Teach children to be trustworthy
Two articles about digital citizenship caught my attention today.
The first was on the Mindshift blog and asked how schools and parents should be involved in kids’ online lives.
The author, Matt Levinson, acknowledges the blurred lines between home and school information when that information is online. He asks whether schools should be involved in what students do online when they are not at school and concludes that there is enough overlap between the school and home online worlds that it is reasonable for schools to involve themselves.
His focus in that post is on open social media sites.
He advises that instead of instilling a stranger-danger-type fear into children, schools and parents should encourage children to ask themselves some questions about what sort of contact with strangers is appropriate and what sort of response to make if contacted online by a stranger.
The second article came from the Sunday Mail. Cyber bullies turn web into the superhighway to hell by Kylie Lang explores three disturbing cases of teenage suicide after cyber-bullying.
Ms Lang concludes that there is valuable advice to be found on protecting children through the use of filters and monitoring but asks whether there is a bigger question that we are not asking…
…doesn’t our children’s use of technology also come down to how they are taught in the first place to respect themselves and others?
Ms Lang goes on:
Social media might be a new form of communication but the old rules apply: treat others as you’d like to be treated; if you wouldn’t say something to a person’s face, don’t say it at all.
The best way to deal with a bully is to ignore them, and if you can’t, report them.
Cyber-bullying expert Associate Professor Marilyn Campbell, of Queensland University of Technology, says it is essential for teachers, parents and students to “create a culture of reporting”.
In other words, let’s teach them to be good digital citizens.
We can’t assume that children will act in a trustworthy and respectful way if we haven’t taught them how to do so.
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