Many schools are putting an increased emphasis on so called “Digital Citizenship.”
The concept of digital citizenship is to teach kids how to behave responsibly and ethically online and to be objective and discerning when dealing with online content and information.
Although it may be difficult to believe, the internet is still a relatively new reality where codes of conduct, the implications of widespread dissemination of one’s comments or information and the means to differentiate between reliable and unreliable information, got out ahead of society, schools and parents with everyone being dropped in at the proverbial deep end with no frame of reference to navigate by.
So the need for some structured, informed and responsible approach to using the internet is still ground that needs to be covered in order to catch up with the changes the internet imposed on education, entertainment, socializing, and just about every other facet of our lives.
The Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD) celebrated Digital Citizenship Week from the 5th to the 9th of November.
As part of digital citizen week, HFCRD challenged families to enter the ‘SCRUB Contest,’ which asks families to SCRUB their digital history and engage in a family discussion about online privacy.
An incentive was offered to motivate students, offering those who completed the challenge an opportunity to win special prizes.
“Throughout this week, administration at each HFCRD school will visit every classroom to ensure all students are aware of the possible negative consequences of posting online,” HFCRD Superintendent Betty Turpin said in an online statement.
“Many students post online in a heated moment and do not realize the consequences of their actions.
“We, together with our administrative teams, are encouraging all students to take a moment and think about the consequences of their actions before posting. We care about our students and want them instead to talk to someone they trust instead of posting online.”
Digital Citizenship is an ongoing initiative promoted by Media Smarts, a Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to digital and media literacy. On its website, Media Smarts outlines its vision for children and adolescents:
“Our vision is that children and youth have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens, think critically about what they see online and learn to make their own smart choices online and in life.”
Media Smarts alerts young people to the risks of sharing information, knowing how to identify rampant commercial manipulations online, and being able to discriminate between authentic news and biased or sponsored material.
Digital citizenship teaches kids how to think critically about what they see on the internet and to be savvy about the choices they make when posting online, using online resources or just playing around on the web.