7th Grade Tech Spotlights

by Ella W., 7th grade

In the weeks before winter break, the 7th grade began meeting all together with tech integrator Matt Murray to discuss appropriate and useful ways that we can learn to use our electronics. Here are summaries of two of the tech spotlights.

SPOTLIGHT: Website Reliability

We started off by discussing whether certain websites were reliable or not reliable to use. Matt introduced six criteria to help our assessment:

Criteria Used to Determine Reliable/Unreliable Websites

  • Author (of site and article) -- Does the author have strong credentials?
  • Publisher (.edu vs .com) -- Is this an educational or commercial site?
  • Purpose of site -- Are you seeing advertisements? What could that tell you?
  • Intended audience -- What does the tone/voice of the site tell you about its intended reader?
  • Quality: Citations, hyperlinks, timeliness -- Is the information posted reliable and current? Can you tell where the information is from?
  • Does the information make sense to you? -- It’s often good to “trust your gut”; if something doesn’t seem quite right, keep researching.

SPOTLIGHT: Conscientious Connectivity: Social Media Use and & Your Digital Footprint

In this spotlight, Matt talked to us about applying to high school and college, and whether we want those schools to see the pictures and posts of us on the Internet.

Permanence of the Internet Memory Hole: The Internet has a very good memory.  It keeps things that we think are deleted or forgotten about.  Sometimes that is because of Web Page Duplications.  Companies can make millions of dollars off of your information that is not actually deleted.  “Deleted” isn’t really deleted.  There are websites dedicated to storing every single webpage ever created.  Also, any one of us  could be the subject of surveillance at any point because of organizations such as the National Security Agency (NSA). Companies can also change privacy settings at any point without you knowing.  We all have unique IP addresses that can track what we are doing.  Everything you do on a service provider is saved by them.  Online Disinhibition Effect is when people think that they are anonymous, but really that is a mistake.  If you are hiding behind a username, your secret is actually not safe.

There are so many beneficial ways to use electronics. We can leverage social media to be a better person.  Here are some tips:

  • Post positive things instead of negative.
  • Act on the Internet like the world is watching (because it is).  
  • You should never post or say anything online that you don’t want other people to see.
  • Practice digital empathy. Imagine being the person receiving something negative online.
  • Be conscientious! Cyber-bullying can affect lives everywhere, even if you don't realize it.
  • Most importantly, before you use Social Media…THINK!
    • T -- Is it True?
    • H -- Is it Helpful?
    • I -- Is it Inspiring?
    • N -- Is it Nice?
    • K -- Is it Kind?