When it comes to navigating the world of social media, online games, and web chats, kids need information from a trusted source. This week, Common Sense Media is urging parents and teachers to “have the talk.”
A talk about digital citizenship that is.
They argue that just like explaining the birds and the bees, talking about the “bits and the bytes”of digital citizenship—how to behave safely, responsibly, and ethically in the online world, is a right of passage.
Plus, as they point out on their website, “It’s actually a lot easier than that other talk.” Perhaps.
But many parents and educators feel like newbies in digital spaces. They need resources of their own when helping students navigate online tools and communities.
In honor of Digital Citizenship Week, October 18-24, we decided to revisit some past stories on the issue at Remake Learning and elsewhere. These pieces provide adults with a place to start.
- Teaching Digital Citizenship. Our post from last year includes helpful examples of how educators and parents are helping teens think critically, and safely, about their engagement with the digital world.
- Talking to Teen Girls About Social Media. Online activity can affect girls’ body image and confidence. Adults can work to make sure real-life lessons about how to challenge dominant beauty standards and be tolerant of differences carry over to their digital lives.
- Cybersecurity. A helpful roundup of new programs that districts and teachers are using to equip students with crucial safety skills.
- Want to Stop Cyberbullying? Start With Social Media Design. Research from the University of Pittsburgh’s Leanne Bowler examines how technology can encourage young people to reflect before they act.
- Common Sense Media offers classroom curricula, toolkits (like this one on cyberbullying), and digital games designed for use in class, as well as helpful resources for parents.
- We also recommend resources from Harvard University’s Good Play Project, which produces research and educational materials on how young people behave as they navigate online spaces. This helpful blog post from Research Director Carrie James has great advice on how to have thoughtful discussions with young people about what happens online and how to encourage them to wrestle with the related moral and ethical questions. It is excerpted from James’ 2014 book, “Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap.”