Keeping our kids safe in a digital age

photo of four teens standing together and holding their mobile phones

Penn State's PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) system supports programs for middle school students and their families in participating school districts across Pennsylvania that are designed to build strong family connections, help students to handle peer pressure, and avoid risky behaviors.

During their annual statewide meeting on June 14, PROSPER leaders provided training via Zoom for PROSPER team members and the general public on how to keep our youth safe in a digital age. Video recordings of the event and the accompanying PowerPoint presentations are provided below.

Child Internet Safety – How can we help our children be cyber smart?

Presenters: Kyle Crain and Andy Bowen, Penn State Office of Information Security

This presentation provides an overview of the potential dangers of online activities and approaches to talking with children and monitoring their online activities. Topics addressed include privacy and oversharing, bullying, knowing who you're really talking with online, illegal file sharing, the "dark web" and more.

Slides: Child Internet Safety – How can we help our children be cyber smart?

Resources:

Keeping Children Safe Online Keeping Children Safe Online (justice.gov)

Protecting Kids Online Protecting Kids Online | FTC Consumer Information

Internet Safety for Kids Internet Safety for Kids | How to Keep Your Children Safe Online (consumernotice.org)

Digital Citizenship Activities for Middle and High School Quick Digital Citizenship Activities for Middle and High School Distance Learning | Common Sense Education

ConnectSafely.org Homepage | ConnectSafely

Digital Citizenship and Online Safety: SocialMedia Test Drive Overview

Presenter: Angela Smith, Penn State Extension, Pike County 4H

Learn about helpful tools for parents and educators wanting to protect and teach children about digital citizenship.

Slides: Digital Citizenship and Online Safety: SocialMedia Test Drive Overview

Resources:

Social Media TestDrive Simulates realistic digital dilemmas and scenarios that young people may encounter as they enter the social media world

Common Sense Media Age-based media reviews for families

Commonsense Education Provides a free digital citizenship curriculum and ratings of educational technology

Factitious Quiz Can you spot the "fake news?"

Mental Health First Aid

Presenter: Matt Crutchman, Penn State Extension

Learn about Youth Mental Health First Aid by taking this training through Penn State Extension. Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues. Participants learn how to help those in a mental health crisis find the help and care they need. 

Slides: Youth Mental Health First Aid

School-based Approaches to Mental Health Support

Presenter: Nicole Wells, Penn State EPIS (Evidence-based Prevention and Implementation Support)

Learn about evidence-based programs for schools designed to promote youth mental health. For specific program recommendations for your school district based upon your students' needs, contact EPIS at episcenter@psu.edu.

Slides: School-based Approaches to Mental Health

Resources: 

The Incredible Years

Positive Action (PA)

PATHS

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools

Bounce Back 

The Blues Program