November Newsletter: Information Science Department

Happy holidays from the Information Science department! Here are a few highlights from our technology activities at SMA.

Digital Citizenship Week

October 19 to 23 was Digital Citizenship week, during which students and faculty received a “Thought of the Day.” These tips are as applicable to adults as to teenagers, and they could also serve as excellent conversation starters at home when you discuss technology with your families.

Thought #1: Maintain a positive online presence! Avoiding negative online activities is certainly good practice. But did you know that you can help yourself and others by creating a professional online presence and using social media wisely? Let’s get positive online! Check out these resources:

Thought #2: #bekindonline! A simple smile in the hallway can make someone’s day. Kindness online can do the same. Check out these ways to #bekindonline:


Thought #3: Respect Copyright! Photos, graphics, videos, texts, blogs, sites, etc. belong to their creators. It’s tempting to just copy and paste those materials into a project or presentation. But would you want someone to use your work without permission or credit?

Check out this short video from Common Sense Media so you know how to respect copyright. Want to test your knowledge? Take this QUIZ to find out! Want to know more? Check out this tip sheet.

Thought #4: Secure Yourself! It’s hard not to have an online presence in today’s digital world. Privacy as we know it now differs significantly from what it was before. But you can take steps to protect yourself online.

  • Never share passwords and make your passwords strong. (i.e. unique, at least 10 characters, random combinations of letters/numbers/symbols)
  • Turn on the “Do Not Track Tool” on your browsers.
  • Read the Privacy Policies on any sites you use. Know what they share! Don’t use those sites if they share personal information.
  • Keep personal information to yourself — and don’t chat with or send photos to strangers.
  • Don’t post photos online that include personally identifying information (addresses, names, phone numbers, ID numbers, pictures of your home, etc.)
  • Don’t click on ads or links in emails from unknown, corporate or untrustworthy sources.
  • In email and social media sites, block spam or other untrustworthy sources.
  • Set the highest privacy settings you can on all social networking sites.
  • Never use debit cards for online shopping. Never purchase anything on a site that doesn’t have secure purchasing.

For more information about online safety, check out the Common Sense Media page here.

Technology Enhances Oral History Projects

Integrated Women of Faith Interviews

In connection with their studies about biblical women in their Integrated Program classes, 9th grade students have been asked to find and interview a woman of faith during the next couple weeks. They will film their interviews with their iPads, upload them to YouTube, then create QR codes for sharing in their Integrated Books at the end of the semester. This is an amazing opportunity for students to not only engage with the wise women in their lives, but also to be able to share that wisdom with others.

Storycorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen

Students in Speech classes will be encouraged to participate in Storycorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen, which is a nation-wide program designed to collect the oral histories of our older generations and save them into a database held at the Library of Congress. Students can use Storycorps’ free app, available on iOS and Android devices, to design, record and upload an interview of up to 40 minutes.

But here’s the best part—anyone can participate in this program. And it is not limited to Thanksgiving—Storycorps welcomes the oral histories and stories of anyone at any time. So if you have older family members or friends whose stories are begging to be recorded for posterity, consider making this a family project for the holidays.

Happy Holidays!