If you want to learn how to “be smart on the Internet,” the Rotary Breakfast and Noon clubs of Detroit Lakes have teamed up to present a free public information seminar on cybersecurity and digital citizenship this Monday, November 29.
Anyone from grade 6 through adulthood is welcome to attend the 7 p.m. event, which will be held in the brand new common area of ââDetroit Lakes High School. Teachers can even earn continuing education credits for doing so, according to Kent Mollberg, who will present the seminar.
Mollberg, a retired teacher and media specialist who has worked in Detroit Lakes public schools for nearly 30 years and holds a master’s degree in information technology, says he developed this seminar “after seeing from his own eyes some of the dangers of the Internet that students face on a daily basis. “
“I have witnessed serious cyberbullying and identity theft that children use against each other,” he explained in an interview on Tuesday.
Kent Mollberg spoke to teens and parents about social media, cellphones and cybersecurity at an event in 2010 in Detroit Lakes. (Tribune archive photo)
A member of the Breakfast Rotary Club of Detroit Lakes, Mollberg said he has presented Internet safety seminars at more than 200 schools and professional conferences, to an estimated audience of more than 50,000. He said the two local Rotary clubs were looking to present a common event when they approached him about it.
âThe Detroit Lakes Breakfast and Noon Clubs are sponsoring this event to support the education of not only the youth in our community, but also those who may be vulnerable to cybersecurity risks,â said Travis Stone, president of the Noon Rotary Club. “This event supports Rotary’s guiding principles, which focus on the truth, the best interests of all, and aim to create goodwill and better friendships.”
Stone also noted that the seminar should be of particular interest to members of the Detroit Lakes Interact Club, who are considered âjuniorâ Rotarians.
âThe interlocutors are the young people of our community who seek to improve their community through their good deeds and their volunteer spirit,â he said. “This event helps show Interact members an area in which they are vulnerable and how to be safe in a world that is evolving to include more and more digital forums for communication and connectivity.”
Mollberg said his seminar “will cover anything you can imagine” – from cyberbullying and harassment and sexting, to tech addiction and identity theft.
âI use the media to teach media safety skills,â he added. âThe Internet is the new Wild West. No one is in charge.
âChildren think of social media as an extension of their life that ‘lives’ outside of their body. Technology now belongs to adolescents. When your cell phone is not working, what do you do? You give it to your son or daughter and say, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ and they know! “
Mollberg said that when he attended school as a child, the main discipline issues in school were “talking (in class), chewing gum, making noise, running down the hall, move in the queue, wear inappropriate clothes and do not use the recycle bin. “
The main school discipline issues today, on the other hand, are “drugs and alcohol, sexual harassment, theft and assault, social media, cyberbullying and school shootings.”
âOn top of that, the schools are nothing like the schools we attended when we were young,â he said. “Plus, today’s students are the first generation who can’t trust everything they read and hear.”
Mollberg also noted that there are over 780,000 registered sexual predators in the United States, and that approximately 100,000 of them have been “lost in the system,” that is, the forces of the order do not know where they are.
âStill, one of the six teens is ready to meet someone he has only spoken to online,â he said. “The predators are real and they are looking for our children.”
Mollberg noted that the most common bad choices children make in school that cause them problems include:
- Take pictures in the school toilets or changing rooms;
- Threatening to harm the school or other students;
- âLikeâ a shooting incident on social media or post âhate groupsâ on the Internet.
“Sharing a picture of a teacher or administrator is another big mistake,” he said, “but by far the most common mistake is inappropriate research using school technology.” .
And it’s not just kids who can get in trouble, he added.
âEvery time you touch your phone or device, someone is following you,â Mollberg said. âThey monitor every move you make. Plus, your actions online have real-world consequences. Once you post something online, you can’t take it back. What you post might have more audience. wide than you might think. “
Another growing concern is online identity theft.
âIf you use the web for commerce, there’s a good chance you’re a target,â Mollberg said. âSomeone rarely goes to jail for Internet theft, because most thieves come from other countries and are never prosecuted, let alone wanted. “
Cyberbullying is another problem that can affect both children and adults.
âWe’re much more willing to write something in a text or an email than we would ever say in person,â Mollberg said. “Text messages and emails are forwarded all the time. Oral conversations are not. When you write something, it is permanent and can be used against you.”
Mollberg added that although it is free and open to the public, Monday’s seminar is aimed at people of school age and older, as some of the topics “are not suitable for young children.” He also noted that all public school teachers and other educators who wish to participate can also receive continuing education credits for doing so.
If you are going to
What: Seminar “Be smart on the Internet”
When: Monday November 29, 7 p.m.
Or: Detroit Lakes High School Commons, 1301 Roosevelt Ave.
Who: The seminar is free and open to anyone of middle school age and over; some of the topics covered are inappropriate for young children. Presented by Kent Mollberg, Retired Media Specialist from Detroit Lakes High School, and co-hosted by the Detroit Lakes Breakfast and Noon Rotary clubs. Teachers can receive continuing education credits for their participation.