Are We Missing the Point of Digital Citizenship?
John Spencer

We are dealing with children

People often ask me, as an EdTech team leader, what rules do we have for our digital devices? what rules do we have for kids online?

And I say, “outside of what the feds require, we really don’t.”

We have expectations for our children. And of course we have “rules.” We are helping our kids learn to become healthy adults in a healthy society.

So we support them in that process, which is the role of adults in a society.

When kids make mistakes, when they don’t meet expectations, we step in and we help, we educate, we model behaviors actively. We don’t jump to punish, and we don’t believe in permanent punishments for children.

The expectations we have aren’t different online or with “technology.” There is no “digital citizenship,” there is only “citizenship,” and being a responsible human in all the spaces humans inhabit.

Of course our kids mess up,” my boss, Vince Scheivert says explaining our policy that all 6–12 students are administrators of their 1:1 computers, “they’re kids. Of course middle school kids mess up more, they’re in middle school.

So please, be educators, not a criminal justice system. And model every day what you hope kids will do. Our teachers use Twitter and Instagram and many other social media tools with kids, so they learn from us. We use TodaysMeet for many reasons, but one reason is Twitter practice.

And when kids mess up, we know they are kids, and we lift them up, dust them off, and put them back on the road to adulthood.

  • Ira Socol