Friday, August 26, 2016

Digital Citizenship Week 6: Educating Parents

Educating parents about digital citizenship is our topic this week. Are you already doing any digital citizenship work with your students' parents? If so, please share details with other participants. Or if you have any plans, share what you are going to do. What are some challenges that you face in educating your parents and how might you overcome those?

We have several opportunities for you to continue your work on digital citizenship. Next week's #INeLearn Twitter chat topic is Parents and Digital Citizenship: Recruiting Help from the Home, a perfect fit with our discussion this week. IDOE encourages all schools to take part in the state digital citizenship week which provides a set of comprehensive lesson plans on big topics such as digital identity, cyberbullying and copyright issues. Also, if you have not joined the Digital Citizenship Community of Practice, that is a great place to continue this conversation.

We only have one chapter and week left in the summer book club. Beginning next Friday, September 2nd we will read and discuss chapter 7, "Putting It All Together, Building a Comprehensive Digital Citizenship Program."

104 comments:

  1. My school system just went 1:1 two weeks ago. This is throwing us all in a tizzy. As a teacher of 6th graders, it has been a bit chaotic as the students are trying to learn the ins and outs of the device. Saving to a network drive is confusing for many of the students and scary for the parents at times. One way I try to educate parents is through communication. We vary greatly among parents as to how comfortable they are with their children using the internet. For some parents, using instagram, snapchat, etc. are scary and not allowed. For other parents, their children are using these apps regularly. As we talk with the students about digital citizenship, I at times send a message home to parents to bring them up to speed about a topic as well. I suggested to my school administration that our newsletter address the topics the students are learning about. This way the parents are clued into what the students are learning about in school. It increases communication and gets parents more involved.

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    1. Your situation sounds very similar to our schools. Being in the younger grades (only 6-8 are 1:1 right now) I am not sure how all of this is going down with the parents. I feel the importance of the parents to learn alongside the students would be helpful and comforting for some. I do know things have been a bit hectic to get it started but I am eager for our administrators and technology teachers to read this book as well as the many wonderful ideas, problems, etc in these posts to learn more and help us achieve safe and responsible 1:1

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  2. Your suggestion that the school address topics that the students are learning about is a great starting place. I remember my first year coaching in a new 1:1 HS where the kids needed to submit their work to the LMS using a special file type. It was a hot mess. Everyone wanted to give up. Parents were furious that their students were getting zeroes on work they had done. Teachers were frustrated that they couldn't open student assignments. You'd be surprised what a difference it made talking about the shift. Providing clear instruction on the new skills and sharing it in multiple ways and places. Becoming a digital learner and an informed, responsible digital citizen brings with it a lot of change. The best advice it to address issues before they become problems. The issue may not be completely resolved, but students, teachers, and parents will be informed and know how to work toward a solution.

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  3. Reading about another level of digital citizenship to educate parents reveals that I have been on a ‘learn as I go’ plan as both a parent and teacher because there is very little in place in my district to educate any of us on digital citizenship, a real shock for a community that adopted 1:1 five years ago. I was curious about Bearden’s suggestion to embed the Common Sense Education Parent Toolkit into a school website: great idea. So, I looked into the Common Sense Education Connecting Families program and found there are numerous topics and prepared materials that would be useful to all of us. One that quickly caught my eye was a video entitled, ‘Distraction, Multitasking & Time Management Case Tutorial – Connecting Families’ found at https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/distraction-multitasking-time-management-case-tutorial-connecting-families It is labeled as an educator video; however, there are many more on some hot topics, including suggestions of how to integrate tech successfully.

    Back to Bearden’s suggestion to embed in a website: currently it seems that parents in my district are more drawn to communication on Facebook. Probably because that is where the parents are gravitating, building and district Facebook accounts are where administrators are focusing their energy and encouraging teachers to do the same. It would seem at present that embedding digital citizenship on the school/district website might look official, but I don’t know how much traffic that would see. One thing I am learning about social media: what is ‘hot’ is an ever moving target. Knowing where the eyes and ears are going is ever necessary to be aware of how the most people can be reached.

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    1. You are on to something with the official website versus social media. When a school decides to pursue Digital Citizenship Certification through Common Sense (and we are advocating for that), then you will need to include a widget or link to the resources on the school website. However, in terms of connecting with and educating families-yes, go to where they are! That's why I put together this ready made set of posts that can be used during DigCitWeek http://www.doe.in.gov/elearning/digital-citizenship/promote-digcit-week if you don't have the time or resources to do your own.

