How to help your child

navigate the digital landscape

child_digitallandscapeSay you are considering (or already have) cyber education for your children – how can you as a parent, know that you are keeping them safe while they spend countless hours online?

All cyber charters in PA provide their students with the hardware and software needed to best suit their educational needs. A secure internet connection, along with learning platforms that are all password protected are just the first step to keeping our children safe. PA Virtual also has an Internet Safety Policy pursuant to the Children Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

Common Sense Education has created a game (Digital Compass) that is great for teaching students how to navigate the digital landscape, and illustrates the outcome their decisions may have on their future, their family and their friends. Each of these animated characters let the student control their actions and reactions to various social and online situations. As a whole, Common Sense education strives to provide students, families and educators tools for harnessing technology in both learning and life.

Digital Compass, suited for children in grades 6-9 takes the basic principles of being a good standing digital citizen to the next level, allowing for a deeper understand of the impact decisions may have as they get older.

The main principles for early learners of social connection are:

  1. Protection of all private information – for themselves and for others
  2. Respect themselves as well as all others in an online community
  3. Stay safe online – listen to their gut feelings
  4. Stand up to cyberbullying when they see it happening
  5. Balance the time they spend using media and the internet with other activities

Each of these principles is expanded upon for students who already have a grasp on connecting with others online. The game also allows them to make choices that might not be in the best interest of the character and shows the aftermath of a poor decision. Ultimately, the child will go through various segments of the game, eventually making the right decisions and applying those to their real life social interactions.

What tips do you have for making sure your child is a noble digital citizen? Let us know in the comments below!

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