Social & Safe - Digital Citizenship
In this rapidly evolving digital world, our children are navigating an increasingly complex online landscape. As responsible guardians, it is our duty to guide them towards becoming responsible and respectful digital citizens. Just as we teach them life skills, we must also impart the principles of good digital citizenship. Here's why it matters:
1. Safety First: Teach your children to protect their personal information and privacy online. Encourage them to use strong, unique passwords and to be cautious about sharing personal details.
2. Respect and Kindness: Promote respectful communication online. Teach your children about the impact of their words and actions on others, and the importance of being kind, empathetic, and inclusive in their online interactions.
3. Critical Thinking: Help your children develop critical thinking skills to assess the credibility and accuracy of online information. Encourage them to question, fact-check, and seek diverse perspectives.
4. Digital Footprint: Explain the concept of a digital footprint. Remind them that what they post online can have long-lasting consequences, affecting college admissions, job opportunities, and personal relationships.
5. Cyberbullying Awareness: Discuss cyberbullying and its consequences. Encourage your children to report any online harassment they witness or experience and to stand up against it.
6. Balance and Screen Time: Set reasonable limits on screen time and encourage a healthy balance between online and offline activities. Promote face-to-face interactions and physical activities.
7. Lead by Example: Children learn by observing. Model responsible digital behavior by practicing what you preach. Show them how to engage positively and respectfully online.
8. Open Communication: Create an environment where your children feel comfortable discussing their online experiences and concerns with you. Be nonjudgmental and supportive.
9. Keep Learning Together: Stay informed about the latest digital trends, apps, and platforms. Explore the digital world together, and learn alongside your children.
10. Encourage Creativity and Positive Use: Encourage your children to use technology for creative and educational purposes. Help them find positive online communities and outlets for their interests.
In our connected world, digital citizenship is an essential life skill. By instilling these values and practices in our children, we empower them to navigate the digital landscape responsibly, ethically, and confidently.
Think Before You Post
T: Is it true? If you are unsure if the information you are about to share is true, do not post it.
H: Is it helpful? If the information or message you are sharing is not helpful to others, or if it could generate feedback that is not helpful to you, do not post it.
I: Is it inspiring? It is best not to overly use social media as a way to complain or vent your frustrations. Social media can be a helpful place to get answers and encouragment, but it is not wise to use social platforms to express anger and leave hurtful comments.
N: Is it necessary? Is the news or information you are sharing something that is important for others to know? Is it your news to share? If you are sharing someone else's personal information, or rumors you may have heard, do not share it.
K: Is it kind? You should always read over your messages before posting. Your post could be interpretted as having a harsh tone if you are not careful with your wording. Double check over your choice of words, emojis, or use of sarcasim. Your message may not be clear to others and could come across as being hurtful or ugly.
Remember to T.H.I.N.K. before you post. Make sure the digital footrprint you leave behind is one that you would want others to follow. Your future career application, job, or friendships may count on it!
Hoax Threats are Not a Joke
Parental warnings against hoax threats are essential to ensure the safety and well-being of children and to teach them responsible online behavior. Hoax threats can cause panic, disrupt communities, and have legal consequences. By fostering open communication and providing education, parents can help their children make safe and responsible choices online.
- BeAppSavvy – this document has an alphabetized list of over 50 apps and websites that kids often use. Each entry explains what the app or site is for and points out anything parents should know before allowing their child to use it.
- CommonSense.org - Digital Citizenship Resources for Family Engagement includes tips and activities which cover a variety of topics. This is a great site to learn more about movies, shows, video games, and YouTube channels and their content without having to watch yourself. The site gives parent, child, and professional ratings for the content and explanations of the ratings. Yes, even for YouTube channels!
- Google Family Safety Center - A collection of resources gathered by experts and educators to help set boundaries and to use technology in a way that's right for your family.
- Hidden/Ghost Apps – this document lists out several apps that people use to hide content such as photos in apps that appear to be a different common app such as the calculator
- Internet Matters Online Safety Advice for Teens – free access to expert advice on different issues teens often face online, how to deal with them as a parent (ex. How to report online grooming.), and how to help your child deal with them.
- Keeping Children Safe Online: This webpage offers tips, videos, and resources to help parents, guardians, caregivers, and teachers help protect children from becoming victims of online child predators. U.S. Department of Justice
- Lego Build & Talk Activities: Our story-style Build & Talk activities, created for children ages 6 to 9, support families with a playful way to engage in otherwise difficult conversations about digital safety topics whilst playing with LEGO® bricks. Covering six different topics, the activities are designed to help your child navigate the online world safely. You’ll also find handy discussion starters to get the conversation going as you Build & Talk together.
- Lego Raising Digitally Smart Famlies: As a brand that’s all about play, we’re committed to ensuring play is safe for everyone. That’s why we’ve created tools and resources to empower children and families to learn good digital habits and thrive online. Find helpful content and playful learning experiences to help your family become digitally smart.
- NetSmartz: NetSmartz is NCMEC's online safety education program. It provides age-appropriate videos and activities to help teach children be safer online with the goal of helping children to become more aware of potential online risks and empowering them to help prevent victimization by making safer choices on- and offline.
- Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide – great place to find answers to questions about specific scenarios happening with your student.
- Parental Control Solutions – this document explains different tools for monitoring and/or controlling your child’s access to online content
- ParentGuidance.org - A library of courses, developed by leading mental health experts, offer hope, answers, and compassionate help.
- Project iGuardian - this site provides children, teens, parents, guardians, and teachers information regarding the potential dangers of online environments and how to stay safe online can help prevent many instances of child exploitation. Department of Homeland Security
- YouTube for Families - Understand your choices as a guardian, discover ways to set up safe guards, and explore Family Link as an option to help control the content your child views on YouTube.