Last Friday representatives from the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI) were here presenting to our students and parents.
The Michigan CSI Program consists of customized presentations for kindergarten through eighth-grade students and a parent seminar. The program was piloted in the spring of 2007 to over 8,500 students and since the program launch in the fall of 2007 has been presented to more than one million Michigan students statewide. The primary focus is to emphasize students should: keep safe by not sharing any personal information, keep away from Internet strangers, and keep telling parents or a trusted adult about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
Older students are cautioned about revealing personal information on social networking sites. They are taught not to share inappropriate material via cell phones and about the long term consequences that can occur. Several videos ware incorporated in the sixth through eighth-grade presentation to drive home the importance of responsible online behavior. All students are provided with an Online Safety Contract to discuss with parent(s) or guardian(s).
The parent seminar provides practical tools, including internet safety tips and how to: 1) access the Michigan Sex Offender Registry; 2) understand the impact of digital footprints; 3) realize the risk of sharing photos with embedded location information; 4) identify the possible privacy risks of different apps; 5) recognize the potential dangers and legal ramification of sexting; and 6) identify cyberbully warning signs and develop a plan of action.
This seminar also overviews the student safety programming that has been presented to nearly 1.7 million Michigan children in kindergarten – 12th grade. Students in K – 5th grade receive the Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI), a national, award-winning program that teaches students how to be safe and responsible online. Students in 6th – 12th grade receive OK2SAY student safety programming covering topics facing youth today, including appropriate online behavior, cyberbullying, and threats to student well-being. Launched in September 2014, OK2SAY provides a confidential way to file tips on criminal activity or potential harm directed at students, school employees, or schools.
All handouts, videos, and additional information is available on the Michigan CSI website (www.michigan.gov/csi).