Balto. County schools to teach Internet safety Televised meeting to give tips to parents, students

September 14, 1998|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

On the eve of the national America Links Up Campaign, Baltimore County public schools will begin its own local computer-education effort tonight with a televised town meeting the use of the Internet by children and families.

The meeting -- to be shown on county educational Channel 36 at 7 p.m. -- will allow parents and students to ask Internet-safety experts questions.

The hourlong event marks the latest step in the county school system's Parent Internet Education initiative, which has been described by computer experts as a model for the country.

"We're real excited for this event," said Della Curtis, coordinator of the school system's library information services office and the initiative's organizer. "We hope that families will be able to watch and learn about safer ways to use the Internet."

The weeklong America Links Up Campaign -- sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and supported by many private companies and public advocacy groups -- is aimed at educating families and schools on the safe and productive use of the Internet. Concerns include inappropriate communication between children and adults on the Internet.

Tomorrow, 10 of Baltimore County's library media specialists and 18 children and parents from Logan Elementary School will go to Washington to participate in the national kick-off activities.

For tonight's town meeting, parents and children will ask questions from the county's educational channel headquarters at the Carver Center for Arts and Technology and from three county high schools with distance-learning classrooms: Owings Mills, Lansdowne and Chesapeake.

Several of the national Internet experts who have aided the school system's parent education initiative, including cyberspace lawyer Parry Aftab, author of "A Parent's Guide to the Internet," will participate in the meeting.

Later this year, many county schools will be holding Internet seminars for parents, Curtis said. The local seminars follow a countywide expo held in June at Towson University and are an attempt to help parents catch up to their children's computer and Internet knowledge.

For more information, check the town meeting's Web site, www.bcplonline.org/online. To obtain a seat in the audience at a distance-learning location, call 410-887-4035.

Pub Date: 9/14/98

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