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Guilderland schools librarians help parents and students become cyber savvy

Students and parents became more cyber savvy through a program held Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Farnsworth Middle School Learning Center, with Guilderland school district librarians teaching how to navigate digital resources safely and efficiently.

Students and parents became more cyber savvy through a program held Thursday, Oct. 17, at the Farnsworth Middle School Learning Center, with Guilderland school district librarians teaching how to navigate digital resources safely and efficiently.

— Parents and students in the Guilderland Central School District got a hands-on chance to expand their online horizons while staying safe at a recent evening program.

Guilderland Central School District librarians hosted on Thursday, Oct. 17, a program titled “Cyber Smart: Succeeding in a Digital World,” a series of workshops featuring interactive presentations containing tips for using online tools and accessing district resources. Workshops were held at the Farnsworth Middle School Learning Center and focused on a range of topics, including using caution when sharing information online, utilizing the district’s new online digital catalog, using online databases, accessing the district’s electronic and audio books, more efficient web searching and podcasting basics using free software.

Guilderland Elementary Librarian Meg Seinburg-Hughes said the workshops were meant to supplement library programs and introduce parents to resources offered by the district.

“A lot of our parents aren’t totally aware of those resources that our school subscribes to,” she said.

Seinburg-Hughes added the basics of cyber safety are also shared with parents.

“We do it in our schools, but you want to bring families in on it as well,” she said.

The families at the program primarily had elementary-aged students, but high school Librarian Bernard Bott said the workshops could appeal to many grade levels.

“Certain sessions are geared towards certain age groups. Like myself and Meg are doing Google better, which can be really for older students as well as parents,” Bott said.

The evening featured a program on alternatives to using Google focusing on subscription-based databases available to students, such as Opposing Viewpoints, CultureGrams and World Book Online.

“We try to teach kids that there are research databases that are age appropriate that are going to help them find information faster,” Seinburg-Hughes said.

The databases and resources can be accessed by visiting a school’s library page on its website.

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