Creating Good Digital Citizens

From: Mrs. Clark

The Best Online Safety Conversation Starter: The Smart Talk

In today's digital world teaching and practicing online safety needs to be a priority both at home and in school. Parents and teachers need to be on the same page when educating children about this topic. Children can be easily exposed to inappropriate sites and need to know how handle these types of situations. Often times many adults don't know how to teach their child the proper safety precautions when it comes to interacting in our digital world.

As the holiday season approaches I know that many of our students may be getting some form of technology as a present. Therefore, what can teachers recommend to parents to help continue the conversation at home and bridge the digital safety gap? The answer is- The Smart Talk.

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The Smart Talk is a free online tool that gets parents and kids together for a conversation about being responsible with new technology. This site generates a printable contract based on you input. This site was developed by Lifelock, whose mission is to protect people from identity theft. The Smart Talk was designed to help adults empower children to become smart digital natives in our cyber world. You and your child can sit together and go to this site. They will click the red Get Started button and walk through five different categories:

  • Safety and Privacy
  • Screen Time
  • Social Media & Respect
  • Apps & Downloads
  • Texting & Calling
  • Extra Credit (fun stuff!)

Some questions are open ended and require the child to type in their response while others are selection responses. Here are a some examples of the types of questions:

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I highly recommend this site because it holds both the parent and child accountable. Parents also have to make promises. When children see they aren't the only ones being held responsible their is truly more buy in.
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Once the criteria is signed on all 5 areas, you can print the contract and hang it somewhere in your home. The Smart Talk is a well designed program that will help guide parents in having conversations with their children about being smart digital citizens. Click below to get started using Smart Talk at home.