Children and teens today have access to a variety of technological devices that can greatly enhance their lives – devices like cell phones with cameras and texting capability, computers, social networking websites, video games with capacity to connect to the internet, and many more. However, cyber-bullies and potential abusers have access to this technology, as well.
Paul O’Briant, author of CyberSafety for Families, is well-acquainted with internet safety issues due to his role as Chief Information Officer for a public school district. He is also an active church member. These two commitments come together in this valuable resource designed to help train parents and other interested adults to protect children and teens from technological dangers.
The CD includes a slide presentation complete with audio, as well as the slides without audio for those who prefer to do their own speaking. A teaching plan for a 2½ hour seminar, preparation material, and handouts to support the presentation may also be printed from the CD. A computer with Adobe Acrobat Reader (a free download) is required to open and view the files, and a projector and screen or TV monitor and connection would be necessary to present the material to a group.
The material on the CD provides an overview of the issue, along with specific steps parents and other adults can take to protect children and teens. While anyone familiar with teaching or presenting could use this material to lead a basic workshop, the optional “Tour of Websites and Features” would require a leader with enough expertise to demonstrate the listed websites and features. Internet connection would also be necessary for this component of the presentation.
Church leaders may also be interested to know that the Illinois Office of the Attorney General provides resources for adults and for children and youth on internet safety issues. Visit http://www.ag.state.il.us/children/internet.html
for further information.