creating good digital citizenship in and out of school with real time monitoring

“Digital citizenship is a concept that helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students, children and technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students and technology users for a society full of technology. Digital citizenship is the norm of appropriate, responsible technology use.” – Mike Ribble, Digital Citizenship Institute

It’s clear teaching students the basics of digital citizenship is a priority in schools today. But in order to teach students how to act as digital citizens, a school needs to create a digital environment conducive to safe and responsible technology use.

That safe and productive digital environment is at the heart of Impero Software’s philosophy. Here’s an infographic (above) and explanation (below) of how our real-time monitoring features help schools foster a comprehensive approach to teaching good digital citizenship:

  1. Research

The first step to building a safe environment for teaching good digital citizenship is doing the homework on the appropriate (and inappropriate) content for students. Of course, school IT managers block obviously unsafe websites. But how do you keep students safe without knowing every single term and phrase that could be potentially harmful? How do IT managers allow students to utilize resources such as social media with the peace of mind that they won’t access something restricted?

Enter Impero. We’ve done all the research to create a revolutionary library of keyword policies that detect thousands of terms and phrases related to bullying, self-harm, weapons and violence, suicide, adult content, sexting, eating disorders and more. By working alongside schools, experts and leading nonprofit organizations, we continuously update the libraries with new phrases and provide relevant, up-to-date resources for real-time monitoring.

  1. Monitor, Capture, Log

To create a healthy environment for teaching digital citizenship, you need tools and resources. Teachers and administrators need ways to detect when students have made poor choices so they can help students navigate online in a more effective way. Through monitoring, capturing and logging online activity, Impero software works with schools to keep everyone on track.

Monitor: Keyword detection with real-time monitoring – Our keyword libraries have algorithms running in the background on student computers and portable devices. These algorithms detect key terms and phrases on HTML, email, social media and applications. When it detects a phrase, it alerts an educator. The alert contains a definition and severity level, which allows the teacher to escalate next steps as determined by the district.

Capture: Photo and video capture provides staff with context – To help educators understand specific situations and content, Education Pro provides photo and video capture features. Depending on the severity level of a keyword or phrase, a screenshot or short video of a student’s screen is automatically captured and sent to an educator. This provides adults with proof and context of an issue, which can provide the opportunity to teach better choices. Schools can also set their own policies surrounding photo and video capture, if needed.

Log: Log the captures for detailed incident reporting – All of the captured keyword detections, screenshots and videos are logged within Education Pro. This allows the educator or administrator to have a detailed report of any serious issues or patterns of behavior. For example, a large amount of logged bullying conversations can indicate that a teacher or administrator should to take action (schedule a workshop or assembly).

  1. Mentor

Real-time monitoring is not about policing kids. Rather, it’s about providing opportunities for mentorship, teaching and learning. Keyword detection, photo and video capture and logged incident reports provides educators and administrators with tools to mentor good digital citizenship. Discussing issues, offering counter narratives and intervening before things escalate are all ways of mentoring students. This provides the roadmap to better digital behavior.

  1. Safeguard

To echo Ribble’s notion, digital citizenship is the norm of appropriate, responsible technology use. But to learn responsible Internet usage, students have to navigate through a murky body of digital water. Safeguarding students is the responsibility of everyone involved in the education journeys. By providing all of the tools previously mentioned – researched keywords, monitoring, screen capture, event logs, mentoring – educators, administrators and counselors can adequately safeguard students while teaching them to think for themselves online. This allows students to be responsible, safe and good digital citizens – both in school and out in the world.

With technology surrounding everything in the lives of young people, this is the ultimate goal for all.


To learn more about about how Impero Education Pro can help provide your school with a safe environment for producing good digital citizens, get in touch today.

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