As more and more students use technology during the school day, it’s time to think about how we can best make sure our students know how to use the internet in a safe, ethical, and responsible way. Common Sense Media worked with California assembly-member Ed Chau to introduce a resolution, ACR 203, to declare October 16–22 Digital Citizenship Week.
The goal of Digital Citizenship Week is to raise awareness about the importance of digital citizenship as a set of defined, teachable skills for kids in the 21st century. We believe parents, educators, students, and lawmakers play a role in making sure children learn how to navigate the digital world safely and responsibly.
Education technology has great potential to help students by enhancing what they learn in the classroom, providing new ways to express themselves, and exposing them to new career paths. Cyberbullying, privacy, safety, sexting, and other potential problems can harm children and create challenges for our schools.
According to the Common Sense report, Technology Addiction: Concern, Controversy, and Finding Balance, half of teens and over one-quarter of parents feel they’re addicted to their mobile devices. A quarter of our kids experience cyberbullying. The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens found that nearly one-half of teens interfere with their own learning by multitasking with social media while doing their homework. And 40 percent of college admissions officers look at online profiles.
Washington’s Senator Marko Liias championed the nation’s first comprehensive digital citizenship and media literacy legislation. The Washington state policy calls on the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop and distribute a list of digital citizenship and media literacy best practices and recommendations to school administrators. The legislation uses a state advisory committee that includes researchers, administrators, educators, and others to review digital citizenship and media literacy curriculum and policy. Governor Jay Inslee signed SB 6273 into law in March of 2016.