EdTech & Parenting Part 3: The Digital Citizen
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The Digital Citizen
As a Digital Citizen, my goal is to foster digital citizenship skills and habits of responsible use with my child. My indicators are: 1) model good digital citizenship behaviors; 2) utilize privacy and sharing controls; and 3) discuss responsible use of digital tools as a family.
Model good digital citizen behaviors.
The title of this blog “doctiloqua” is a Latin word that means “learned speaking.” Our contributions to the digital world must be learned and contribute to a larger conversation. Before we post, we make sure that our words and our pictures are true and are kind.
More generally, I try to lead by example. I don’t post anything that I don’t want M to see. I don’t load apps that I don’t want M to access. And I include M in my activities online. At 5 years old, M knows that Pinterest has some pretty great holiday decoration ideas, that we can give to charity when we order books on Amazon Smile, that we can block unfriendly users in social media, and that it’s always important to be nice, both offline and online.
Utilize privacy and sharing controls.
Passwords are for Parents! With control of the passwords, I decide which apps are on our devices, I can block unfriendly websites or material, and I can encourage positive influences. As a digital citizen, I discuss with my daughter how I decide what to share on social media, and what to block. As general rules:
- Our Facebook account is private, shared with only family and friends whom we have approved.
- Our Twitter account is public, so we share less on that account.
- We don’t share our last name.
- We don’t update our location.
- We block followers very liberally.
- No picture posts without everyone’s approval.
As M gets older, these rules will continue to be part of our own personal digital world.
As a result of these rules, our family creates an online environment that is positive and encouraging. Negativity online is blocked out and discouraged. And whenever possible, we use our family voice to drown out negativity with positivity, building positive digital footprints together that make the world a bit better.
Discuss responsible use of digital tools as a family.
We talk a lot about technology in our house. “Let’s check Great-Grandmother’s Facebook.” “Five more minutes and then we turn off the iPad.” “Should we bring our umbrella? Check the weather app.” “That picture is way to fuzzy to post!” These conversations are important because they are establishing our thought process around digital citizenship. By including M in the discussions (she has more than a few opinions about which pictures are not ok to post), she feels included in the decision-making and is learning good digital citizenship behaviors.
Each home will have its own perspectives on how to be good digital citizens. And at our house, we modify the rules as technology changes, and as my daughter grows. I try to keep these three indicators – modeling good behavior, privacy, and family discussions – in mind when fostering digital citizenship skills and habits of responsible use with my family.
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