The initiative, led by the Indiana Department of Education and Common Sense Education, helps families and educators teach kids how to be safe and smart in today’s media-driven world.
Times have changed. The internet has placed information at our fingertips and connected the world in ways we have never imagined, but it has also emboldened bullies who find joy in antagonizing and insulting from behind the screen.
When our administrators learn about incidents of bullying, we work to resolve it in a timely manner. We try to teach the bully about social media responsibility, and we work to support the student on the receiving end of the taunts. Even when we are not faced with situations of internet cruelty, we recognize the importance of educating students to make wise choices online.
During the week we will use resources from Common Sense Education to empower our students – at every grade level – to think critically, behave safely and participate responsibly with technology in and out of school. The resources will help us continue important conversations throughout the school year.
Our goal is to prepare children to use digital media while limiting the risks of the online world such as damage to one’s digital reputation, loss of privacy, cyberbulling and copyright infringement.
It is imperative for students to understand they can never really be sure who is on the other end of their computer correspondence. Providing a stranger with a home address or other personal information can lead to dangerous situations. Texting or emailing inappropriate photos can result in the images being posted on the internet forever.
Even apps that claim to delete content should not be trusted because the recipient can capture a screengrab, which could end up in the wrong hands. Students need to understand that less is more when it comes to online sharing.
The Department of Education has provided all of our schools with a comprehensive toolkit that will help our educators plan, connect and promote our digital citizenship efforts. Each day they will teach grade-appropriate lesson plans about social media responsibility while helping to develop positive digital habits that focus on the safe use of technology.
Teachers and principals will also use social media to inform parents of a variety of topics, including understanding digital slang, maximizing kids’ learning with technology and identifying the best learning apps.
For more information about the week, visit www.doe.in.gov/digcitweek; for more information about Common Sense, visit www.commonsense.org.
We look forward to making this amazing week for our students and the entire Perry community!