The Family Online Safety Institute held their second “Online on Wednesday” panel at the new Capitol Visitor Center. Stephen Balkam, CEO of FOSI moderated a discussion on online safety education in schools that focused on what is being done and what needs to be done to protect kids.
Bill Modzeleski with the Department of Education spoke to the audience for 10 minutes about education from a 35, 000 foot view and tied his comments into how the offline education world also applies to how students, teachers and administrators function in the cyber world. Both Stephen and Bill thanked AT&T for supporting the Hill panel series.
Speakers on the panel included Marsali Hancock with iKeepSafe, Jim Teicher with CyberSmart! and Laurie Nathan with NetSmartz who discussed student behaviors online, including cyberbullying, texting and sexting. Panelists mentioned how schools play an important role in teaching students to be good digital citizens, but that schools are only part of the answer. Parents, the community, government, ISPs and law enforcement all need to work together.
There were over 30 people present for the panel, including representatives from Cable in the Classroom, Yahoo!, NCMEC, Nominum, Eluminate, PFF, a reporter with Washington Internet Daily and five House staffers from offices such as Rep. Fallin and Rep. Reichert.
FOSI has been receiving very positive feedback from panelists and attendees that the panels are extremely informative and a great opportunity for open discussion. The press and media are already joining in the debate with an excellent article in the Washington Internet Daily.
The next panel will be on May 13 in the same Visitor’s Center room and will cover online safety from an international perspective.