While more colleges than ever are searching your digital presence, getting into a good college isn’t the reason to be a good digital citizen. Being a good digital citizen is about being the same person online you are offline. In both places, you should be kind, wise, and safe.
Technology and the Internet can provide a wealth of information and tools for enhancing your educational experience and your life in a positive way. Your parents should monitor your use of the internet and digital tools and set expectations for you, and GRACE will help you grow as a digital citizen too. Throughout your time at GRACE, you will have lessons on digital citizenship, including how to cite media correctly, how to write a good comment on a blog post, how to deal with cyberbullying (and help stop it), and how to cultivate a positive digital footprint. But remember, just like in the non-digital world, the final responsibility for your actions online falls on you.
Listed below are some excellent websites that you (and your parents) can use to grow as a good digital citizen.
- Common Sense Media Games: Games for students grades 3-12 to learn digital citizenship skills.
- Wired Safety: Website dedicated to protecting all Internet users. Since it’s focused on cybersafety, it does focus on more negative possibilities, such as cyberbullying.
- PBS Webonauts: Game to teach elementary students digital citizenship and online safety.
- NetSmartz: Lots of good information on all types of issues associated with technology such as blogging and cell phones with sections for Elementary, Middle, and High School.
- OnGuardOnline: A U.S. government website with online safety tips including staying safe on public WiFi networks.
- Google Safety Center: Instructions on securing your accounts, shopping online safely, and avoiding scams, among other topics.