7 Days a Week - Check Booking Calendar for Specific Times
For 30 years I taught TV Production. It was my dream job. But we have to eventually wake up and that happened to me when the facility (and program I was teaching) was eliminated. I was devastated. Little did I know something even better was in store for me.
The principal of the school asked me if I was up for a challenge. Because of my technology experience, he thought I could come up with a new program - digital literacy. I confess, at the time I didn't know what that was. So I did extensive research and when I realized it involved teaching online safety as well as mastery of digital tools, I dived in eagerly and designed a course. I taught it as a pilot program for 6th graders and it worked! As a result, I was given the task of creating a three-year program for 6th, 7th & 8th graders to teach them how to be safe online and how to more effectively use digital tools.
I was then presented with a new challenge. I was asked to become the school's library media specialist and completely re-invent the library and turn it into a library media center. I would still be teaching my course to 6th graders, but I now needed to train teachers to deliver the other courses.
They had no technology experience so I found a way to not only make it clear and easy to follow, for both instructors and students.
The administration and parents felt the skills were so valuable that every student needed to be given this instruction, so the program became required for all students in my middle school to take - even Special Education and ELL students. I modified the program on many different levels to accommodate every type of students' needs.
That experience as well as supervising a state-of-the-art digital lab gave me an inside look at how students use technology and the potential it offers - both good and bad.
I knew my students were learning important lessons, but what I didn't know was if were they applying the concepts. I soon found out. One day a student who had taken my course came to me (as I urged my students to do if someone they knew was in trouble) and said her friend (also one of my students) had gotten in over her head online and didn't know what to do. She had created a fake profile (which I warned my students about) and attracted a young man who wanted her to run away with him.
She was afraid to tell her mother and didn't see a way out of the situation. I promised the student who came to me that I would keep her out of this, then ran to the principal and told her I was concerned about the safety of the student who had possibly attracted an online predator. Thankfully, she believed me.
The authorities were called in. They gave the girl police protection while they tracked down the predator. Once apprehended, what he (an adult pedophile) intended to do to this young woman was bad enough that he was incarcerated.
And if that's not enough to curl your hair, we found out one more thing. He was a teacher aide in our building. He was stalking the girl and she had no idea, nor did we. This still makes my skin crawl when I think of how close we came to never seeing her again. So what was the takeaway for me?
- The internet is an incredibly dangerous place.
- Parents are often totally unaware of what their children are doing online.
- Schools and parents send their children online with no knowledge of how to stay safe.
- Children/teens make poor decisions, but will make better choices when they know the
consequences and other options.
- People of all ages, but especially children & teens need to be taught strategies for spotting/
avoiding danger online.
- My program, when applied, teaches students how to deal with threats, protect themselves,
support and help one another and use digital tools more effectively.
I knew the program was vital to protecting our children, but the tipping point for me was when I ended my 40-year career in front of a computer during the first COVID shutdown and saw students, teachers and parents struggling to deal with distance learning and monitoring what the children were doing online. That's when I knew I had to come out of retirement and share my experience and the programs I spent years developing and improving.
It's my mission. Help me protect our children.
By the way, somehow I also found time to do investigative reporting for the NY Times for four years (fulfilling a lifelong dream) and publish three books including the Amazon International Best Seller Generation Lost: Learning, Leveraging and Living Lessons for a Successful Life.
But my passion has always been to teach children/teens how to stay safe online, especially after seeing them fall prey to internet dangers. My company, Lisa Luciano Media, LLC, now offers online safety courses to all ages - children, teens, and adults.
When I'm not working, I'm a 4th degree Black Belt Tae Kwon Do Master and I teach... you guessed it... self defense.
Marquis Who's Who in America (2021, 2022)
Family Education Series - Speaker "Online Safety" (2023)
Health, Wealth & Wisdom Summit - Speaker "Online Safety" (2023)
Family Matters Summit - Featured Speaker "Online Safety" (2023)
Acorn to Tree Family Podcast - Guest (Jan 20 & March 17, 2023)
Expert's Cafe (YouTube) - Guest (2023)
Debt Free Degree Podcast - Guest (2023)
Successful Parenting DNA Podcast - Guest (2023)
Malcolm Grissom Podcast - Guest (2023)
Parenting DNA Facebook Live Event - Guest (2023)
... to name a few, with more to come including launching my own podcast!
7 Days a Week
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