The new age of digital citizenship is upon us. As educators and parents, we are no longer charged with teaching our children the “don’ts” of digital learning, but rather we are called to empower them to be proactive digital learners.
The International Society for Technology in Education has revised their definition of digital citizenship to state, “Digital citizens are learners who use their technology-driven powers conscientiously – and with empathy – to make the world a better place.” (ISTE.org, 2017) At Villa Maria Academy Lower School, we foster a culture of respect for self and others, both in life and online.
Students at Villa Maria, at every grade level, are engaged in digital citizenship lessons aimed at providing age appropriate skills to help girls become more cognizant digital learners. In kindergarten, students learn about going places safely online. The girls discover that staying safe online is the same in many ways as staying safe in our neighborhood.
In third grade, the girls consider the need to balance technology, understanding that knowing when to un-plug is important to maintaining digital balance in our lives.
In middle school, girls take a closer look at their digital selves, considering the permanence of the digital world and exploring how to manage their digital identity and property. Girls learn they need to “THINK” before they post: Is the post True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?
Common Sense Media offers a variety of games and tips to help children evaluate their digital actions. Visit their Digital Compass.
Digital citizenship doesn’t end with the school day. It is a way of life for 21st century digital learners. We can support one another in creating an environment where our children will be respectful in their communication and understand how to maintain good digital citizenship. To learn more about digital citizenship and to start a conversation at home, check out this video from Common Sense media!