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    2. Schools would reach more parents by having facebook accounts and putting information about Digital Citizenship on it. Parents are on facebook daily. I do not believe parents go on school websites daily.

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    3. I think the biggest barrier to educating parents is getting them engaged. I'm having the most success with Facebook right now too. I agree that parents are visiting Facebook each day, not the school website.

      As a class, we are reflecting at the end of the day and sharing our reflections with pictures on Facebook. The students are then encouraging their parents to check out the page. As I get more parents following us, I think this will be the best avenue for sharing digital citizenship resources. I'll start choosing reflections that revolve around our digital citizenship work in the classroom, as well as sharing some of our work. During digital citizenship week, I'll share some more formal resources, as well as embedding this work into our homework that week.

      I never thought about being the teacher being a resource for helping parents navigate the Internet and social media with their kids. I'm feeling a lot more confident that I can do that now.

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    4. I think that you all are correct about the benefit of a school's facebook page. My school wanted us to incorporate Twitter, Remind, and our own teacher webpage (which can be found on the district's website). It is a struggle to have parent engage in these forms of communication. Only about 1/4 of my student's parents signed up for the Remind app which is free. Plus I never get any retweets or likes from parents on my tweets.

      I think Facebook is just something that most parents go on a daily or weekly basis already. It would be just be easier for them to see what each class or school is doing if we adapted Facebook. I am not sure how else to involve them with digital citizenship.

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    5. Our School has a school website and I will suggest that especially during Dig Cit. Week that they post information from Common Sense. I also plan to use my time with my parents during our upcoming open house to discuss this topic with my parents. Thank you Michelle for the Ready Made Posts in the Google Community Group. I really enjoy this group and will let my parents know about it. I also would like to make use of the Common Sense Parent Education Toolkit Widget.

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    6. Kathryn I agree with you in regards to getting ways for parents to view our communication. I have started Twitter and Facebook Accounts for our school and am trying to get parents to like and follow them with little success. I have now added big posters to the front of our windows where parents pick up their chikdren. I hope they see the posters and "like" and "join" Facebook and Twitter.

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    7. I agree with the positive impact of using Facebook. School sites are great resources; however, we have to 'meet the parents where they are'. If social media is where the parents are, then that is where we go to educate them.

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    8. I agree with the positive impact of using Facebook. School sites are great resources; however, we have to 'meet the parents where they are'. If social media is where the parents are, then that is where we go to educate them.

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    9. I get frustrated sometimes with the breadth of our school filter. There are times it is very difficult to access some apps because it is blocked. I realize it is a fine line, but when age appropriate, I think there's value to letting students explore some. Then, we are able to do "on the job training" so to speak. I think there is value to loosening a leash when the student is still under guidance rather than sheltering them so much that when they head to college, they don't know how to react.

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    10. I get frustrated sometimes with the breadth of our school filter. There are times it is very difficult to access some apps because it is blocked. I realize it is a fine line, but when age appropriate, I think there's value to letting students explore some. Then, we are able to do "on the job training" so to speak. I think there is value to loosening a leash when the student is still under guidance rather than sheltering them so much that when they head to college, they don't know how to react.

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    11. I like the idea of a using a Facebook account. I have done it with other subjects and it works very well.

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  4. I plan to have a technology parent workshop where I share different learning programs with the parents and where I will share information about digital citizenship.

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  5. Currently I do not have any particular plans for engaging my students’ parents on the topic of digital citizenship. I have shared my email address and phone number with my students’ parents. Most of my parents contact me via a phone conversation. This may be because I am teaching students with special needs and some of the parents want personal contact. I also have some parents that do not want to be involved at all. I do have to provide parents with a web address to complete a survey following their IEP/ISP Case Conferences, but I do not know if they complete it or not. I am waiting for my home school district’s lead on how they want teachers to involve parents.

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  6. Right now it's been difficult to get parents involved at all in school, let alone get them to understand digital citizenship. I'm still working on building relationships with my parents and then I hope from there I am able to get more parent buy in and start the education process.

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    1. I would agree that it is sometimes difficult to get parents involved. With the hard-work of some very wonderful educators, our school has been working on getting parents to feel more welcome and be true stakeholders in our building. They are trying to get the parents involved by considering their diverse backgrounds. I think that this has been successful, and we've had a lot of parent involvement in these activities. Perhaps adding a component of digital citizenship to these after school activities would be beneficial.

