The Atlantic recently released an article entitled, “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?" With emerging research, parents and educators have the opportunity to consider navigating the world in which we foster digital citizenship.
I spent my career in technology. I wasn’t prepared for its effect on my kids.
Digital Citizenship is the idea of being a good citizen online and being a good citizen off-line with the way you use technology. Our students live in two worlds - the physical world and the online world. Supporting their growth in both is essential to helping them deal with the advantages and disadvantages of being constantly connected.
With a lot of information in the media, we have focused resources in the following areas:
Self-Image and Identity
Understand the similarities and differences in how they present themselves online and offline;
reflect on how the Internet allows for anonymity and deception, and explore how this can affect their behavior online;
and consider the motivations, benefits, or possible harm to oneself and others when assuming an online identity that's different from one's real self.
Relationships and Communication
Recognize that different audiences require different types of communication and online etiquette;
develop constructive solutions to online interpersonal dilemmas that exemplify ethical behavior;
and imagine the motivations, feelings, and intentions of others as they relate to a variety of online exchanges.
Cyberbullying and Digital Drama
With students interactions happening more online than they do in person, it is easy to imagine the culture that is shaped with little to no supervision and guidance from an adult. Appropriately defining terms that are often used around cyberbullying is a large part that parents and students can play when addressing online issues offline.
From CommonSense Media
cyberbullying: the use of digital media tools such as the Internet and cell phones to deliberately upset or harass someone.
drama: the everyday tiffs and disputes that occur between friends or acquaintances online or via text. Note: Unlike cyberbullying, which involves repeated digital harassment toward someone, drama is broader and more nuanced. That being said, kids and teens sometimes use the term drama to distance themselves from emotionally difficult behavior. Digital drama can still feel very real to students, lead to hurt feelings, and even damage friendships. In some cases, digital drama can escalate into an offline fight – either verbal or physical.
hate speech: making cruel, hostile, or negative statements about someone based on their race, religion, national origin, ability, age, gender, or sexual orientation.
target: a person who is the object of an intentional action.
offender or aggressor: a person who has a malicious intent to hurt or damage someone.
bystander: a person who does nothing when they witness something happening.
upstander: a person who supports and stands up for someone else.
escalate: to increase or make more intense.
de-escalate: to decrease or make less intense.
Additional Readings and Resources