With the proliferation of technology in school and at home, parents are looking for direction on how to keep their kids’ media habits in check. Librarians, who are often at the front lines of media and tech in schools, can provide that crucial guidance. The discussions shouldn’t focus on denying technology, though, said Michelle Cooper, library media specialist at White Oak Independent School District (ISD) in Texas, in the edWebinar “Achieving Media Balance in a Tech-Immersed World.” Instead, librarians can help families learn how to maintain a healthy balance and become good digital citizens.
Step 1 – Student Outreach.
Develop and implement a digital-citizenship plan that spans grades K-12. As students move up, the plan should reflect the changing needs at each level. Key topics include cyberbullying, information literacy, digital footprints, and overall internet safety. In addition, empower students to take control of technology by asking them how they could use media in a positive manner to effect social change.
Step 2 – Parent Communication.
Via school blogs, social-media accounts, and the website, detail how your school is promoting good digital citizenship. Post resources, highlight successes, and create a place where students can report problems like cyberbullying.