NEWS

For Immediate Release
May 20, 2011

Illinois students help spread Digital safety message


Attorney General Madigan and State Superintendent Koch name best poster and electronic projects promoting online safety

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), along with the offices of the Illinois Attorney General and Illinois Lieutenant Governor Friday recognized the student winners of the second statewide Illinois Youth Digital Safety Contest to raise awareness about making careful and respectful choices through digital communications. Students in grades fourth through 12th were encouraged to submit either a poster or electronic project addressing digital safety.

“This contest and these creative winning entries help guide an important conversation about making smart choices as students work with digital communication tools,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Students need to be able to interact and navigate as safely and wisely online as anywhere else.”

Sixteen students who earned first place in the contest, sponsored by ISBE, the Illinois Attorney General and the Illinois Lieutenant Governor, were recognized during a ceremony Friday afternoon at the Governor’s mansion. The contest follows a law that took effect in January 2009 requiring school districts to incorporate Internet safety into the curriculum at least once each school year beginning in grade 3.

This year students were encouraged to address “Digital Citizenship” defined as someone with the ability to think critically about the ethical opportunities and challenges of the “digital world.”

“The Internet is a powerful research and communication tool, but we must caution our children of the dangers they might encounter while online,’’ said Lt. Governor Sheila Simon. “I congratulate the winners of the Digital Safety Contest and encourage them to continue discussing the harmful effects of cyber bullying and harassment with friends and family so we can all stay safe while using the Internet.”

Under state law each local school district determines how to include lessons into the classroom but some recommended topics include the safe and responsible use of social networking websites, chat rooms, bulletin boards and other means of communication on the Internet. It is also recommended that instruction includes information on recognizing, avoiding and reporting online solicitation by sexual predators, recognizing and reporting online harassment and cyberbullying and knowing the risks of transmitting personal information on the Internet.

Attorney General Madigan’s Office has created age-specific Internet Safety Training Modules for educators that meet state law requirements. The Attorney General’s Internet Safety Training Modules can be found on her website at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov, or on ISBE’s website at www.isbe.net

Attorney General Madigan’s Office has provided Internet safety training and education to more than 164,000 parents, teachers, and students, and nearly 12,900 law enforcement officers since 2006. Madigan also hosts a website to help children, teens, parents and educators learn about the dangers of cyberbullying. The “Stop Cyberbullying” website (www.ebully411.com) includes the latest news and statistics, frequently asked questions and a quiz to test online users’ knowledge about cyberbullying. It also features an E-Info Hotline to assist victims and teach bullies to understand the impact of their actions. More information is available by calling the Hotline at 1-888-414-7678 or by e-mailing e-info@atg.state.il.us.

“While technology creates opportunities, it also creates risks,” said Attorney General Madigan. “This Digital Safety contest provides a creative way for getting students thinking and talking about being safe and civil in the cyber world and how to respond to negative behavior. Congratulations to the winners and to all those who participated for using their talents to communicate the importance of Internet safety.”

Winners of the Digial Safety contest were judged by staff from the three agencies as well directors from Illinois Learning Technology Centers. The winners are:

Grades 4-6 – Podcast (Underlined Podcast can be listened to - audio only using Real Player or Windows Media Player)

First Place

Abigail Regalado and Stephanie Castaneda, Falconer Elementary School, City of Chicago Schools 299, Chicago

Second Place

Lizbeth Romero and Stephanie Mariona, Falconer Elementary School, City of Chicago Schools 299, Chicago

Third Place

Adriana Desantiago and Jessica Bonilla, Falconer Elementary School, City of Chicago Schools 299, Chicago

Second Place

Moises Colon and Xavier Soto, Falconer Elementary School, City of Chicago Schools 299, Chicago

Grades 4-6 - Poster

First Place

Sophia D'Amico, Elizabeth Moore and Katie Storch, H.C. Storm Elementary, Batavia Unit School District, Batavia

Grades 4-6 - Slideshow

First Place

Kelly Liang, Erin Gray and Mary Claire Smith, H.C. Storm Elementary, Batavia Unit School District, Batavia

Second Place

Dejan Kloth, Clay Elementary School, City of Chicago Schools 299, Chicago

Third Place

Omar Sanchez, Clay Elementary School, City of Chicago Schools 299, Chicago

Grades 4-6 –Video (Underlined Videos can be viewed with Real Player or Windows Media Player)

First Place

Bethany Baudhuin and Carly Sattler, Gower Middle School, Gower School District 62, Willowbrook

Second Place

Patrick Callahan, Adam Cerny and Aaron Fuller, The Lane School, Community Consolidated School District 181, Burr Ridge

Grades 7-8 –Slideshow

First Place

Tierra Jones, Clay Elementary School, City of Chicago Schools 299, Chicago

Second Place

Ashley Metz, Clay Elementary School, City of Chicago Schools 299, Chicago

Grades 7-8 -Video (Underlined Video can be viewed with Real Player or Windows Media Player)

First Place

Hannah Ciesil, Edgebrook Elementary, City of Chicago Schools 299, Chicago

Second Place

Ashley Myers, Brittany Myers and Jackie Baskett, Columbia Middle School, Columbia Community Unit School District 4, Columbia

Grades 9-12 - Poster

First Place

Krista Toms, Richmond-Burton Community High School 157, Richmond

Second Place

Kelly Kennedy and Nora O'Malley, Queen of Peace High School, Archdiocese of Chicago, Chicago

Third Place

Ryan Triplett, Thornwood High School, Thornton Township High School 205, South Holland

Grades 9-12 -Video (Underlined Video can be viewed with Real Player or Windows Media Player)

First Place

Joseph Firestine, Austin Howell and Sharon Kelley, Belleville East High School, Belleville THSD 201, Belleville

Second Place

Jordan Pugh, Gerald Ocampo, Jimmy Wells and Stefan Menchaca, Belleville East High School, Belleville THSD 201, Belleville