KidsMatter’s Digital Leader Summit

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Share with care, secure your secrets, it’s cool to be kind. They’re phrases that make up parts of the curriculum in KidsMatter’s inaugural Digital Leader Summit.

“We sat down and we brainstormed, [and] we knew that Google had produced a curriculum called “Be Internet Awesome” and we were already using Common Sense Media as a digital citizenship curriculum as well. So we kind of blended those two curriculums into just our own, and created the Digital Leader Summit,” explained Al Davenport, the director of innovation and instructional leadership at Indian Prairie School District 204.

Fourth through eighth grade students from Naperville school districts 203 and 204 were chosen by their schools to participate in the hands-on event.

“The Digital Leader Summit was really designed to empower kids to realize their leadership capabilities and possibilities, as well as to help them combat cyber bullying, and also to help them build and have and realize the importance of a positive digital footprint,” said CEO and Executive Director of KidsMatter Kamala Martinez.

In several breakout sessions, students learned about cyber safety and security, and how to be respectful both online and in their community.

Students were asked to take what they learned and bring it back to their schools to teach their peers about being good digital citizens.

“For example, we had a group who’s going to make a movie that they’re going to share with their classmates. We have another school that’s already designing their own cyber security week and how that’s going to look at their building. I think the impact [of the summit] is seen in that,” said Jill Hlavacek, director of innovation and learning at District 203.

And as so many students use laptops everyday in school, these messages of digital safety are relevant now more than ever.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.