Respect, educate, prevent and protect are commonly associated with digital citizenship. Today, we are finding these common elements are more important than even when it comes to how students and adults conduct themselves, especially on social media.
Digital Citizenship as defined in an article written by Terry Heick, is “The quality of habits, actions, and consumption patters that impact the ecology of digital content and communities.”
Heick goes on to write, “As more and more students interact digitally – with content, one another, and various communities – the concept of digital citizenship becomes increasingly important.” “The Definition of Digital Citizenship” (2017).
Heavy use of information technology today requires certain sites to set and enforce a standard of digital etiquette that involves the use of appropriate behavior and language. Without such expectations digital citizens may experience digital laws broken, rights violated, physical and mental stress, and/or online security jeopardized.
We have all heard stories and read statistics about cyberbullying at home and on school campuses.
According to Cyberbullying Statistics:
~Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online.
~More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyber threats.
~Over 25% of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly or through their cell phones or the internet.
~Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyberbullying occurs.
Some TIPS on how can parents and teachers prevent bullying..
* Be aware of what kids are doing online?
* Become familiar with warning signs that your child or student is a victim of cyberbullying.
* Talk to your child or student about what is happening.
* Talk to your child or student about who is involved in the bullying.
* Document or keep records of everything happening.
* Intervene and/or get help for the victim(s) being bullied.
* Reach out to the bully to express your concern.
Cyberbullying is rarely limited to one or two incidents so teachers and parents will likely need to be as persistent as the bully in terms of documenting, blocking, and/or reporting what is happening online. Consider involving counselors, mental health professionals, and law enforcement if needed. No one should ever have to put up with cyberbullying!