Teaching Cyber Citizenship

We can (and do) worry continually about the numbers of our young students who are getting on to Facebook below the prescribed age of 14, especially when we hear reports of inappropriate behaviour, bullying etc. However, all our angst is unlikely to get the children to log off and stay away from this and similar sites. So, instead, we need to recognize that our young people need the help, guidance and inputs of their educators and parents to teach them the key aspects of good digital citizenship.

However, when so many teachers and parents perceive that the children know far more than they do about what happens online, what’s possible and navigating cyberspace, they balk at really engaging with the issues. I was therefore very happy to come across some really excellent resources that can be used by parents and educators to work with children on these issues;

  1. The first is a free digital citizenship curriculum, graded by age groups:
    Common Sense Media – Curriculum
  2. Next is awebsite that sets out to help adults keep up with their children on IT knowledge:
    Cyberwise – No Grown Ups Left Behind
  3. The third is a project website set up by McGill University, Canada (with support from Facebook) that gets to grips with real cyber-world related issues:
    Define the Line

If you use any of these resources with children, at home or in school, please come back and let us know what worked and how you got on.


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