Introducing "Digital Citizenship" to Children
A strong internet safety curriculum can teach children net etiquette (also known as netiquette) even before they begin to enter into the workforce. Netiquette is important for social reasons, sort of a “digital citizenship”. As many children are spending a lot of their time online, they also need to be able to express themselves properly.
Begin an Internet Safety Curriculum
Media literacy and internet safety is an important part to understanding netiquette. Kids need to understand how information is distributed online, how to analyze what information means, and how to express information themselves. These are the basics of communication, and it's what forms the foundation of netiquette. If children don't understand how their information is being understood, they won't understand how to express themselves.
Emphasize Other Perspectives
Many people run into issues with netiquette because they don't think about another person's perspective. People tend to interpret their own words in the best possible light and the words of others in the worst possible light. This is just human nature. But when people start giving each other the benefit of the doubt and try to limit the negativity in their own language, this can be defeated.
Explain the Importance of Netiquette
It's hard for children to really connect to something if they don't understand why they're doing it. Describe a few scenarios that can happen when people misunderstand each other or when they feel as though emotions are running high. Explain some situations in which two friends might misunderstand each other, and how things could be done differently.
Introducing netiquette is important. Today, children interact a lot online. They interact with each other, teachers, parents, and more. In this way, a media literacy curriculum is really very similar to learning social etiquette. To get started with a media literacy curriculum for middle school, contact Cyber Civics.