Elizabeth Brunscheen-Cartagena isn’t surprised to see parents leave computer workshops stunned about the scope of online dangers targeting their children.
She had the same reaction herself.
“Every time I left the class, I thought, ‘Gosh, there’s so much the parents don’t know,’ ” said Brunscheen-Cartagena, a Sedgwick County extension agent working in family and consumer science. “It is so eye-opening. Really, it is.”
That’s why she hopes there will be a large turnout for a four-part, hands-on workshop for parents who want to learn more about how to track their children’s use of the Internet – and how to protect them.
The first of the four two-hour classes is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center. The remaining workshops are at 5:30 p.m. April 10, 18 and 25. There is a $20 cost for the four-part workshop per family.
The hands-on workshops will give participants an understanding of the history behind the Internet, how to investigate where information is kept on a computer and how to locate where communications come from that can be received by children.
During the workshop, Brunscheen-Cartagena said, participants will go live on the Internet and learn just how quickly predators will target a potential victim.
“Kids go to that stuff very naive, with no bad intentions,” she said. “There are people out there waiting for them.”
The workshops are being held during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“Kids grew up in this technology, and we need to learn it,” Brunscheen-Cartagena said. “Kids have a big advantage” in understanding and using computers, so parents need to learn more about the technology.