Digital Citizenship Week begins on October 17th. How are you preparing your students?

banyan global learning virtual field trips

Teaching digital citizenship skills in the classroom is more important than ever. Luckily, teachers can now find a lot of resources to support this critical skillset. Common Sense Education is a go-to for many teachers all year round, but especially during Digital Citizenship Week.

Our five-part series of live virtual programs on digital citizenship also provide a fun and engaging way for students to learn the fundamental skills of digital citizenship. Schools around the country have used these programs for single classrooms, and even for entire schools. 

Part of what makes these programs so engaging, is the amazing work done by our teacher and puppeteer, Lila Perkins. Below you can find her reflections on teaching digital citizenship through our virtual programs. If you are interested in learning more about this series, contact us!

The Importance of Digital Citizenship

-By Lila Perkins

From swimming to driving, humans must prove themselves worthy of the tasks by learning how to do them well, and safely. There are formalities and structures in place that allow young humans to try, fail, and try again in the safety of community. Countless accidents are prevented because we have spaces to learn how to avoid them while we’re young. However, there is a great need for comprehensive learning in one of the largest arenas of modern society-the internet. 

The World Wide Web is just as dangerous as it is liberating. As a late 90’s baby with a bonafide ‘computer room’ in my home, my mind was opened to the world early on. My parents trusted me, and I never went looking for trouble. But the algorithms of the internet had ways of leading me into dark corners. Had there been more tools and resources at my disposal, I might have been safer in my initial exploration. 

Technology is not slowing down, and neither are the natural curiosities of children. They deserve to be carefully guided into the virtual world just as they would any new experience. They deserve a shot at starting off on a good foot.

My Experience

My experience in teaching Digital Citizenship to little ones at Banyan has been healing for my inner child. I have seen the confidence build within our students in real time. Through lessons with our puppet friends, they learn who and what to trust on the web. Something as simple as recognizing “click-bait” has proven to be foundational for kids to have positive experiences. 

Our students leave the lessons feeling assured in their ability to navigate online spaces and ask trusted adults for help when they need it. They gain a toolbox full of ways to deal with many facets of the internet, including protecting their personal information and how to handle cyberbullying. 

Until more virtual spaces have been curated for kids to explore in, we need to prepare them to face challenges head on. As Common Sense puts it: “All students need digital citizenship skills to participate fully in their communities and make smart choices online and in life.”

Are you ready to try one?

We hope you found this article useful. In our view, a virtual field trip is a great way to augment or supplement classroom instruction.

If you have more questions or have interest in discussing our content and what we could do for your school, feel free to contact us!