The digital world is growing and changing very fast. With tech companies releasing products so rapidly, there is little time for anyone to stop and think of issues that might arise with their use. Too often when we purchase a new digital technology, we only look at all the bells and whistles and don’t think of the consequences they may have on our children. This is where the importance of ‘digital citizenship’ steps in.
Being a digital citizen implies that we are accountable for our technological advancement. This also means that we need to be responsible for the ways in which we communicate online.
As our pre-schoolers embark on this virtual learning medium, it is essential that they receive the necessary guidance from parents and educators on how to safely and successfully navigate through technology. Online safety and etiquette begin at home, continues through the classroom and extends into the homes of friends and family.
Here are a few helpful tips on how to raise responsible digital citizens:
Remember: Children will be children. They will make mistakes using media. Try to handle errors with empathy and turn a mistake into a teachable moment. Parents must observe their child’s behaviours carefully and, if needed, enlist supportive professional help.
Media and digital devices are an integral part of our world today. The benefits of these devices, if used moderately and appropriately, can be great. However, research has shown that face-to-face time with family, friends, and teachers plays a pivotal and even more important role in promoting children’s learning and healthy development. Keep the face-to-face up front, and don’t let it get lost behind a stream of media and tech.