Update 2/7/12: More pictures are available HERE
On January 14, 2012, I gave a talk to student leaders of EDSOR Consortium member schools, which include, La Salle Greenhills, Immaculate Conception Academy, St. Pedro Poveda College and Xavier School. My assigned topic was “cyber wellness”.
For the last 12 years, EDSOR is conducting Peace Camp, a yearly leadership training program for student leaders of member schools. Each member school got to host the annual event every four years. This year’s theme was “Kabataan: Kakabakaba o Kakasa Ka Ba?”
The conference aims to make the participants aware of and believe in their strengths as youth leaders. It further aims to make them aware of, and take action on, the issues confronting Filipino youth today. On the first day of the conference, the students will be looking more into themselves as student leaders –their strengths and weaknesses, their motivations and aspirations. On the second day, the students will take a closer look at present problems affecting the youth in the Philippines.
Thus, the topic I presented is timely because more than ever,
- cases of cyber bullying is growing but remain under reported
- a notable increase of crime emanating from use of internet and social media
- more and more kids have access to online content and are exposed to social web at an early age
- our kids are opinionated, more vocal and affront, enjoying the freedom we have in our country
- most of the time, parents are not involve in the online activity of their kids
- there is a real danger from online predators
- kids need to understand responsible and safety use of social web
Aside from giving an overview of the social media landscape, we looked at certain local and international cases of cyber bullying and other related abuses. Discussed how one’s online behavior can put them at risk, and how they can protect themselves and use online tools that can help them navigate the web safely. I also met Father Stephen Cuyos, one of the speakers of the said conference, and fellow advocate of online safety.
I am happy that schools are beginning to recognize the need for cyber wellness. Because in the absence of appropriate cyber laws, and schools that do not have a procedure on how to deal with cyber bullying, and parents that are disconnected with kids online activities, the best protection we can give our kids is to “educate them”