Preparing the next generation of digital citizens
So what can we do to help prevent the next generation of kids from becoming victims — or perpetrators — of sad or bad mobile behavior? While there are plenty of online tools and apps for monitoring kids’ online behavior, the first line of defense really comes down to this: digital citizenship.
“Golden rules” for the mobile era
Digital citizenship is “the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use,” according to Mike Ribble, the education and technology expert who founded DigitalCitizenship.net and author of books on the subject. Think of it as a set of “golden rules” for the mobile era, but also a sturdy foundation for entrusting youth to use technology wisely. Digital citizenship involves all online users (not just kids and teens), and aims to keep social media and online behavior respectful, safe, and responsible. Parents and teachers are beginning to focus on digital citizenship in order to help protect children and make the digital world a happier, more productive place.
As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the course of teaching your child how to behave and treat others online, she’ll also learn how to spot red flags in other people’s online behavior, which will help keep her safe. Ideally, you’ll begin to educate your child about digital citizenship before allowing her to join social media — and model good social media habits yourself.