This morning, after a combined total of 8 hours of sleep, we departed from of Memphis, TN with directions to head towards Little Rock, Arkansas. [twitter style="horizontal" text="#SxChiGirls Discover a Gem in the Natural State" float="left"]
We received our challenge #5 clue via Chrissie on our Chevy equipped Droids,
A Rose in the City? Who knew. Ask for TJ Deeter when you get there.
We know Chevy’s sneaky ways by now so after yesterday’s first challenge that took us to Stratton Elementary, our immediate guess took us to the Adopt-a-Classroom site which confirmed our next destination was Rose City Middle School in North Little Rock, AR. But what to do?
Our next challenge was to,
Plan, Teach, Tell – Plan an info session for the middle school teachers that uses your expertise and skills.
Our creative juices were flowing since we had complete control over the content being presented and we decided to gather our collective knowledge on media literacy (Shout out to Social Media Club) to arm these instructors with the resources so they could teach their 6th-8th grade students the rewards and risks of having a digital identity.
Lucky for us, we have Nicole Yeary aka “our secret weapon” who is knowledgable about the hardships K-12 teachers face because of her position as Outreach and Curriculum Coordinator for 21st Century Youth Project, a Chicago based after-school program that teaches kids skills they can leverage outside the classroom, with a focus on Entrepreneurship and developing mobile applications.
Upon arriving, we met Mr. Deeter, an art teacher who candidly shared that he had invited more instructors to attend but unfortunately, no others showed up. We didn’t take this as a loss but rather turned it into more of a Q&A session, where we were able to identify Rose City Middle School’s challenges and how they could be solved by integrating better technology and online communication channels.
Mr. Deeter shared with us that although social networks are banned from their campus, many of their students have encountered issues of cyber safety, online bullying and more. This clearly is a startling trend that is beginning to impact more and more students. Safety in school is a top priority for faculty therefore, it would be in the best interest of school administrators to acknowledge the issue and incorporate lesson plans to better equip student with expectations on how to conduct themselves online.
Nicole also held a previously contract with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and was well versed in the may free federal resources available to teachers. We introduced Mr. Deeter to OnGuard Online , a valuable resource for kids online safety, which includes steps parents and adults can take to teach kids to proper steps to take when you’re being threatened online and how to avoid them altogether.
We left with the feeling that although schools take all precautions to provide a safe haven for instruction, independent and group learning, due to the lack in resources, they are still in the dark on how to approach digital safety with students.
The good news is Mr. Deeter already emailed us this evening while on the road to our next challenges and has followed up on many of the websites we directed him to.