In recent years, a student’s use of social media and digital communication has risen quickly. In their world, gadgets, online access, and available technologies are growing rapidly. Most of it is fun, social, and normal communication between friends. At the Florida Educational Technology Conference in January, Digital Citizenship education was a big topic. The Christ School has added Digital Citizenship to its technology curriculum this year.
Suggestions for parents of all age students:
- Talk about the apps they are loading onto their phones, itouches, ipads and other devices. You will be surprised at how much they are communicating with the outside world.
- Teach them about privacy settings, how to set them, how to check them and why they are needed.
- Have them look at the “terms” on the app since they did have to agree to follow them. Guide them so that their app choices are developmentally appropriate.
A great website recommendation for parents and teachers is www.commonsensemedia.org. The website is a free tool for educators and parents. A parent can type in any game, app, movie, or other media and commonsense has an age recommendation and explanations as to why that age was suggested. Technology teacher, Teenie Reddeck, says, “I like that the site offers recommendations from other parents and students with their explanation as well. I use this site often as a parent and as a teacher for our technology classes. There is also an app for your device to look up movies, television shows, games, and other apps. The website offers more than just ratings, there is a great amount of digital education available for parents and students.”
Social media is not bad, it is a tool for marketing, communicating, selling, sharing and more. Our students will continue to use it and many will likely work in a field that it will be a large part of their job. As adults, we want to teach them to be wise and make good choices with how we choose to spend our time on our devices. Mrs. Burchak’s God Sighting’s is a great example of using the social media tool for a great means!