after the presentation.
Want to Learn More?
Asst. Dist. Attorney Kristen Stone will be presenting to Scituate parents on Wednesday November 5 at 7pm in the SHS auditorium. Please join us!
Steve Maguire will be presenting “Parenting the Middle Years” series throughout the year in conjunction with the ScituateFACTS coalition. The next session is Setting the tone: Creating Healthy Discipline Boundaries with your Children on Tuesday, November 18, 2014. Click here for more information.
Staying Safe Online
Tips from Kristen Stone
• Remember online “friends” are usually still “strangers”
• Agreeing to meet with someone you met online is forbidden
• No anonymous chat rooms
• Unfortunately people lie online
• Why talk to a stranger online when you wouldn’t go up to a stranger at the mall or in public and start a conversation.
• Avoid sharing personal details in your online/account profiles (full name, address, phone number, school name, birth year, social security number, etc.)
• Never give out any password
• Use account settings to maximize your privacy
• Turn off GPS and location services to prevent strangers from knowing your whereabouts.