KXAN (Austin) - Think before you share. Log out of your account before you close the browser. Set strong secure passwords. They are all social media safety lessons seventh and eighth graders at Small Middle School in South Austin learned as a part of the Google Good to Know School Roadshow.
"Now they tell me something really long and more upper case and different symbols so that definitely changed my thoughts on passwords," said eighth-grader Jin-Joo McCain.
Google representatives brought the a new program full of interactive games and videos to Austin. It is all meant to capture the attention of middle school aged students.
"Sometimes I think middle school students don't necessarily think that what they share has the potential to go really far and affect their online reputation," said Google spokesperson Jamie Hill.
93 percent of teenagers ages 12 to 17 are online. The numbers are likely even higher here. Small Middle School has a Green Tech Academy , and every eighth grade classroom has 20 iPads and 10 laptop computers. Technology is integrated into every subject matter.
"A lot of jobs now require skills in technology, so definitely just getting used to it now will really help us in the future," said eighth-grader Juwon McCaskill.
"We want students to be able to navigate through the 21st Century skills they'll need to be productive in the workplace," said Small Middle School Principal Amy Taylor.
Aside from using technology in the classroom, students use it to communicate. Most all are on some sort of social media.
"There are a bunch of people who have multiple Facebooks, Twitters, Myspace...all that social media stuff that I try to stay away from," said eighth grader Nicolas Shaughnessy.
That is exactly why Google and educators want to warn them early of the consequences they could face if they are not safe online.
"Not only colleges but future employers see what students post online and we want to make sure they do that ethically and in their best interest," said Taylor.
"This is a good time to start working with middle school students to develop those good best practices for being smart and safe online," said Hill. "These are just things that everyone whether you're a parent, teacher or student you should just know to help make the online experience just amazing."
So as students train in technology, they also learn smart behavior on the web.
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