Unit 1 hosting cyber safety presentation for students, parents

     Students at Coal City’s middle and high schools will get a lesson in cyber safety this month, and parents will have an opportunity to learn a bit on the topic as well.
    The Unit 1 School District is working with Glen Ellyn-based Cyber Safety Consulting to present a series of student assemblies on the topic, focusing on the dangers kids face online, as well as tips for appropriate online behavior.
    Coal City Middle School will hold grade level assemblies during the morning hours of Monday, Oct. 30. Students at Coal City High School will take part in an afternoon assembly. Then  at 6 p.m., a parent internet presentation will take place at the high school. The community is invited and encouraged to attend the evening session.
    Cyber Safety Consulting’s philosophy is to create an on-going, open conversation between students and parents, and for this reason, the presentations closely mirror one other.
    The student presentation is to educate students on the dangers they face online by providing examples, scenarios and real life stories. Through this process, the safety agency seeks to increase students’ ability to not only understand the dangers, but to be able to recognize them when encountered and self-protect. Additionally, they tie a strong discussion of appropriate online behavior, positive solutions to the issues they face online and strong digital citizenship.
    Specific topics addressed in the student assemblies include creating an escape or exit plan between the student and parent if the student encounters problems online, helping the student make a safe decision versus a decision to stay out of trouble with parents.
    It will also touch on online predators, cyber bullying, social media, sexting and proper actions to take when encountering a problem online.
    As for the parent presentation, the objective is to educate parents on the dangers children face every day in their online life and to provide practical strategies to parenting in a hyper-digital age.
    All the topics included in the student presentation will be covered in the parent session, as well as what social media is and its advantages, positives and pitfalls. Additional topics include popular social networks, cell phone monitoring and information on practical, technical instruction on the apps and devices that children use everyday.
    Parents attending will be provided with information on access to ongoing support from Cyber Safety Consulting for one-on-one questions and issues and will be included in the company’s communication distribution that includes tools to assist parents in staying up-to-date with the latest apps and trends in teen technology and current events involving kids and technology.