January 22 • 01:21 AM

Area's own CSI

Imlay City Schools to host state Cyber Space Initiative seminar for parents

January 09, 2008
IMLAY CITY — It's a different type of CSI, but one that every parent should become an expert in nonetheless.

As part of a statewide effort to keep parents up-to-date on the latest Internet lingo and trends, Imlay City Community Schools is hosting a Michigan Cyber Safe Initiative seminar on Wed., Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Imlay City Middle School on Weston Street. The seminar is free of charge and is open to parents from around the area, including those who don't have students in Imlay City schools.

The CSI is sponsored by Attorney General Mike Cox and is designed to give parents a comprehensive look into cyberspace. The program was brought to Imlay City by middle school technology teacher John Kish, who works hard to keep parents in the loop when it comes to technology.

"John is responsible for coordinating the in-house assemblies and has done the lion's share of the work on this program," says Borland Elementary School principal Bill Kalmar.

The evening seminar for parents will cap off age-appropriate sessions with students at the elementary and middle school level, Kalmar says.

Parents will learn about online terminology and acronyms, chat rooms, parental controls, tracking their child's internet use and tips on monitoring online behavior.

"It's designed for all parents because even young kids get a lot of ideas about Internet use from older kids," Kalmar says.

The ins and outs of popular networking cites like Myspace and Facebook will be discussed, including tips on how to talk about the pros and cons of Internet social networking sites with youngsters. An action plan for parents whose children have a profile in a social networking site will also be provided.

"Kids are always so far ahead of us with technology," Kalmar says. "Any kind of program that helps parents get a heads up—even if it's something as simple as finding out how to check a child's history on the Internet—is helpful."

The Michigan CSI seminar, set for 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 at the Imlay City Middle School, is free and open to parents and interested persons, regardless of school district.

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