#4 Capstone Site Visit!

Yesterday I had my Capstone site visit! I went to the Common Sense New York office. I was having a hard time finding a site visit for my project. I was planning to set up a site visit at the Twitter headquarters, but the contact Mr. Casal had said that it would not work for me to come. I was starting to panic a little bit, but then Tali Horowitz from Common Sense agreed to an interview and also said that I could come to her office for a site visit!

After I set up the interview and site visit, my dad agreed to take me to New York City. On Tuesday, I had to miss half a day of school. That morning I got dressed up and rode the 9:14 AM train to Grand Central. My dad and I had some time so we went to a tennis shop. We just looked around for a bit to pass the time and then we went over to the Common Sense office. The office was located on the second floor of the First Republic Bank at 56th Street and Madison Avenue. The space was donated because Common Sense is non-profit organization. The main head quarters for Common Sense is in San Fransisco, California.

When I walked in, I saw the meeting room where Ms. Horowitz was finishing her meeting. After she finished, she gave me a tour and showed me where the other employees work, her office and the meeting room. Three people are full-time employees, but other people come in to meet in the office. The organization had pamphlets on different subjects. Ms. Horowitz gave me one on virtual realty and the risks to kids.

Overall I had a great time and learned a lot!

#3 Capstone Interview!

Today I had my Capstone interview in New York City! I interviewed Tali Horowitz. She is a friend of my computer teacher, Mr. Casal. Ms. Horowitz works at a non-profit organization named, Common Sense. They help kids, parents and teachers use the Internet appropriately. She started working with Common Sense in 2010. Her role in the organization is the Education Director. She gives talks about digital citizenship to help people have good character on the Internet.

When I was going to meet her, I was really excited because I had researched a lot about the things she works on. At the same time I was really nervous because it was the first interview I ever done. When I arrived at her office, she was finishing up a meeting. I waited for a little bit until she was ready. I looked over my question while I waited. Here are my questions:

  1. What made you interested in helping kids and parents use the Internet safely? How did you start working at Common Sense and what is your role?
  2. What are some of the biggest challenges you and your organization have faced recently?
  3. What are some of the changes you see happening in social media?
  4. How has social media been affected by President Trump’s use of social media?
  5. What do you think are the biggest risks for kids on social media?
  6. Do you feel differently about the various social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchap)? Are there sites that are better or worse kids?
  7. What should parents be doing to keep their kids safe on social media?
  8. If you could change anything about the way kids use social media, what would you change?
  9.  How do you think social media will change over the next five to ten years?
  10.  I am going to present my project to my classmates, what are the three top social media tips you would want me to share?

I was surprised by some of her answers. When she answered question three, she started talking about President Trump, which was my question five. I did not expect her to bring up President Trump on her own. She said that right now, we are in a particular time where the president is not showing a lot of respect on social media. He also is not showing a good example to kids on how to use social media. When kids see the President of the United States saying whatever he wants and not getting punished, kids don’t learn that it is not an okay way to act.

I learned that Common Sense puts a lot of hard work into keeping kids using the Internet the right way. They also work directly with the big social media companies to discuss features to help kids, like making the sites less addictive or allowing kids to take down posts that were mistakes.

Overall I had a great time at my interview and I learned a lot! I am really thankful to both Mr. Casal and Ms. Horowitz for taking the time to help me with my 5th grade Capstone project.

Ellis Island!

Today my grade went to Ellis island! We had to get to school at 7:00am. The bus ride was about 1 and a half hours. When we arrived our grade went through security. Then rode a ferry to the island. After we ate snack we explored the lobby and had a tour guide talk to us about the experience at Ellis Island. After we looked at some exhibits, we watched a movie. It was pretty interesting. Later in the afternoon before we were going to leave we went to look for family members that might have pasted through. Finally we took the ferry past he Statue of Liberty and went to the buses.

Peruvian Restaurant!

Today our class went to a Peruvian restaurant for a Spanish field trip. The name of the restaurant is Pollo a La Brasa Misti Restaurant. The food was very good we had Pollo Saltado, Lomo Saltado, Tallarin Saltado de Carne, Pescado and Chicha Morada. My favorite food was the Tallarin Saltado de Carne because the steak and noodle were very good. I liked everything except for the Chicha Morada because it had too much lime and cinnamon. Other people liked the drink. Overall I thought it was awesome!