#ICANHELP’s Year in ReflectionDec 15, 2022
In 2022, digital technologies cemented their place at the forefront of the school environment. As many students returned from remote learning, teachers strived to integrate the best qualities of technology – such as its ability to educate and connect communities – into the classroom for good. But inside and outside of school, kids have little guidance about how to use technology while protecting their mental health. Technology use can be all-consuming, especially for younger children whose executive function skills are still developing. Additionally, kids regularly encounter bullying and harassment online. #ICANHELP has continued working hard in 2022 to help children stay safe online and use Digital4Good. Here are a few highlights from the past 12 months:
The #ICANHELP Team Grew
Through our trainings, curriculum, and student presentations, #ICANHELP continued teaching students how to stay safe online and use technology to enhance their well-being. Around the country, thousands of kids are committed to using Digital4Good with the support of #ICANHELP.
As the #ICANHELP community grew, the leadership team behind #ICANHELP also expanded last year. Educator extraordinaires Molly Anderson and Thomas Varghese joined the #ICANHELP board and have been vital in ensuring that our #ICANHELP curriculum is built to support schools. Irene Mendoza joined the team as #ICANHELP’s marketing manager; Irene helps #ICANHELP spread our message of positivity to the public. Finally, Lola Bessis became the new #ICANHELP Lead Intern. She coordinates with all the departments at #ICANHELP to guarantee that projects are running smoothly and team morale is high!
We Amplified Students’ Voices
#ICANHELP rebranded our student panels as a monthly webinar series, Students4Good. During each webinar, students who have used digital for good in their communities talk about topics ranging from Youth Financial Literacy to Suicide Prevention. Stay tuned for more Students4Good webinars in 2023!
We Advocated for Students’ Online Safety Protections on the National Level
In November 2022, #ICANHELP interns Maya Tarantino and Abbey Woods traveled with Kim Karr (#ICANHELP’s Co-Founder & Executive Director) to Virginia to host a panel for NAASP’s Summit on Wellness. Fewer than 5 miles from Washington, D.C., Maya, Abbey, and Kim spoke about student mental health and future federal laws regarding social media. These #ICANHELP leaders advocated for students’ safety and well-being to be protected online. Their advocacy is significant as not many current lawmakers have grown up with social media; students’ voices must be represented in conversations about social media development and regulation.
We Expanded Our Online Safety Curriculum
#ICANHELP developed our Social Media Emergency Plan to help school administrators deal with digital emergencies on their campuses. This comprehensive guide equips schools with the tools and resources to handle social media incidents quickly, safely, and efficiently. Click here to learn more about the Social Media Emergency Plan and sign up to be the first to receive this curriculum when it is released in January 2023.
Next year, #ICANHELP will continue helping students, parents, and teachers safely navigate the online world and use Digital4Good. We cannot wait for what’s in store! Make sure to follow us on social (Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook) and sign up for our email newsletter to stay informed and engaged as we continue teaching students and educators how to be a force for good online.
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