The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) is teaming up with the White Hatter to kick off a five-part Internet Safety Series for parents on Jan. 12.
The free virtual series will explore topics including online predators, app privacy, sexting, the light and dark sides of the internet, over-consumption, data tracking, and digital footprints.
“We now access information digitally far more than we do from books,” said community literacy coordinator for the Elk Valley, Chrisy Hill.
“It wasn’t quite as dangerous to go to the library and access your information that way, whereas now we’re letting strangers into our homes unsupervised with our children. They can access all sorts of information, and it’s a powerful tool, but part of literacy is knowing not just how to access it but how to access it safely.”
The sessions will be delivered by the White Hatter, an organization specializing in offering schools and businesses presentations on digital literacy, workplace violence protection education and training, and media safety.
“The White Hatter is the guru on internet safety,” said Hill, who said that with the sessions being online, more could access them.
“These presentations are usually really expensive, and the only reason we can offer so many of them is because they are virtual now – originally my plan was to have one workshop come to Fernie, but now we can do them all.”
According to Hill, the first session will touch on a variety of topics, while subsequent sessions explore specific issues in depth. Matters covered in the initial meeting include challenges youth face online, opportunities technology provides, parental barriers, exploitation, legal consequences, and signs pointing to concerns.
The second session on Jan. 26 will look into online sexual predation and exploitation, followed by a presentation on Feb. 9 about online gaming concerns, balance, addiction and opportunities.
The final two sessions will be hosted on Feb. 16 and 23, with the first session discussing the distribution of intimate images, nudes, sexting and the Canadian law, and the final session pertaining to the dark and dangerous sides of social media and the internet.
Each session will end in a 30 minute interactive questions and answer period.
The Internet Safety Series is available for participants from nine CBAL offices throughout the Kootenays including those in Nelson, Cranbrook, Castlegar, the Elk Valley, Golden, Kimberley and Creston. Though the series is geared towards parents, teens are welcome to join with parental consent.
Registration gives attendees access to all five presentations, however participants are not required to attend all sessions.
Recordings of the presentations will be available for one week following presentations.
Elk Valley residents looking to register for the online presentations or receive special digital accommodation are to email Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on CBAL’s programming, visit cbal.org.