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West Hartford Elementary School Students Give Presentation at UConn Conference

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On May 10, Solomon Schechter Day School students presented at the annual University of Connecticut ‘Teaching and Learning with iPads Conference.’

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On Wednesday, May 10, Solomon Schechter Day School students Olivia Boustani and Jeremy Eisen were privileged to present at the annual University of Connecticut “Teaching and Learning with iPads Conference.” They were joined by Literacy Consultant Cynthia Merrill to illustrate safe and creative student internet use to audiences of educators.

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Both West Hartford students showcased their impressive online projects as a practical demonstration of their skills. Second Grader Boustani discussed the way in which she is defining her online identity as a toy expert through video blogs. Merrill commented that Boustani is a prime example of how technology can be used to create as opposed to consume.

Eisen presented his videos reflecting his thoughts about reading and literacy. “Jeremy has a strong presence about himself as a learner,” Merrill said. Jeremy discussed the process of taking selfies, the making of his video, who views the account, and how these factors affected his decisions about his filming process.

According to Merrill, the integration of technology into education is multifaceted. Primarily, “kids need to be taught to be safe on the internet,” Merrill said. She discussed how their gradual release onto the Internet and trusting as opposed to policing kids is a necessary strategy.

Boustani and Eisen are also learning key skills, such as building their “digital tribe” – trusted adults that they can alert in response to negative or potentially harmful comments and followers. Merrill dubs this the ‘block and bloom’ strategy. “In order to bloom online, you need to block the trolls,” she explained.

Using discussion, reflection, and process regarding the internet, students at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford are respectful and conscientious participants of the online community.  Their presentations at the UConn iPad conference help dispel the myth that social media is scary by demonstrating safe and creative use of online resources.

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Jackie Palermo

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