We had a great turnout at today’s Parent Tech Coffee Morning! Thank you to everyone that joined us, and for those that were unable to make it, we hope to see you next time!
Our theme for today was digital citizenship, based on a selection of topics that parents shared at our last session. In order to start our conversation, we watched a TED Talk called Your Life Online, Permanent as a Digital Tattoo by Juan Enriquez:
This was a great prompt for our conversation and got us talking about:
- the way that teens and adults view their privacy online – surprisingly it is very similar!
- the process of hiring and recruitment for employment. Often employers will start with a Google search on prospective employees. One of our parents made a great point that although it’s important that those search results are not entirely negative (that can easily get your application thrown off the table), it’s equally important that you have some kind of online presence. This shows that, as an applicant, you understand the ways that we communicate today. A balanced profiles shows an understanding of these tools, and a genuine person that does have a personal life as well as professional qualifications.
- the challenges of being social in a face-to-face environment and how that translates to online environments. Just because we are not taking photos and posting them, doesn’t mean that others are not taking photos of us and posting those. This may lead to a difficult conversation with friends when you have to ask them to take the photo down.
- understanding that our individual privacy settings do not affect the settings of our friends. So, if a friend takes a picture of me and posts it on their wall, it can be public, even though my personal settings might be private.
One of our parents mentioned that these ideas are all part of the Connected Learning Community here at YIS. We’re regularly talking about digital citizenship as part of our curriculum, as well as extended activities during the year. If you’re interested in seeing more about how we bring these conversations into the school day, here are some resources you might enjoy:
- Our Digital Dragons site – this is where everything related to digital citizenship at YIS is hosted.
- Our 2-day orientation schedule – this is how we start each school year.
- Our Digital Citizenship Week in February – this is a special week to highlight some of the themes that we address in our curriculum, as well as to bring attention back to the importance of maintaining balance in our lives.
- Our Digital Citizenship curriculum – this is a series of lessons taught in Middle School Humanities.
To close our discussion today, we shared a variety of resources from Common Sense Media that can help parents have these kinds of conversations with their children. Common Sense Media has a great section of their website devoted to helping families talk about the impact of media in our lives. You might enjoy:
- The Family Media Agreements (structured by age level)
- The customizable device contract (for phone and tablet use)
- The selection of family tip sheets for all different aspects of digital citizenship (structured by age level)
As we were wrapping up, another challenging topic came up that we will discuss further at our next session: dealing with explicit images online:
One of the most challenging aspects of the constant access and availability of information is that our children can find and explore images and media that is well beyond their developmental readiness level, particularly explicit imagery. Although this kind of material is filtered out on our school network, this may not be the case at home, or at a friend’s house, or the local coffee shop, or through 4G access. Understanding the impact of what children can see, how we might best talk to our children about these experiences, and how they may impact future relationships are all areas for discussion. We may not have easy answers for you, but we can certainly share the current developments in education and strategize together. Our next session will be Wednesday, 15 January from 9:15 – 10:15 in M101. We hope you can join us!