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  7. After reading chapter 6, I want to setup a parent coffee or something similar to discuss Digital Citizenship with parents. The one that I see possibly being a problem is that many parents work schedules would make it difficult to attend. My school did have several nights at various times to have parents come to school to be informed about our school going 1:1 and what to expect, as well as the limitations that these iPads would have. Our school will "push out" apps according to grade level and teacher needs to cover subjects covered in school. I have had a few students tell me that they do not have a computer at home. With today's technology it is hard to think that someone is not somehow connected. It is difficult to image that a child can go home, today, and not have access to the Internet!

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    1. I like the idea of a parent coffee time for an informal talk about Digital Citizenship. But the more I think about it an online informational site for parents on the IDOE would be a good idea.

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    2. I also like parent coffee time but worried about the varying work shifts of our school's parents. I wonder if more parents might be involved if it could alternate from a before school activity one month, to an after school activity the next. Plus, a lot of our parents may not be able to find someone to watch their kids, so finding a way to get the students involved in teaching their parents about digital citizenship might be the way to go and get more parents involved. If parents knew that their child was presenting or teaching something, they may be more interested in attending.

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  8. Parents in our school system must read and sign a user agreement as well as a liability agreement. Honestly, I do not think most parents even read them! But, this is the of our education or information. As a 1:1 school, I think we should have some sort of educational program for parents. I think if an evening activity was offered the active parents would attend. However, I think the parents that would attend are also the parents that are aware of digital citizenship and monitor their student's computer use. I think the parent that REALLY need to learn about digital citizenship would be very difficult to get to attend a learning opportunity. I want to conclude with a video that was shared with our school this week. It is about how students view social media. It is quite powerful...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xcfaogk7wLY

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    1. At our school, parents must read and sign a UAP too, along with the older students who are allowed to take their devices home. I also agree that the parents who we would need to reach are the ones who would not attend an evening activity. This is a big road block for us. We continue to put information out -- now we are using a twitter account for each of our buildings in the corporation -- in hopes to keep the lines of communication open.

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    2. I just watched the youtube.com on social media that you shared and I agree that it is very powerful. I do not have a facebook account but I do know many people in my own family and friends who feel they have to share everything on this site. I will share this site with my school counselor and principal so that maybe it can be shared with the older students.

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    3. I would like to take the YouTube idea and make a video with my students. Then show the parents how SW students feel about social media. I suspect that they will be surprised.

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    4. These are all great ideas! I have slowly been incorporating strategies with my students regarding digital citizenship. One of my students even had his comment posted on the news broadcast Channel One so the kids were able to witness first-hand a strong digital citizenship process in place.

      It is difficult to get parents to be involved in the process. That's not a "knock" against parents, but with all the demands put on families with work, travel, and sports/other activities, finding the time to meet with parents is a definite challenge.

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  9. The elementary school I teach at is 1:1 this year, so I think it is important to help educate parents about Digital Citizenship. I plan on providing the Family Tip sheets to my students' parents from Common Sense Education during Digital Citizenship Week.
    http://www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/digital-citizenship/k-2_1.pdf
    I was also thinking about sending out short messages or short reminders about Digital Citizenship using Class Dojo to help educate parents.

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  10. For me it's making an effort to put myself out there as someone they can come to for questions. I've had parents ask me related questions before. This opened up a conversation where I learned as much from them as they did from me. As a rule I personally do not ever interactive with students on social media, so I only know so much about how my own students are personally interacting with social media. Parents informed me of incidents of cyberbullying that were happening. This explained a spat of school drama that was occurring as well. Reading example stories and strategies about situations students get into online help prepare me for giving effective advice to parents when the conversation arises.

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  12. As a district, we hold meetings with parents about social media and internet safety already, which will make it easier to bring the ideas of Digital Citizenship to them. Essentially, parents would come into a meeting, where they would listen to a panel consisting of administrators, officers, and community member (professors from the local college for example) discuss topics such as digital footprints. Parents also have the opportunity to ask questions in these meetings. So far, we have heard great feedback from the community! I think our school simply needs to continue on this path, and perhaps survey parents to find out what they want to know about for their students and set up a meetings based on those wants, as well as previously planned meetings around the generals of Digital Citizenship. During back to school night, I share my platforms and ways I communicate with students, such as Remind.com and Canvas, with the parents and how those are beneficial to the classroom. I think my biggest challenge in communicating with parents is that they might not know what to ask about these platforms and maybe how we are using the internet in the classroom in general. I think I need to present the idea of Digital Citizenship to parents as a parallel to a global citizen that students develop in the classroom. Since they might not have specific questions on back to school night, I need to think of questions they might have myself and begin to answer them since it truly is students, parents, and the school engaging in positive Digital Citizenship.

