Wednesday, May 20

A to Z: encouraging digital citizenship in your child

Young adults represent the majority of today’s digital citizens. Students are encouraged to be good digital citizens by maintaining a positive online environment when using technology. While teaching children to use good manners in the physical world is important, it is becoming more and more prudent for those manners to apply in the digital world. With the rapid advancement of technology, teaching children the importance of digital social skills and leaving behind a positive digital footprint ensures a better online world and protected reputations. 

Technology is a wonderful learning tool, but it can also lead to some unhealthy paths if a student does not know how to navigate away from the sludge of  inappropriate comments and harmful content. Closely monitoring children ensures that they’re viewing and contributing to positive content. Parents that allow their children to operate their own social media accounts should advise that virtually everything posted to the internet can never be completely removed. Posting media creates a digital footprint which allows an individual’s internet activities to be loosely followed. A good rule of thumb for students is to post only what you’d like your parents to see; anything questionable in content, harmful to others, and potentially damaging to your online reputation should be avoided.

As children engage in more social media, and inherit more digital responsibility, it’s critical that they understand that everyone can see anything posted by anyone. This means that college admissions advisors and future employers, to name a few, are privy to the digital footprints left by all applicants. Promoting oneself in a positive manner will never harm one’s chances of getting that dream job or admissions letter.   

Social media and internet browsing are a large part of American life. Helping children to be aware of their digital footprint, teaching them to respect other users, and to protect themselves while using the internet fosters a responsible citizen in both the physical and digital world.

For more ideas about raising responsible digital citizens, visit Fairmont’s Pinterest board 21st Century Learning!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Image by Roofing Brand

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