What is the Safe Connects Program?
“Lights, Camera, Action!” FOX 59 discusses how Net Literacy engages youths to begin a conversation about safety in Safe Connects’ 2016 PSA program. 100,000s of Hoosiers have watch Net Literacy’s safety PSAs which is part of Safe Connects’ four part strategy program that increases awareness and educates parents and teens about how to be safe while having fun online.
While 99% of all that happens on the net is positive and safe which is very similar to the real world, educating teens about Internet safety helps keep them safe and enables them to enjoy the riches available to them online. Safe Connects is differentiated from other Internet safety programs because students use “straight talk” to discuss topics that are important to teens. This program has established a “student-teaching-students-and-parents” model for school systems throughout America. Does this program work? Please check out the reseach that we conducted interviewing students in two school districts during a nine year study that involved almost 1000 respondents by clicking on the drop down navigation bar on the top of this page or by clicking here: Research and Outcomes
There are five components of this program:
1. Volunteer high school students are provided with student-created age-appropriate PowerPoints and scripts to conduct Internet safety classes for their younger peers in the presence of their teachers and parents in the schools after school, in churches, and in community centers. The content has been reviewed the the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), law enforcement officers, principals, teachers, and parents, although Net Literacy is solely responsible for all of the content. Examples of the scripts and Powerpoint presentations can be viewed by clicking on the drop down navigation bar on the top of this page or by clicking here: Safety Lesson Plans. There’s even a page for parents and for teens when starting a conversation about or discussing Internet safety together and it can be viewed by clicking here: Discussing Safety and a trusted resources page that include the top best safety websites as selected by Net Literacy student volunteers which can be viewed by clicking here: Trusted Resources
2. Cable television and television broadcasters have donated more than $100,000+ each year supporting the annual Safe Connects’ Internet safety awareness program which is comprised of dozens of public service announcements (PSAs). This program was announced at a State House press conference jointly conducted by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and Net Literacy. One of our partners, Bright House Networks, has contributed well over $1,000,000 in advertising avails and studio production time to support this initiative. Other television affiliate networks and PEG channels are also carrying these PSAs. Examples of these PSAs can be viewed by clicking on the “Safe Connects PSAs” on the drop down navigation bar on the top of this page or by clicking here: Safe Connects PSAs
3. Focusing on the 3rd through 6th grade parents and students, 7th and 8th grade parents and students, and high school students, three television productions have been designed, scripted, and produced by Net Literacy student volunteers. These programs are helping increase Internet safety awareness to tens of thousands of youths and parents. As an example, the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) have used student scripted and presented 30 minute video presentation to teach Internet safety to 12,000 high school students one year which you can view by visiting IPS’s website.
4. A teen’s “net reputation” can make the difference between the student being admitted into a highly competititve college, receiving a coveted scholarship, or being hired for job. Because of the importance of teens being aware of and learning how to manage their net reputation, Net Literacy created a program called Net Reputation which includes 27 free ways for teens (and adults) to enhance their net reputation. Learn more by clicking on the “Net Reputation” on the drop down navigation on the top of this page or by clicking here: Net Reputation
5. 270 teen-envisioned and created online safety video shorts that focus on required E-Rate safety and other topics and discuss them from the perspective of teens. Scheduled to be completed by 2017 when the library reaches 300 videos, the videos are the “voice of youth” and students envision and produce them in a manner that engages and impacts teens while discussing the E-Rate required and other important safety topics. Want to learn more? Listen to a 10 minute honest documentary about the annual summer internship program where hundreds of teens attended Ivy Tech College during the summer and worked in teams to produce videos.
While envisioning and producing these safety videos, student interns learned leadership, job, and life skills as well as meeting objectives on time and on budget. Students were individually interviewed before being accepted into the program and receiving an internship. This program was designed to simulate the workplace and each year, 10-20% of new interns “washed out” of the program after going through the progressive disciplinary process with their team leaders, who were also students but had previously worked as interns in the program and were selected to return based upon the leadership skills that they demonstrated in the program. In addition to receiving a stipend, each student intern and team leader received a $2,000 college scholarship for participating in this program, graciously donated by one of a couple city colleges. Examples of these short safety videos, designed for teachers and parents to be played to start a conversation about safety, can be viewed by by clicking on the “Safe Connects Viswoa” navigation on the drop down navigation bar on the top of this page or by clicking here: Safe Connects Videos
For Net Literacy’s contributions to increasing safety awareness and education within the Indiana, the Indiana General Assembly passed House Resolution 095, which called for all Indiana Public, Education, and Government Channels to carry Safe Connects and other Internet safety programming on PEG channels.