Students and community members hear presentation on technology use and misuse from Criminal Justice professor

Dr. Justin Patchin presented at three different sessions in New Albin and Lansing Monday, September 25 on the use and misuse of technology. His presentations were made possible by the New Albin Community Education program. Submitted photo.

Dr. Justin Patchin, a professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, was invited by New Albin Community Education to make a presentation to the Eastern Allamakee Community schools and the local community to talk about technology use and misuse September 25. Dr. Patchin gave three presentations that day and all were a little different.

During his presentation at Kee High School, he talked about understanding that when a person puts something on the world wide web, it never goes away, even if it is deleted. He encouraged students to always be aware that what they are posting on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or any other social media is available to future employers, present employers or "that stranger" thousands of miles away.

He also warned listeners not to get caught up in the race to have the most friends on Facebook, as he says this can cause problems for years. He recommended checking settings on Facebook and limiting it to friends only, and to no let friends of friends be part of that Facebook circle just in case "that stranger” is lurking in the cybershadows.

He also warned that, "if you put your address on the post, you may have just invited three million people to your house.” Dr. Patchin wanted students to be aware of how much information they unknowingly give when they use social media.

At New Albin Elementary School, Dr. Patchin's message was slightly different in that he covered more on how to use social media for good; knowing that it can be used for bad but choosing to use it for positive. He showed a video of how one student used video to try and help everyone SMILE by handing out smile cards.

In his evening presentation, Dr. Patchin talked to adults in the community. He wants parents to be aware that students will have and use social media, and it is the parents' job to see it is used properly, not to fear it but to understand and guide their children.

Dr. Patchin’s research shows that only 10% of students use social media in a negative way or to bully, a percentage lower than anyone actually expected. He wants everyone to think about what they "wouldn’t do" on their phone, not what they "shouldn’t do". He left each presentation with his website,, saying that if anyone has issues or questions he is more than willing to hear their story.

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