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Elementary Students Learn Digital Literacy in Special Summer Enrichment

This is a picture of a young girl sitting in front of a computer screen, smiling at the camera.Students enrolled in summer programming at Bellevue and Frazer had a unique opportunity this year as they engaged in the City’s first-ever Digital Literacy Camp!
In partnership with the MOST, Syracuse University, AT&T and Tech4Kidz, students in 4th through 8th grade enjoyed a weeklong enrichment in which they learned about digital skills – artificial intelligence, fake news, search engines and more. They also got an introduction to coding, cybersecurity, blogs, avatars, HTML and more.
At Frazer, third, fourth, and fifth graders practiced their typing, learned about responsible social media use, and built their own video games through the program.
“I’ve never done this before, but it’s fun,” incoming fifth grade student Ray’Quan Devine-Mitchell said. “I’ve learned that you have to use a lot of code just to make one game! I want to be a game creator one day, so this is definitely going to help me.”
Incoming fifth grade student Norah Beatrice said she had practiced coding several times before but appreciated the opportunity to develop her skills further.
“I knew how to use Scratch to pick my background and characters and use commands to make the characters do things,” Norah shared. “It’s my 4th time coding things, but I’m still learning! I really like it. I made a game where every time you touch a character, you get a point. We even found a way to change the characters’ speeds so we could get hundreds of points!”
Norah said the lessons she and her classmates received on fake news and identifying reliable sources online is also going to be helpful moving forward.
“We learned how to check more than one website to see if something is true or false,” she said, explaining how her class did research to see if a ‘tree octopus’ they had been told about was real or fake. “It’s important that we know these things, because sometimes people can get scammed by buying or believing something that they see online and think is real, when it isn’t. Now I know what to look for so that doesn’t happen to me!”
To wrap up the program, students were invited to visit the MOST to try out some of their new skills in person. Thank you to the partners who helped provide this creative enrichment to students this year!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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