Digital Citizenship Week starts today 21st October and ends 25th October 2013. This years theme is ‘Pause & Think Online’. Although currently seems to be an American initiative, I think it’s worth giving a shout out to this very important topic. The European Union also has something similar and co-funds the annual Safer Internet Day event. The theme for the 2014 Safer Internet Day is “Let’s create a better internet together” and I will be talking about this in the coming months.
Digital Citizenship Week is a ‘Common Sense Media’ project supported by major educational institutes in the USA. Common Sense Media is America’s ‘leading independent non-profit advocating for kids’.
What kids do on the World Wide Web should be seen as a priority for every school and parent. An ever increasing cases of cyber bullying leading to death, where parents are unaware of what their children are up to or some are not even aware of the names of the sites that are used. A recent survey conducted by ISC2 an IT security education group suggests that ‘18% of the 1,162 children queried said they had arranged offline meetings with friends made via the web.’ and ‘55% of young people in England accept cyber-bullying as part of everyday life.’ The survey also found that ‘43% went online everyday and 46% spent more than two hours each time they browsed. Many (22%) regularly used it after 21:00 and a small percentage, 7%, were still online after midnight. Some reported that their concentration in class had suffered as a result of their late night activity. The most popular online activities were playing video games (23%), using social networks (18%) and watching videos (17%).’ (Source: isc2.org) Some of these findings are alarming. To know more read BBCs article on ‘Young net users engage in ‘risky’ behaviour‘.
It is imperative that Digital Migrants must keep up with the Digital Natives as the later are spending more and more time on-line rather than off-line. Below is a video interpretation of a survey I conducted at our school analysing on-line behaviour and habits of our student body.
Safety should not be learnt or taught by accident.
To get involved in the Digital Citizen Week you can visit the Common Sense Media website for further information. Even a simple step of displaying posters in school corridors and classroom can go a long way.
Every little helps. Pause & Think Online.