Tip Sheets

Digital Citizenship

Blackbaud K12 Tip Sheets

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com October 2018 1 TIP SHEET Tips for Teaching Our Next Generation of Digital Citizens Today's students may have the affluence to use technology and the many social media and communication tools available to them, but most don't have the wisdom or maturity to manage those resources wisely. While the top technology tools will always have new contenders, the basic ethical guidelines remain the same; and it's important that students learn best practices on topics such as observing Internet safety, forming good relationships, and communicating appropriately before they enter the working world. Susan Bearden, director of information technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy and author of Digital Citizenship: A Community-Based Approach, shares her advice on implementing a comprehensive digital citizenship education program to teach students how to navigate the vast and complicated online world. Topics to Cover in a Digital Citizenship Education Program Digital citizenship is defined simply as the appropriate and responsible behavior regarding technology use. Digital citizenship education programs can include different topics, and there's no standard format to follow. Susan recommends starting small by adding one session to your curriculum next year. Some common topics covered in digital citizenship programs share best practices for: • Protecting privacy and leaving positive online footprints • Understanding creative credits and copyright freedoms • Fostering responsible digital behaviors through safe and secure practices • Enlisting stakeholders to help reinforce digital citizenship into the school culture The Need for a Community-Based Approach The responsibility of teaching kids to be digitally literate and ethical doesn't just happen between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It needs to be a community-based approach. Schools can block access to Facebook® and parents can invoke technology restrictions, but kids can gain access everywhere—whether it be through a friend

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