What is Digital Citizenship?
What Timon and Pumba Say about Digital Citizenship.
We are all Digital Citizens!!
5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids
According to The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
"Digital citizenship is about much more than online safety — or a long list of don’ts. It’s also about the do’s that help create thoughtful, empathetic digital citizens who can wrestle with the important ethical questions at the intersection of technology and humanity."
Those do’s include:
- Using technology to make your community better.
- Engaging respectfully online with people who have different beliefs than you.
- Using technology to make your voice heard by public leaders and to shape public policy.
- Determining the validity of online sources of information.
For more information from ISTE, Click Here.
Today our society is split into a world of duality. This duality consists of the physical world and the digital world. Just as it is essential to be an individual that expresses good citizenship in the physical world, it is also essential to exhibit similar characteristics in the virtual world. As a Parent/Teacher, it is imperative that we teach our children the importance of our behaviors in both the physical and virtual worlds. Below is a list of important factors from Barbara Stuckwisch, (Executive Director at Safe Sitter, Inc) on exhibiting proper digital citizenship.
- Digital Commerce
Your children have never known a world without online shopping. E-commerce deliveries to residential properties is the norm, and they likely have seen you make online purchases for items they need for school or sports. It is important to remind children to always ask for your permission before they hit “buy,” even if the app they are using has your credit card information on file, or they have purchased from the site previously.
- Digital Downtime
Smartphones and social media have changed the lives of your children and often serve as a false substitute for human connection. Teens need to be reminded to disconnect from the digital world and spend time with friends and family face-to-face to develop critical social skills needed for adulthood. Take advantage of apps and devices meant to help parents manage screen time and limit access to apps.
- Digital Etiquette
It is important that children know to treat people with respect when online, just as if they were talking to them in person. Also, teach children empathy by encouraging them to think about how the messages they write online may be received by others reading those messages. Messages sent via text or through social media can be misinterpreted. Teach your children to re-read messages before hitting send. Let them know that as their parent you are a safe resource for them and that you are willing to proofread any messages and give them feedback. Remind children that some conversations are best communicated verbally and encourage them to use the phone or video talk features on their phones.
- Digital Health
Teaching children when to stay connected and when to turn off their devices is another key component of digital citizenship. When the child texts you to pick them up from practice, they need to know to stay connected to their phone until you arrive. They also need to know that phones should be put away at certain times. Talk to them about when you expect them to put their phone aside and be fully present. Incorporate technology boundaries into your house rules so that your children know what’s expected of them, and as a parent, make sure you are modeling good digital health as well.
- Digital Integrity
Children need to learn to examine the source of online information to determine the credibility of the source. Teach your children to pay attention to a website’s URL. Malicious websites and email addresses often look identical to a legitimate site with just a slight variation in spelling or domain (“Amaz0n”). Sites with .edu (educational sites) or .gov (official government sites) are most credible. Sites with .biz or .info are least credible. In addition, students can look for other clues to a website’s legitimacy, such as looking for the “https” tag or checking the site’s security status. Finally, teach your children to be wary of sites that have invasive advertising or use poor spelling or grammar.
- Digital Literacy
Children need to learn to avoid suspicious emails, attachments, websites, and online advertisements. Teaching children that if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam, will help them analyze information and build intuition. The digital world is a rapidly changing environment and your children need to learn to use intuition to make good decisions.The Federal Trade Commission has several articles about talking with your children, protecting their online safety, as well as parental controls. As a parent, educate yourself on internet fraud, phishing, and other online scams so that you can protect your family’s personal information and promote online safety.
- Digital Privacy
Privacy settings exist across most devices and platforms. Expecting your children to read the fine print before logging into new apps may be unrealistic. However, you can teach your children to use privacy settings and only share their information with people they know personally. Show your children on their devices where they can manage privacy settings. Teach them which apps truly need access to location services, access to their contact list, or integration with social profiles. Regularly review their settings with them and explain why they need to change specific settings for their digital safety.
- Digital Responsibility
Just as your children have a responsibility to report bullying and harassment at school, they have that same responsibility when online. Teach your children to report cyber-bullying, abusive behavior, and inappropriate content.
- Digital Security
Children often default to easy passwords such as 12345 or qwert123 so they do not forget them. It is important to teach children to use strong passwords and to change them regularly. Children should also know to change passwords if they suspect someone else knows their password or has accessed their account without permission. Strong passwords usually include at least 8 characters mixed with uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (e.g., ! @ # $).
Children should use strong passwords that are hard for others to guess, but easy for your children to remember. For example, mix letters and numbers, such as their school name (North Elementary School) and younger brother’s birth month and year (2/2015) becomes n0R+h/22o!5.As a parent, your children’s safety is of utmost importance to you. Teaching your children to practice safe, responsible, and legal use of technology will guide your children into being digital citizens that are positively impacting the digital world.
If you are looking for help implementing Digital Citizenship into your classroom please visit CommonSense.org
This list of games will help to get students involved in the application of Digital Citizenship.
Classroom Posters. (2019, August 20). Retrieved August 30, 2020, from https://www.commonsense.org/education/posters
CommonSense. (2016). 5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9Htg8V3eik.
CyberWise. (2017). We are ALL Digital Citizens! https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=23&v=NOpQEa5zUZU&feature=emb_logo.
Digital citizenship in education. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2020, from https://www.iste.org/learn/digital-citizenship
Disney. (2012). Wild About Safety with Timon and Pumbaa: Safety Smart® Online -- Preview. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=66&v=M-njh8mFvVk&feature=emb_logo.
Stuckwisch, B. (2019, August 09). 9 Lessons To Teach Children About Digital Citizenship. Retrieved August 30, 2020, from https://safesitter.org/digital-citizenship/