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Digital Citizenship

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Digital Citizenship
by MaryLynn Heron - Thursday, 31 January 2019, 1:07 PM

Dear Cordova Bay Families,

For many parents and caregivers, we find ourselves in a strange new world where we are working quickly, and sometimes frantically, to stay ahead of our children and their technological learning. Many of us did not grow up with the plethora of technologies that our children take for granted. Where do we turn and what can we do to calm the fear inside that swells as we look at the vast landscape of opportunities and challenges that come with all of the devices, video games, apps, websites and more. These technologies draw our children in and engage them in ways that we sometimes do not fully understand.

I would like to suggest a very valuable tool that gets to the heart of growing a strong digital understanding with your child. It is the Digital Citizenship Guide for Parents produced by the Government of Canada It “prepares you for the conversation you need to have with kids when they first start using digital devices, as they grow and their online activities change, and when things go wrong.” Essentially, the guide is less about wondering how much screen time should a child have, of course another worry and also a big conversation, and more about supporting an understanding of how we teach RESPECT. Respect of people’s feelings, privacy and property online.

The guide offers some wonderful questions and prompts for parents to guide healthy conversations with your child(ren). Here are some examples:

  • ·        What would you do if somebody posted something that made you mad, scared or sad?
  • ·        Do you know what your digital footprint says about you? How can you find out? If you do not know how to find out, I encourage you to check out the following video with your child:
  • ·         If something looks “too good to be true,” it probably is. No legitimate website will show recent TV shows or movies that are still in the theatre without charging for them.
  • ·        Show me some cool things you or your friends are doing online or with social networks.
  • ·        What would you do if somebody asked you for a photo that you didn’t want to send or asked you to share a photo that somebody else sent you?

On February 18, we will once again celebrate Family Day. What a perfect time to reflect on our family values regarding digital citizenship. Make it a goal to start perusing the parent guide or perhaps view the video about digital footprints with your child. Every step counts!

Wishing you a wonderful Family Day!


Mary Lynn Heron