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Digital Citizenship

What Is Digital Citizenship?

Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology. Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use. Being a good digital citizen is more than knowing your way around the web. It’s about connecting and collaborating in ways you didn’t even know were possible.

When you teach digital citizenship to your students, you help create a positive school culture that supports safe and responsible technology use.

What Is The Issue?

We may think of our kids’ online, mobile, and technological activities as “digital life,” but to them it’s just life. In their world, being able to connect and communicate 24/7 from just about any location is normal – and expected! Between kindergarten and fifth grade, kids go through rapid growth in learning. From playing games on their mom or dad’s cell phone, to learning how to point and click a mouse, to navigating online by themselves, kids this age are participating in a connected culture.

Why Does It Matter?

The stakes are high because our kids’ technological abilities can be greater than their maturity and judgment. Having unrestricted access to information and people can result in gaining a wealth of information and experiences but also access to inappropriate content. Just as kids learn to eat properly, swim safely, or drive a car carefully, they need to know how to live in the digital world responsibly and respectfully. Their success depends on their abilities to use digital media to create, collaborate, and communicate well with others. Those who master these skills in using digital tools will benefit from the digital world’s awesome power.

Digital Citizenship Education Includes But Is Not Limited To:

  • Digital Etiquette (appropriate use and ‘think before you post’)
  • Digital Literacy (what is a legitimate resource on the web)
  • Content ownership/plagiarism (citing sources and using shared content)
  • Digital Health (awareness of physical/psychological impacts of screentime)
  • Digital Security ( keeping private information secure)
  • Digital Safety (keeping safe from bullies, trolls, predators)

(Sources: Common Sense MediaAmerican Academy of PediatricsReconnect)

What Is Connected Coyotes?

Connected Coyotes is Wonderland Elementary’s Digital Citizenship Committee. Our mission is twofold: First, we are dedicated to making sure that the curriculum at Wonderland includes lessons on Digital Citizenship and Literacy. Our second goal is to educate our parent body. We strive to create a robust Parent-Ed program that keeps parents up to date on what their kids are learning at school around Digital Citizenship, teaches parents how to manage screen use in the home and encourages ongoing conversation around the subject of digital media.

Useful Resources:

Common Sense Media – A great resource for parents who’d like support in making healthy choices around digital media and kids.

Family Online Safety Institute – Working to make the online world safer for families and their kids. – Basic information about Digital Citizenship with a lot of good resources.

PBS Parents Children and Media – Great educational resource for parents and educators. Goes through every age and gives tips on age appropriate and fun media use.