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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:
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