Students today have unprecedented access to information on the Internet, especially with the prevalence of technology in the classroom. However, with this access comes great responsibility. It‘s essential today’s students can show respect to others online, know when they are not being respected, and the best way to stay safe. Teaching good digital citizenship is as important as teaching self-awareness and ‘stranger danger.’
What Is Digital Citizenship?
Digital citizenship is the responsible use of technology. But it is also about online etiquette. More specifically, social, emotional and cognitive abilities support a person’s person‘s healthy online activities. It essentially mirrors human interaction and social skills.
Digital citizenship is the ability to self-monitor habits that affect digital presence and communities. It’s about interacting and conversing safely and respectfully with others online. Digital citizenship is an attitude and approach that enables people to adapt and handle increasing online demands. This is fundamentally important for students’ students‘ wellbeing. They need to understand what it means to have digital intelligence.
Digital intelligence helps students be good citizens who seek to improve and positively impact digital communities while staying safe. 91% of children aged 11 have a smartphone.
Children younger than 11 are interacting online. They find new content and communicate with other people, including strangers, daily. Since 1999, digital access has extended into the learning environment and has become paramount since the start of the pandemic. The internet offers global information access, and for curious minds, it’s a gold mine. Any child old enough to use a device that can access the internet needs guidance on navigating the digital world.
With some understanding and compassion, students can become good digital citizens that lead the future. However, on the contrary, giving children unlimited access to the internet can put them, their computers, and their personal data at significant risk. Learn how to keep students safe with these tips.
Provide Positive & Secure Engagement
Closely monitor the environments students use. Ask them what they search for and show them best practices for searching content.
When they encounter inappropriate material, react constructively and make it a teachable moment.
- Praise good choices
- Expand online autonomy for safe and secure online behavior
- Ensure computers are clean and free of viruses like ransomware
Review Internet Usage Policies
Understand the policies for social networking platforms, computers, smartphones, apps, and other digital tools the students use. Teach critical thinking: help students identify safe, credible websites. Teach them to be cautious about clicking, downloading, posting, and uploading content anywhere online.
Explain the Implications of Dangerous Online Behaviors
Explain the public nature of the internet. Make sure to stress the risks and benefits. Be sure they know that any digital info they share, such as emails, photos or videos, can easily be copied and pasted elsewhere and are impossible to take back.
Remind students that digital communication could damage their reputation, friendships, or future job prospects and should not be shared. Share, when appropriate, that this is known to trigger depression, self-harm and even suicide. Knowledge is power – arming students with the facts will ultimately save lives.
Help Students Be Good Digital Citizens
Remind them to be good “digital friends.” Students need to understand they must respect the personal information of friends and family. They should never share anything online about themselves or others that could be embarrassing or hurtful.
Empower Students to Handle An Online Crisis
Students will be exposed to possible cyberbullying, unwanted contact, or hurtful comments online. Create strategies for when problems arise, such as:
- Talk to a trusted adult right away
- Refuse to retaliate
- Calmly communicate with the bully
- Block the person or file a complaint
- Agree on plan-b
Setting strategies like these in advance and in practice situations can support students online and in person.
Encourage Students to be Digital Leaders
Help students be proficient in safe and secure techniques for all technology they use. Support their positive and safe online learning. Urge them to help friends who are making poor decisions on the internet.
Technology in the Classroom Supports Digital Citizenship
Impero ContentKeeper is a web filtering solution that allows educators to drill down on specific, harmful keywords and search content. In addition, you can block sites while still allowing specific, non-harmful content to be viewed. For example, students can access a particular history video on YouTube while being blocked on the rest of the site. Blocking helps students know what they are searching for could be potentially harmful in some way. This, in turn, nurtures better habits in school and at home.
Impero Wellbeing Protects Students
By adding Impero Wellbeing to ContentKeeper, educators can see documented offline trends for any student. Many times, the physical signs the student demonstrates manifest from digital trauma. For example, if a student exhibits physical signs of distress such as lack of engagement, weight loss, sleeping in class or worse, they are clearly suffering. Wellbeing allows a teacher to document it quickly in Wellbeing. Proactive intervention supports a positive human journey for both teachers and students.
2 Powerful Tools for 1 Comprehensive and Healthy Digital Citizenship Strategy
Since ContentKeeper and Wellbeing work hand in hand, granular reports are generated with clear illustrations of the mental health status of a student. In addition, proactive reporting processes allow administrators to intervene in dangerous behavior before it’s too late. Together, we can improve the mental wellbeing of children and create the ‘Digital Leaders’ of the future.
Want to learn more about Wellbeing and ContentKeeper together? Book a demo to see us in action.
If you found this post helpful, visit our blog or our new Wellbeing page for more insightful and supportive content. Stay up to date on industry trends and product news by following us on; LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.