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Last updateSun, 20 Oct 2019 8pm







    Sunday, October 20, 2019-5:59:44A.M.






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BOE educates teachers, parents about ‘cybertraps’

THE Board of Education hosted a free professional development training on “cybertraps” for school administrators, teachers and PTA members on Friday and Saturday at the Grandvrio Resort.

“We don’t want to be left behind on this issue,” BOR Chair Marylou S. Ada said. “We are trying to educate our teachers, our parents and our students about cyber-bullying, the cyber-society and other cyber issues.”

The presenter was Frederick Lane, a lawyer who lives in New York and is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of cyber-safety, digital misconduct, personal privacy, and the intersection of law, technology and society.

He is the author of “American Privacy: The 400-Year History of Our Most Contested Right” (Beacon Press 2010); “Cybertraps for the Young” (NTI Upstream 2011); “Cybertraps for Educators” (2015); and “Cybertraps for Expecting Moms & Dads” (2016).

In his presentation at the Grandvrio Resort, he discussed child safety and “digital citizenship,” the risks and rewards of the digital revolution, the legal and professional risks of the digital age, and cybertraps and how to deal with them.

He said cybertraps are legal risks arising out of the use and misuse of technology.

“The goal here is to help parents and teachers understand what the kids are doing with technology and to protect teachers from committing mistakes and misusing devices,” Lane said in an interview.

School administrators, teachers and parents pose with cyber-safety expert Frederick Lane at Grandvrio Resort on Saturday.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio School administrators, teachers and parents pose with cyber-safety expert Frederick Lane at Grandvrio Resort on Saturday. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

“The school needs to help educate children about digital citizenship so the kids understand how to behave as well,” he added.

He encourages parents to delay their children’s access to technology devices, especially smartphones, as he noted that there is increasing evidence that the use of such devices among children is interfering with their language development and interfering with their sleep.

“It’s really teaching them bad habits. They don’t really need the tablet when they are five or six years old. As far as the smartphone, parents may want to wait until their children are in middle school,” Lane said.

“It’s a very sensitive issue that is going on right now, globally,” Ada said. “We want to remain current with the latest trends and we want to know more about them so we can prevent problems and educate our teachers, administrators and parents to deal with those problems.”

She said BOE and the Public School System have an anti-bullying policy in place. “Now we are looking at cyber-bullying so that we can enforce and strengthen our rules and policies.”

She said they are also looking for a guideline for educators “so they’ll know how to deal with cyber-bullying — what to do and what not to do.”

Ada added, “I think we learned a lot [from Lane’s presentations]. We will take some proactive measures to deal with cyber issues. We provided our students with free laptops and this year we will hand out iPads to them. We want to make sure that kids are protected and our teachers know how to handle possible problems. [The presentations were] an eye opener and I’m glad we had the opportunity to learn about these issues.”