Since the beginning of this year, we have been talking about integrating Digital media in the classroom and sensitizing students and parents to become responsible digital citizens. Going further, we also conducted a session on Ã¢â‚¬ËœDigital sensitizationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ with the parents and took an initiative to observe Ã¢â‚¬ËœNo Screen Day, once every cycle. Ã‚Â Let me confess, both the initiatives, remained absolutely successful in spreading an awareness amongst students and parents, not only about the careful use of digital media in our lives, but also knowing different ways of protecting our personal identity.
However, the world of learning online is quite interesting and challenging in itself. Therefore, extending ourselves further, we had an audit done for the devices in the month of February; and to our surprise, the results were astonishing. We found that in spite of cyber policy in place and constant reminders by the teachers, students were found using parentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ account, Ã‚Â proxy sites and extensions, downloaded games/movies/songs, and different chats and messenger apps.
The question here to ponder is whom to blame, should we blame ourselves or media? Or should we blame our surroundings? Or should we blame the forever evolving tech industry? Well, we will never be able to find the right answer to any of these questions; as there are multiple factors that impact the digital transformation of our current generation. Therefore, it is important that we upgrade ourselves and keep on moving towards our target of increasing digital awareness. It is rightly said,
Digital citizenship is a way of life in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s digital society. Living and working in any society comes with both rights and responsibilities. It is not enough to teach our students how to use technology, we must also teach the how to use if legally,ethically, safely and responsibly. (The Role of ICT in the PYP, 2011)
We request all the parents to be actively involved in their childÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s learning and get themselves equipped with the basic use of technology. How is it possible that as parents, we are actively involved in social media sites and other applications, but when it comes to accessing our parent account, we show less or no interest in learning to use or access email account? At Fountainhead, there are some basic expectations from the parents that are well communicated, at the beginning of the year. And therefore, reiterating those facts again, we recommend you to learn to access parent account. In addition,
- remain positively engaged in your childÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s learning,
- support their good choices, review privacy settings,
- teach critical thinking,
- explain the implications,
- help your child be good digital citizen,
- empower your child to handle issues,
- encourage your child to be digital leaders
- Make sure that your children are using the devices in a central and open location at home
As a Ã‚Â parent, the best way to encourage your children to be responsible digital citizens, is to educate them about the benefits and risks of using technology. Just as you help them to stay safe in the real-world, for example by teaching them to cross the street safely and to inform you when they want to go somewhere, parents today need to ensure that their children are aware of the rules they should be following when using technology. Remember that you are your childÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first teacher and role model, and that it is important for you to stay updated with the technologies that your children are using.
Digital Citizen Resources for Parents:
- Common Sense Media: https://www.commonsense.org/
- Family Online Safety Institute: https://www.fosi.org/
- NetSmartz: http://www.netsmartz.org/Parents
- StaySafeOnline: https://staysafeonline.org/
Ritu Chopra andÃ‚Â Zahabiyah Shaikhmahmood