As always, thank you so much for joining us this morning for a conversation about Digital Citizenship!
Today’s session was focused on developing an understanding of what Digital Citizenship is, how we are addressing those big ideas here at school, and how you can help support at home. We started off discussing the term, and a few key words came up, all of which are features of digital citizenship: balance, safety, responsibility, transition from analog to digital, respect, ethics, and values. In a nutshell, digital citizenship means carrying the values, behaviors and ethics that you demonstrate in real life, into all environments, specifically the online world.
One of the key points of our discussion today focused on the fact that as adults, we see a strong distinction between the “real” world and the “digital” world, whereas our children do not. For almost all of the students at YIS, they do not remember a time when the internet didn’t exist. For our younger students, they do not remember a time when we didn’t “carry” the internet in our pockets (to access with mobile phones). For them, there is no distinction between the “real” and the “digital”.
To highlight some of the key strategies that parents can implement at home to support the transfer of “real” life morals, values and ethics into the “digital” realm, we watched a short video from Common Sense Media, called Rules of Road for Parents in the Digital Age. The video was re-affirming that parents already have all the skills they need to help their children be successful in online environments, the challenge is just to transfer those skills from the analog to the digital. For example: if a family expectation is not to talk to strangers, they shouldn’t do so in online spaces either.
FYI: Common Sense Media is our favorite resource for developing strong digital citizenship skills. They have tons of great materials for families too! Please check it out!
We had a great conversation that covered a number of topics, including:
A reminder for parents to treat online spaces like physical spaces – it’s appropriate and important for parents to be part of those environments the way they are in the “real” world. We have a tendency to look away when people are using a computer, but when it comes to our students, it’s important that we are a part of that experience. This way the morals, values and ethics we prioritize in “real” life, will be transferred to the “digital” world.
As we move toward more collaborative models of learning in digital environments, it is important to note that those spaces can be just as productive as a face-to-face environment, but because it’s harder to see facial reactions, or hear and interperet tone of voice, there is an extra layer of communication required. It’s important to focus on positive intentions, to assume that even things that may seem rude or negative, may not have been intended that way, and to react accordingly. Also in these kinds of environments, relationships are key. The stronger and more collaborative the relationship, the more successfully you can work together online. Of course it’s possible to build those relationships online as well.
In thinking about the amount of time we spend online, we talked about the importance of balance. Spending time doing other things, like making music, playing outside, sports, drawing, being creative. Mr. Clark shared a few of his favorite resources:
It’s great to note that YIS is really working hard to embed these themes into everything we do. With our Responsible Use Policy, and expectations for computer use at school, we really highlight digital citizenship every step of the way. If you would like to find out more about what we do, please have a look at our Digital Dragons site, which includes:
In addition, we’re working on a CLC Essentials site for parents where we can store resources to help support families in their efforts to prioritize digital citizenship. If you have suggestions for what to add, please leave a comment or e-mail Kim – we want to make this space as useful as possible for you!
We hope you will join us again next month! Our focus will be:
Managing Information: Nov 7 from 9:15 – 10:15 in the Cafeteria
We use a wide variety of tools to stay organized here at YIS, including: Blogs, Google Docs, Calendar, and Reader. It can seem overwhelming at first, but they all interact together to make student workflow as seamless as possible. This session will share an overview of the different tools that we use and how you can help your child(ren) stay organized and efficient.