Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How can schols help students and families do better with digital citizenship?

Schools must have a digital citizenship policy. It is far more complex than what everyone could possibly imagine. What one parent wants, another could never allow their child to follow. What about the apathetic or confused parent. Some parents could care less what their kids do or look at and most parents have no idea what a digital citizenship policy is beyond knowing a school has one. The following is from an article by Alissa Sklar from Teaching Tolerance Magazine.

Digital Community
by Alissa Sklar
Implementing a BYOD policy is the perfect opportunity to emphasize digital citizenship as part of your school’s culture.
Set up clear guidelines. Schools need to inform students and families about when devices can be used, who is responsible for damage and what the consequences will be if devices are misused.
Talk about empathy and community. Defining your school’s expectations of digital citizenship goes a long way towards avoiding problems. Integrate concepts of safety, rights and respect for self and others—online and elsewhere—into classroom activities and homework. Check out this example of proactive, pro-technology guidelines from the Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal, Quebec.
Teach about privacy controls. It can be tempting to trade privacy for high follower counts on Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter, but this leaves students open to cyberbullying, trolling, identity theft and the possibility that their digital footprints can come back to haunt them. Consider asking students to research privacy settings as part of an assignment.
Emphasize that passwords are personal. Sharing passwords is too often viewed as a sign of trust in a relationship or friendship, but true friends would never ask you to divulge this information and make yourself vulnerable.