Middle School students, who have been learning about digital citizenship in their classes, welcomed Bronxville Police Department Sergeant William Carroll and Officer Michael Lewis to their school to discuss the importance of keeping their digital lives safe.
Sergeant Carroll and Officer Lewis spoke with the students about the dangers they might encounter online or while using social media and discussed the effects of their digital footprint in a digital world. They urged them to be careful about what they post online and not give out personal information or pictures to strangers.
“Everything you put online is always going to be there,” Sgt. Carroll told the students. “Think about what you’re sending before you send it.”
Instructional technology teacher Kimberly Persaud, who encourages her students to think critically about how they shape their digital identities, said it’s crucial to teach students not only how to use technology, but how to do so safely. As part of the digital citizenship curriculum, which covers a variety of issues, students learn how to shape their online identity, guard their privacy, evaluate information they find online, combat cyberbullying and avoid violating the rights of others.
“Growing up in a digital world allows us to access news, connect with new people and share information more than ever before,” Persaud said. “In order to thrive in such a technology-dominated society, there are precautions that we all need to take.”
Persaud said it was a powerful lesson for students to hear from the police officers about the effect of their actions online and understand the repercussions that people who misuse technology might face.
“I always say to my students that just as we have rights, follow rules and make contributions to the community we live in, we have similar obligations as digital citizens in an ever-evolving digital world,” she said.