Digital Citizenship Is The New Online Safety

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187011_f5201I read with interest this weeks internet safety newsletter from our friends at SafeKids/NetFamilyNews netfamilynews.org.  What I appreciated about one of their articles, is that it talked about: “A new online safety: A means, not an end.” 

The piece states that to keep school relevant to students, online safety has to be made meaningful to them and their use of social media more constructive. We at Yoursphere couldn’t agree more. <http://www.netfamilynews.org/2009/02/social-media-literacy-new-internet.html>) Specifically, “digital citizenship is the new online safety” as Anne Collier writes.

We must together teach our children the right way to traverse and communicate among these online communities in a way that fosters and supports positive participation and citizenship.  That’s why we at Yoursphere.com focus on educating our members about online safety, supporting positive participation, and encouraging our members to partake in purposeful engagement activities.

The article further discusses three forms of safety that enable full participation:

Physical safety – freedom from harm by predators and bullies. We call them “creepers” at Yoursphere.

Psychological safety – freemdom from cruely, flaming and other forms of harassment and cyberbullying involving ex-friends, mean kids, bullies

Reputational and legal safety – these can overlap Anne notes with the psychological kind, where for example online defamation can harm someone’s reputation.

What’s most compelling, is the knowledge that all of these freedoms from such harms, can be achieved when youth receive training in
citizenship, ethics, empathy and new media literacy training as it provides the foundation of the internal “filter” that develops in our kids.

As one of our Yoursphere parents said, ‘I want my daughters that are members of Yoursphere to learn about digital citizenship, but also to have the best protection possible from inappropriate content and potential predatory behavior, while they develops the filters that they need to take care of themselves online once they are older.’

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