Students are spending an increased amount of time online. During this time, they are communicating with their peers, as well as consuming, sharing and creating content. In the past, banning the use of personal devices and blocking online content was seen as a way to protect students from harmful content and protect the school’s technology infrastructure. However, as Inspiring Education encourages school authorities and parents to support students to become ethical citizens and engaged thinkers who use technology to create and share knowledge, these policies may need to be reconsidered.
Digital citizenship encourages students to respect themselves, others and intellectual property, while at the same time learning to think critically about protecting themselves and others from harmful content and behaviors online.
Recognizing that students have digital lives and benefit from the use of technology, schools and parents have the opportunity to help students build the skills they need to become responsible citizens in the global online community.
Below are some resources to help support parents work with their child in using technology in a safe and appropriate manner. These websites have an abundance of useful, timely, family friendly information that you can use with your child.
Are you involved in your kids’ online activities? Do you know what they are doing and who they are talking to when they are on the Internet?
Does your family have a set of rules or an agreement for appropriate Internet use?
Do your kids know to ask permission before submitting any personal information online? This includes: when using email, social networking sites or instant messaging filling out registration forms and personal profiles, and entering online contests.
Do you try to not be too critical of your kids’ activities on the Net and use their Internet experiences as an opportunity to discuss inappropriate content, trust and responsibility?
Do you make Internet use a family activity by guiding your kids to good sites and teaching them how to do safe, effective searches?
Have you taught your kids not to believe everything they read online and to check online information with an adult or with another source?
If your child accesses the Internet from school or your local library, are you familiar with their acceptable use policies?
Do you look at the privacy policies on the commercial what kind of personal information is gathered and if it may be sold to another party?
Have you reassured your kids that you won’t “freak out”, overreact or cut off their internet access if they come to you with a problem?
If your kids are on a social networking site, have you talked to them about making careful choices before posting?
Have you talked to your kids about responsible online behaviour? Do they understand that stealing from websites, downloading pirated software, making online threats and hacking are illegal activities?