Highview PTA Holds Be Internet Awesome Workshop for Parents
The Highview PTA held a “Be Internet Awesome” workshop Monday evening to help parents navigate the often murky waters of Internet safety and digital citizenship. Thanks to a $1,000 grant from National PTA® and Google, parents learned that 1.6 billion children in the 21st century world under the age of 13 have access to the Internet, 50 million of those in the United States. In addition, 77 percent of 6- through 12-year-olds have smartphones of their own. With all this access, what’s a parent to do? “Our responsibility is to talk about online safety and model positive behavior for our children,” said Pamela Davis, Highview PTA President, who opened the workshop. Parents attended breakout sessions on the topics of being Internet Smart, Internet Alert, Internet Strong, Internet Kind, and Internet Brave. The workshops were led by Todd Mensch, Greenburgh’s Director of STEAM; Diego Rendon, Greenburgh Instructional Technology Coordinator, Craig Woodward, who works at Monroe College, Highview Principal Gary Mastrangelo, and Heidi Archie, a manager at Fiduciary Trust Company International. Three of the facilitators are Highview PTA members. Among other things, parents learned more about the two-step verification process when coming up with passwords, to stay away from using credit card information when using public wifi, and teaching children to be kind online and to discourage their friends from using social media to post negative information about others. Highview PTA was one of 200 local PTAs nationwide selected to receive a PTA Connected Be Internet Awesome grant from Google and National PTA. In addition to the funds, all grantees received a Be Internet Awesome kit to help them host successful workshops. In addition, Google provide a Pixelbook Chromebook as part of the grant, which was raffled off at the event and won by Gianna Tzul. The workshops are designed to provide parents with tools and ideas regarding online safety and digital citizenship, and action plans and information to help facilitate discussions at home.