Philomath High School
Philomath High School (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs_

Link to Original Story:
Published Jan. 31
Philomath students focus on kindness, safety
in a challenging digital world



Philomath High School’s homeroom classes submitted student-created lesson plans to teach K-8 students in the Philomath School District about various topics under the umbrella of “Digital Citizenship.”

A committee convened to review the submissions and selected which classes to honor. Each grade level had one submission selected and there were three additional special selections from the committee. PHS features 26 homeroom classes — five in the 12th grade and seven each in the 11th, 10th and ninth grades.

Mrs. Brown and Ms. Titus’s Class

The class stated, “Our goal was to teach students about internet privacy and how to stay safe/avoid phishing scams on the internet.” They created a GoogleSlides presentation that was engaging and provided detailed information to keep students safe in regards to protecting their personal information and privacy, avoiding phishing scams and coached youth to not click on ads. They incorporated an interactive game of Kahoot to make learning fun!

Mr. Cerny’s Class

Their goal was to teach children “To understand how to safely and politely use the internet.” They utilized a game created by Google called Interland Play Interland — Be Internet Awesome to simulate learning through a virtual experience. Per the students, “The game should explain safety while sharing on the internet, scams, digital security, being kind, and talking to trusted adults about the internet.”

Mrs. Luta’s Class

This class aimed to teach fifth-eighth graders about their digital footprint and how to be safe online. They utilized a plausible scenario that could happen to teens which involved a 13-year-old meeting a 24-year-old on SnapChat. The 24-year-old eventually asks to meet the youth in person, and the outcome is kidnapping.
The lesson also had the students play a game of Kahoot to solidify their learning and incorporated many real life scenarios that youth could relate to. They concluded their lesson with a GoogleSlides presentation on Safety and Privacy with many important tips for youth.
Here are some of their tips: 
• Posting things online can be seen by anyone
• Consider removing things such as your name, address or email from accounts online
• Photos taken from phones embed the GPS coordinates in the photo, which people can see and they may find you
• People you talk to online may be lying about things such as their name, age, or gender

Mrs. Hanson’s Class

This class taught younger students about cyberbullying through defining the term, utilizing a video to highlight what it means to cyberbullying, and pointing out the negative effects of cyberbullying on youth including being worried, sad, hopeless and withdrawing from others. They also include tips for youth on what to do if they or a friend is experiencing cyberbullying including documenting it by taking a screenshot and talking to a trusted adult. The “Golden Rule” is incorporated into their lesson — Treat others how you want to be treated. 

Mrs. Eldridge’s Class

Middle school counselor Mike Panico described this lesson as being ready to implement with middle school students right away and felt it had a clear and organized message about digital citizenship. This lesson is ready for students at PMS!

Mrs. Hall’s Class

This class created thought-provoking survey questions that could be utilized with students and their parents on the topics of cyberbullying, being safe online and being a kind digital citizen. Examples of questions for parents include: 
• How can you identify the effects of cyberbullying?
• How can you make sure your child doesn’t cyberbully?
• What should you do if your child is cyberbullying?

Mr. Bennett’s Class

This special award was created to honor Mr. Bennett’s homeroom class. The students decided to teach middle school students (and their parents) how easy it is to con people on the internet. They created a fake Snapchat and Instagram account and posed as a peer. Their fake account under the name “Laura Sara” showed a photo of a teenage girl who supposedly just moved to Philomath from Florida; the photo was found on the internet and used as the profile picture. A few of the high school students added “Laura Sara” as their friends to their accounts. This in turn made middle school students believe she was a real person and could be trusted, since people they knew in Philomath had added her. As a result, roughly 80 students in Philomath, mostly middle school aged students but some high school students too, added Laura Sara as their friend. This data shows just how easy it is for strangers to create fake profiles and infiltrate a group of students.