For Fun Friday, we will teach lessons on digital citizenship. In first and second grades, Ms. Shelley will read the book Once Upon A Time Online and discuss the importance of having a balance between life online and offline. In third and fourth grades, Ms. Shelley and Ms. Tottenham will be talking to students about the different ways they are online and ways to be safe online. In fifth grade, the lesson will focus on our digital footprint and being mindful about being both safe and responsible with what we consume and with what we post online. Fun Friday lessons are on a three week rotation so your child’s class will have this lesson January 15, January 22 or February 5.
We are committed to supporting parents and partnering with you to help our children become responsible and safe digital citizens. The digital tools we now have at our disposal are life changing. There are so many positive and amazing possibilities, and we also know it’s tricky to teach our children about tools that didn’t exist when we were their age. The following three topics are a good place to start when communicating with your child/children about their digital life. You will also find parent resources at the bottom.
- Safety awareness: Talking to your kids and monitoring their online behavior- It’s so important that you have conversations with your children about being safe online. Specifically, talking to them about pornography and what to do if they see pictures and/or videos of private body parts on a device. It’s also important to have conversations about seeing violence or other content too mature for them. If a child sees something that makes them feel uncomfortable or scared, it’s important for them to know that they can tell an adult. A third important talking point, especially for older children, is about recruiting and grooming. We are learning more about how white supremacy groups are trying to recruit children in video games and on other social media platforms. Child molesters are also on gaming platforms and social media platforms and try to groom children and trick them into unsafe situations. Please talk to your children about this and also monitor what they are doing online to help keep them safe.
- Balance- Please talk to your children and model having a healthy balance between online activities and real life activities. We know this may feel harder during a pandemic because it is hard when our social activities and outings are limited. We are finding balance as we can now and looking forward to having more offline activity options again someday in the future.
- Digital consumer versus digital creator- It’s not just how much time you spend online but also what you are doing online. Digital tools and platforms offer us so many creative and connecting possibilities. We talk to our students and teach them about being digital creators. It’s helpful to talk with your children about creating versus consuming and to encourage them to create.