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.

Melinda Gates

Digital​ ​Citizenship

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.

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