This feature was first published in Journeys Winter 2018.

This article was written by Elementary School Educational Technology and STEM Coach David Lee.

Sometimes, it helps to get back to the basics! Teaching students knowledge and skills in digital citizenship is incredibly important in how they use the internet in a safe and positive manner.

It is important that our children think about the impact of what they 
do online—on themselves, on people they know, and the wider online community. Here are some friendly reminders from a course developed by Google for Educators that could help you practice digital citizenship skills in your daily life as well as model the skills for your own children. 

Creating passwords
Create a password that contains a mix of numbers, symbols, and lowercase and uppercase letters.
 It should be eight to nine characters long, and should not identify any important information, such as your address or name. Create different passwords for different accounts and platforms. 

Securing your accounts
Two-factor authentication offers additional security measure in the logging-in process. After entering your password, you will be sent a code via text which you will then enter. 

Signing out
Make sure to sign out of your accounts when using a shared computer at work, the library, or an internet cafe so that other people who get on the same computer will not be able to access your accounts. 

Lock your device
Set your device to have a PIN or a pattern so that people will not have access to your data. Make sure your PIN is a random set of numbers. 

True and reliable content
Ask yourself: Where is the content published? Who is the person or group creating it? What is the point of view? When was the content published? Asking these questions will help you identify the purpose of the content, whether or not the content was published by an expert, if the content has a bias or is balanced, and whether or not it is up-to-date. 

Online reputation
Make sure to establish some boundaries for yourself in what and how you share information because your online activities can leave a digital footprint that can be traced back to you. Be familiar with the privacy settings of the social networks you are a part of, as well as the guidelines of the online communities you are in. 

Finally be kind when you are in these online spaces. The internet can be a negative place so add some positivity to it!

For detailed information, look up the videos from the course at this URL:

  • digital citizenship
  • education
  • technology
  • tech tips

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