Social media can be a wonderful tool and open up opportunities for teachers and students. As teachers and parents, we must keep up with our technology-savvy kids and educate them to be responsible digital citizens. Not only does this mean understanding the sites, apps, and technologies they use, but also to set an understanding about behaviours.
It is important for us to sit down with our kids and agree on a contract on how to be responsible online. This means addressing two very specific issues:
- Sharing. It has never been easier to share private and personal information — as the most viral and trendiest apps are all built around the idea of it. We must teach our kids to be aware of what sharing of private information looks like and what it’s consequences could be.
- Cyber-bullying. Bullying is a serious issue; and when done online, the dangers are even greater. Bullies can feel even more empowered through anonymity, and victims can go unseen. Cyber-bullying requires a community effort, and we must stand together to send a message that cyber-bullying is wrong and not acceptable. When we see it happening, we must act appropriately.
To start this conversation with your kids, try this Social Media Contract for Kids from www.imom.com. Review each point with your child and have them initial each box. When completed, have them sign it to make it official.