In preparation for their exhibition exhibit with a focus on online safety, two 5th grade classes at CDS have been researching the best ways to protect your identity online. With visitors like Dr. Michele Borba and the Tampa Police Department, the students were able to investigate not only empathy was connected to online safety but how the police department uses social media to find missing people.
After learning that there was a big connection between empathy and online safety, Mrs. Monty's class knew that they needed to reach out to the ultimate empathy expert (educational psychologist, best-selling author, and TODAY show contributor), Dr. Michele Borba. They wrote her a letter explaining that they were focusing on online safety for this year's Exhibition and discussed how, while researching, they had learned empathy was connected to online safety. They shared some of the questions they had for her and asked if she would be willing to Zoom to discuss the answers to their questions and this extremely important topic. Dr. Borba was eager to talk to these inquisitive students.
Dr. Borba spent time with the students, on Zoom, talking to them about being upstanders both on and offline. Standing up for others in all circumstances not only helps build empathy but lends to lessening cyberbullying. She also taught them the acronym CARE...Console, Ask, Reassure, Empathize.
In addition to Dr. Borba, the students had visitors from the Tampa Police Department, Lieutenant Felcia Pecora and Vanessa Nettingham (who runs social media at the dept.), who talked to them about how the government uses social media to help find missing people and spread announcements to the public. The benefit of people putting a lot of information on social media is that there are clues to be able to help when someone is in trouble. This was a great example of how social media can be used to help keep people safe.
To culminate their week of research and investigation, Mrs. Monty's class visited the ECC to teach their Kindergarten buddies about online safety. Read one students' account below:
Today we went to the ECC and taught the kindergarten classes about online safety. It was so much fun! I m so glad I got to visit the ECC.
First, we showed the kindergarten classes a quick video about online safety. It had Timon and Pumbaa (from The Lion King) in it so we hoped it would look familiar to them. After this, we asked them questions about the video. They were so good at answering and were awesome attentive listeners.
We then did a fun little craft with them. We traced their hands and had them write the names of five Trusted Adults on each of the fingers of their traced hands. They got to keep one hand and the other hand was glued onto a poster for them to keep in their classroom.
We did all of this because we wanted to make sure the kindergarten students know how to be safe online - especially because they will be at the upper campus very soon. They definitely did a great job and were so cool to visit!
I am so glad we were able to visit the ECC because it felt like we were teachers. I also hope that the kindergarten students learned lots about online safety.