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School Blog

Trick or Treat of Technology: October is Digital Citizenship Month

Posted by Laurie O'Toole on

October brings cooler weather, pumpkin spice lattes, and Trick-or-Treating.  This year at Bethany School, October also means Digital Citizenship Month.   As we continue to add technology here at school, with new iPads and ChromeBooks, we are reminded that technology can be a mixed blessing. Technology can often be a Trick and a Treat, as it provides so many wonderful opportunities for students to learn about the world in real time, but it can also provide numerous opportunities for added danger in a digital world.

So, as a way to prepare our students to be 21st Century Learners, we are not only integrating technology into our lessons, but also teaching students how to be good Digital Citizens.  Our technology coordinator, Mrs. Morici is working with teachers in grades 1, 3, 5, and Middle School to teach students about the following:  

  • Internet safety Students will learn searching the internet using safe practices and online resources and what to do if someone asks for personal information online.
  • Privacy Students will learn the importance of using strong passwords and how to keep personal information safe while online.
  • Cyberbullying Students will learn about using online etiquette, interacting with others in a positive and uplifting way, rather than posts that are negative or derogatory. Students will learn about how to reach out for help if someone posts hurtful or dangerous things about them.
  • Digital footprints Students will learn about digital footprints and the importance of being careful what one posts. Students will learn about the permanency of posts and pictures on social media and the lasting effects this will have on future interactions with universities and employers.
  • Copyright, Fair Use & Internet Searches Students will learn how to use internet sources in an academic way, by giving credit where credit is due, and citing sources appropriately. Students will also learn how to evaluate websites for authenticity validity.

These are just some of the important subjects that students will be studying this month during Digital Citizenship Month at Bethany School.  Students will be celebrating all they have learned at our Digital Citizenship Celebration on Monday, October 31st at 2:30 PM in the auditorium. Parents are welcome to join us in celebrating that day.

However, the learning and accountability shouldn’t stop at the school gate. With technology literally being at our students fingertips both at school and at home, parents must continue to be vigilant to oversee their children’s internet activity. It is easy to use an iPhone or tablet to entertain a little one during a car ride or doctor’s appointment.  It then gets even easier for older children to use those same devices to do homework or play a game.  As they become teenagers and parental oversight is lessened, students can easily access sites and conversations that can become dangerous.  Devices can also become a substitute for family connection time.

So how can you address the Trick or Treat of Technology in your home?  Can you institute a “No Phone Zone” during dinner or family times (including parents’ phones?!) How can you more effectively monitor your child’s online activity?  Can you implement internet safety filters or apps on your desktop, iPhones, or other devices? Can you put limits on your child’s screen time?

Technology is truly a Trick or Treat issue for today’s parents and we can use all of the help we can get as we raise 21st Century Learners.  Bethany School is committed to giving students the resources needed to be safe and sane online, as well as helping parents navigate technical challenges at home.   Bethany Church and School will be hosting a Parent Seminar on internet safety on January 25th. .

Let’s not let the Trick or Treat of Technology scare us, but rather let’s be more aware of ways to help our children learn to use it appropriately as they become Digital Citizens.  


For additional information, check out the following resources:

Links for parents:

Digital Citizenship Toolbox for parents - https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/connecting-families/share

Digital Citizenship Website - Movie and Media reviews for parents