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  13. Our district became a 1:1 school two years ago and we did provide parents with technology training assemblies early on; however, I feel like they were very much a “one and done” assembly like chapter 6 references and mostly focused on HOW to use the iPads we were providing for our students instead of digital citizenship issues. I definitely feel as though we need to continue the process of educating parents, however, it’s so hard to find time and make this a priority when everyone is so busy!

    I love the idea of hosting a tech night were students could potentially present their own research and information for parents. This allows the students to really take stock in what they are creating and presenting. I also enjoy the idea of a digital citizenship page/blog or a digital age parenting column in our schools newsletter. I definitely plan on mentioning this to our digital citizenship teacher and our administration. It might be a good idea to plan a brainstorming session during one of our show-and-tell PD sessions with teachers regarding what topics or concerns they might have regarding parental involvement and education that we could focus on in the future.

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  14. I agree with Bearden's comments that parents are very interested in "digital age parenting information" but the ones we would need to really reach are the parents who probably would not attend the evening activities. We have many parents who are also using facebook or twitter far more than emails now. It is unfortunate that there are not enough positive role models for our students to follow in social media. As Bearden mentioned many of the parents we deal with didn't have positive models themselves. As we allow more and more technology use in the classroom, I want to encourage my students to share with their parents the sites we are using in the classroom. I have a Symbaloo class site and the students are able to access many of those sites at home. I will check sites and the Common Sense Education site to be added to the Symbaloo page.

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    1. I love the idea of starting a Symbaloo Class site for the students and the parents. Including Dig. Cit. Sites like Common Sense will help inform parents.

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    2. Love Symbaloo and love this idea.

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  15. This chapter has me thinking of all the ways that we can bring the parents on board with our 1:1 initiative. I think the parent piece is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle that will make any 1:1 initiative successful for our schools. While I think that parent meetings and guest speakers would be helpful, I have to think of the small things I can do to help our parents learn what they need to help their students at home. I like suggestion in the chapter - to go where the parents are - so I will be looking for things that can be posted to our school Facebook page. I have been planning a “Library Tool Tuesday” series where I will focus on one library tool each week in an email and/or after school presentation. This chapter has encouraged me to include our parents in this series. I’m going to investigate the RemindHQ service as an avenue to provide parents with more information/tips to help their students. This chapter has given me lots of ideas and I’m very excited to get started helping our parents help our students.

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  16. Has anyone found the online resources for the book? I think these would be very helpful, but cannot find them anywhere.

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    1. Corwin has indicated they would be available in the next week. As soon as they appear, I'll be linking it in the Digital Citizenship Community!

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    2. Really looking forward to the Online resources as well!

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  17. We do not have a page for parents to learn about Digital Citizenship. To bad there is not an online course for parents to do at their leisure. So far this year my students have done really well following the class rules. But what they do at home I do not know. For those parents who do not have a computer at home it would be nice to have a class for them.

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  18. Our middle school went 1:1 last year, following the high school's lead the prior year. We also began using a LMS that was unfamiliar to all of us. Needless to say, we had a large learning curve... and this included parents! Everyone had gotten used to our previous system of posting homework, turning assignments in, taking tests, etc. Our school held "help sessions" to better aquatint parents with our new setup. However, this didn't completely alleviate problems. As teachers, we dealt with many "my child can't figure out how to turn in assignments" emails. This year has already started off so much better, as kids and parents have experience with everything. All of this "new" stuff takes time and patience from everyone involved. And it does get better. :-)

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    1. We started using a LMS for the first time last school year and can understand the confusion that goes along with it. It does take time to work through the issues. I am looking forward to things going better this school year now that we have all gotten accustomed to it. I could see where putting a digital citizenship program in place might be overwhelming for teachers but a balanced and simple approach could help that the first year.

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  19. I like the idea of using a parent newsletter or posting information on Facebook or Twitter with other classroom information. I have in the past sent out documents to help parents be better helpers to their students as readers, this doesn't seem to change it much. It's just a different topic.
    I haven't ever thought about sending or lost in about digital citizenship, it's a great idea.
    I intend to try this!
    I also like the part about just having informal conversations as needed. If parents know you will answer or find the answer, perhaps they are more apt to ask.

