APP2 Speaker Advises Students, Parents about Cyber Safety

Delaney Butterfield, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

This past Wednesday, Justin Patchin, Ph.D., stunned the students and faculty of Notre Dame Academy with his presentation on cyberbullying and digital citizenship that was sponsored by APP2.

Patchin, a criminal justice professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has written six books on the topic of cyberbullying and other forms of technology misuse. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and travels around the world giving presentations on cyberbullying and how to be safe on the internet.

Patchin talked about many interesting statistics and facts, such as that only 10% of teens cyberbully others but that number is often assumed to be higher because of all the attention those who do cyberbully get. He also talked about a case study that he and his friend Sameer Hinduja did using just a girl’s screen name for an online chat. From that screen name, they found enough information on the girl to create an eighty-slide presentation on her.

He also talked about privacy settings on social media and how important it is to be checking to make sure that only your friends can see your posts. Overall, Patchin highlighted four main concepts on the topic of cyber safety: do not be a jerk/moron; do not sabotage your future; you are not invincible; and, lastly, use integrity.

Patchin’s presentation was informative and interesting. The facts and the statistics were compelling.

“Dr. Patchin did a nice job with the information. He didn’t present anything new, though,” said sophomore Jennifer Cluckey. “I believe the presentation would have been more beneficial if it had been presented when we were in grade school because by now people have already put that information out there (and now there’s no way to get it back, according to the presentation.) My views about digital citizenship didn’t change because of the lack of new information, but [Patchin] did a nice job in presenting it in a newer way.”

Indeed, Patchin did address grade school and middle school students in special presentations in the NDA auditorium.  He also spoke to NDA and GRACE school parents in an evening presentation.