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Teaching Digital Citizens in Today’s World

October 8, 2019

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5 mins

Digital citizenship is the understanding that we can teach students how to use technology so that everyone can get along in the digital world. Just as we raise our children to be productive members of society, we also need to extend our teachings into the online world.  

Recent studies show that children are exposed to media early in life, from the time they can look at a screen:

  • Nearly 42 percent of kids age 8 and under now have their own tablet devices (Rideout 2017). 
     
  • Kids ages 5 to 8 spend an average of nearly 3 hours per day using screen media, with 1 hour of that time on mobile devices (Rideout 2017). Kids ages 8 to 12 spend an average of 6 hours per day using entertainment media, and this increases to nine hours a day for 13 to 18-year-olds (Rideout 2015).
     
  • By the time they're teenagers in America, 95 percent of children will have their own mobile device and will, on average, spend almost 9 hours a day texting, playing games, posting to social media, watching videos, and more (Rideout & Robb 2018).

The digital landscape changes rapidly, so it is important for educators to stay relevant to today’s digital challenges and, accordingly, prepare children for a variety of digital experiences.

The Keyboarding Without Tears curriculum focuses on preparing children for these experiences by fostering good digital citizenship beginning in kindergarten. Each of our lessons covers one or more of the four areas of digital citizenship: information, protection, consideration, and communication.

Keyboarding Teaching Tip:

Try this mnemonic device to help children remember the keys to using technology successfully:

STARS stands for:

Surf safely: Only visit websites that are approved by a parent or teacher. If something looks or feels wrong, stop what you are doing and get an adult.

Two hands: Use two hands and correct finger placement when typing.

Approved apps only: Only use apps that are approved by a parent or teacher.

Respect equipment: Be respectful and handle equipment carefully.

Stay safe and secure: Protect yourself online by not sharing personal information and only visiting websites that have been approved by a parent or teacher.

School-to-Home Connections

The foundation for responsible technology use starts at home. The way that parents use technology will impact how children use it. Strengthening school-to-home connections by engaging parents as well as students helps adults to understand how to encourage responsible technology use at home.

To keep parents in the loop and actively engaged in their children’s digital journey, Keyboarding Without Tears offers the following resources:

Digital Citizenship Explained

Keeping Things Private

 In celebration of Digital Citizenship Week, we’ve created a special lesson download that you can check out here.

Happy typing!

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