News

Schools begin teaching kids to cope with life online

By Erin Kourkounis, Tampa Tribune
November 10th, 2014

Students are learning how to manage social media, online behavior

students-onlineLike many kids her age, Bloomingdale High senior Tranae Robinson has dozens of social media applications at her fingertips and routinely logs into at least seven of them on her smartphone–Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest included.

She admits teens could be more mindful of Internet safety and how they present themselves online, especially now that she and her classmates are allowed bring their own devices to school.

“It’s very nonchalant, the way we handle it,” Robinson said. “We don’t try to filter ourselves. Not everything is as private as you think.”

This school year, Robinson, along with every other student who attends a Hillsborough County (Fla.) public school, will be trained in how to handle themselves safely and responsibly online. The initiative goes hand-in-hand with the new program that lets them bring their phones, tablets, and laptops to school.

They are learning about the dangers of cyberbullying, how to create secure passwords, how to avoid identity theft and how to leave a positive digital footprint on their devices.

(Next page: The district’s strategy)