It’s the parenting dilemma of the digital age: How do we encourage our children to take advantage of all that technology affords while protecting them from the documented dangers of too much screen time? How do we model a healthy use of technology when we, too, fight the allure of smart phones and social media?
At Canyons District, the safe and responsible use of technology or, good digital citizenship is promoted every day in our classrooms, and it’s not just about teaching students to safely navigate the Internet. We empower students to put their smartphones, tablets and computers to best use to explore the world, gain knowledge and connect and we invite parents to participate.
October has been designated Think Safe Month in Canyons District, which kicks off with Digital Citizenship Week, Oct. 14-16. CSD’s Internet safety effort started with School Community Councils, which have been given statutory responsibilities regarding digital citizenship in their respective schools responsibilities that are now growing to encompass other safety measures.
The Utah Legislature, through HB213, has asked SCC’s to “engage” with school administrators around the topics of school safety. In the coming weeks, principals will invite their Councils to become familiar with the District’s safety protocols, discuss school safety needs, set goals and share highlights from their discussion with the District. To help spark these conversations, the District has prepared an online report detailing all Canyons does in the name of keeping schools welcoming, secure and prepared.
Canyons’ Public Engagement Coordinator Susan Edwards encourages SCC’s to begin reviewing this report now. “The safety and welfare of children is a communitywide effort. Our patrons, parent volunteers and law enforcement agencies are valuable partners in this endeavor and we value their input.”
School safety has always been a topic of discussion and action in Canyons District. Some safety measures are obvious, such as the emergency drills schools practice throughout the year. Other safety measures are less obvious, such as the Internet filters used by schools to prevent students from inadvertently accessing inappropriate content online (see infographic below).
In partnership with SCC’s during Digital Citizenship Week, schools will reinforce what it means to behave safely while online and participate responsibly in our digital world through lessons, activities and assemblies. Parents, teachers and students can join the online conversation about Digital Citizenship Week by following the hashtag #usetech4good on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tips also are available on Canyons District’s website for reinforcing these teachings at home.