It’s the parenting dilemma of the digital age: How do we encourage our kids to take advantage of all that technology affords while protecting them from the documented dangers of too much screen time? How do we model healthy use of technology when we, too, fight the allure of smart phones and social media, excessive use of which has been linked to soaring rates depression and suicide? At CSD, good digital citizenship is promoted every day in our classrooms, and it’s not just about teaching students to safely navigate the Internet. We empower students to appropriately use digital media to explore the world, gain knowledge and connect with new ideas and people — and we invite parents to participate.
As CSD schools celebrate Digital Citizenship Week, Feb. 5-9, tips and resources for continuing the conversation at home can be found at Commonsensemedia.org. There parents can find advice on how to stop cyber-bullying, apps for monitoring their child’s devise use, and lists of age-appropriate movies and video games. Internet safety, however, also is a priority for the District. CSD also uses a Lightspeed Systems content filter that blocks inappropriate material, based on a database of more than a billion entries. The filter can be adjusted for elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, and allow schools to override the filter’s default settings to access specific sites. Searches for Google Images use safe search, and if the content is inappropriate, the user is not granted access. These filters prevent inadvertent exposure, however, if a determined user finds a way to access inappropriate content, our Information Technology department can review the Internet history of the person in question for up to 40 days to determine if administrative action is necessary.