Thoughts on Digital Safety – Nothing Revolutionary

Thank you to everyone who helped me last week by answering my questions about Technology Coaches. My PLN is awesome!

Student safety and cyber-bullying has been the focus of a lot of press lately. As educators, we need to be aware that just because students know how to use devices (tablet, computer, etc), they don’t know how to behave when they’re using them. Behaving appropriately online is not an innate ability that students are born with. Instead it is something that must be taught. Who and how is the golden question!

This responsibility of teaching kids digital etiquette needs to be shared by both school and home. Parents can start from a young age at home. Common Sense Media has lots of great resources and parent agreements to support parents. Although I’m not a parent, I think it is parents’ job to help students understand how to appropriately use technology instead of banning it. If your kids are inappropriately using the technology that you gave them, help them learn what they should do differently instead of simply taking it away. Am I a crazy no-kid lady?

Unfortunately, not all adults understand how to behave online. This is where schools should come in to support and educate parents. Once students start school, teachers should be incorporating digital citizenship into their lessons on a daily basis. In 2013 most people own multiple devices, these type of lessons do not need to be an “extra.”

Parents and teachers also need to be living what they preach – if you don’t want your child to text during dinner, parents shouldn’t either; if you don’t want your students to text during class, teachers shouldn’t either. We need to be constantly modeling digital etiquette for our students.

Parents and schools should be working together to help students harness technology for good. Bullying and students being disrespectful to each other is nothing new. Unfortunately, however, technology can exacerbate the situation. Many students around the world are doing amazing things with technology (even if the media focuses on the negative). Scott McLeod‘s keynote, Powerful Technologies Powerful Youth, at the NESA Spring Educators Conference in Bangkok last month highlighted some of these students.

It is important that both children and adults are aware of the power of technology (good and bad). Explicitly and implicitly teaching students how to behave online is the job of the community, not the individual.

Community Garden Work Day

This post doesn’t seem revolutionary or original to me. But I’m glad I had the opportunity to find some good resources and get my thoughts down on “paper.” 😉

3 comments

  1. Jeff Utecht · May 2, 2013

    Some times it is just about getting your thoughts down and getting links all in one place….I use my blog often for that. I think I search my own blog for information more than anyone else. 🙂

    Like

  2. Jennifer Zimbrick · May 3, 2013

    I agree with Jeff in that it is nice to have a consistent place with links. You have a nice selections of links which can led to more great resources.
    In a sense, you have also developed a bit of a road map to further your job description development. These are important topics that will be issues that students, teachers, and therefore you and your team will have to respond to at various times. You are right in your statement “it is teaching the community, not the individual.” It is important that students, parents, teachers, and technology coaches have similar understandings and expectations of technology. Modeling is extraordinarily important – we all tend to forget that at one time or another.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Enjoy the day.
    Jennifer

    Like

  3. Lissa Layman · May 6, 2013

    Thank you for the affirmation Jeff and Jennifer! 🙂

    Like

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