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    1. I agree. Posting information about digital citizenship on Twitter or even a classroom webpage would be a way to get more information out to parents. I think also having a communication line with parents is key and when opportunity arises have that conversation about digital citizenship.

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  20. Such wonderful useful information in this chapter. I love the idea of keeping parents engaged and up to date with what we are learning about being good digital citizens. I like the idea of adding important information to not only newsletters, but the schools FB page, and also texting parents. Likewise, I loved the idea of having the students research and make up the educational tools used to educate their peers, and their parents about the benefits and dangers of their online interactions.

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  21. I love how Susan mentions parents don't know what they don't know. I feel that this is the biggest barrier to overcome with parents. In the past it has been very difficult to get parents to come to parent nights where we are offering information on topics such as digital citizenship.

    At this point we have not set up a plan for educating parents about digital citizenship. I hope to get things put in place this year. I am thinking it would be good to put an article in the newspaper, on our school website and possibly have a spotlight on the local news channel about digital citizenship to get the word out and spark parents interest. I really liked Susan's ideas and one of my favorites was the coffee table idea. I feel that parents would benefit the most from this type of informative discussion.

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    1. I also love, "parents don't know what they don't know" that is so very true. I often find myself lost with all of the different types of social medias and apps. These kiddos seem to be more knowledgeable about these things than I even am at times! It is important for parents and teachers to form a bond and work together!

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  22. I really enjoyed this chapter because it was full of great ideas for developing partnerships with parents to help them learn more about digital citizenship. I enjoyed the ideas where students are involved with creating and presenting information to parents.

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    1. Yes, I think it's a great idea to have student-created videos for parents to view. Parents love to see what their own students create, and this would make more adults watch the materials.

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    2. My favorite idea from the chapter was also where the students are involved with creating and presenting information to parents. It's a win/win situation that involves and educates everyone involved.

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    3. Our 5th graders are learning to blog this year. We have discussed having them blog about digital citizenship: what it means, what they have learned, and how they practice it at school and home and then opening up their blogs to parents to view and respond. This is still a work in progress.

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  23. Despite the fact that I teach K-3, digital citizenship training for students and parents needs to start early. I hear my students talk about being on their tablets and devices frequently. Last year my school corporation starting using Google Classroom with the elementary schools and that obviously encouraged a lot more use of devices in order to complete school work.

    While I haven't done any work yet with my students' parents, Google Classroom could be a great platform to use to begin the conversation. The book suggested that some of the most meaningful parent sessions were discussions centered on a particular topic. Perhaps I could include a list of website resources like the Common Sense Education program or a few tips on my classroom page. A friendly reminder that parents are their child's first digital citizenship role models would be good too. In addition to this, educating parents about the positive aspects of the use of Internet in education first would be a good way to start.

    Communicating to parents via Google Classroom doesn't have to be the only way. I can also use newsletters, website and the school Facebook page to reach parents. The biggest challenge I could face in educating parents about digital citizenship would come through the lack of technology at home. While my students have 1:1 technology at school, the devices they use cannot go home with them. I still hear many students say they don't have access to internet at home. That drives home the point that I would need to be resourceful with how to reach parents. By doing whatever I can to partner with parents, I can better help their children in making good decisions.

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  24. I was just reading an article on Flipboard last week that said only 13% of teens think their parents understood the extent of their internet use. The article ended by saying parents should "probably move away from trying to understand everything their kid is doing online and [toward] helping their kid negotiate their online lives and make decisions." (The Guardian, August 24, 2016...I hope I cited this correctly!). I think this is a great statistic and quote to communicate to parents.
    I also love the idea of reminding parents that they are digital role models. I took this to heart even with my 6 year old. Although he is hopefully still years away from his own phone, he is already watching how I use mine. Finally, like many others, I like the idea of parent coffee/tech nights. It can be discouraging for parents to be told how much they don't know, but to talk with other parents who are equally in the dark with someone there to shed some light seems like a good way to open the lines of communication in a non-intimidating and more personal way.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the article! I Pinned it to our board Raising Digital Citizens
      https://www.pinterest.com/mrg_3/raising-digital-citizens/

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  25. I have a blog to update parents, many of my parents have friended me on facebook and our preschool currently has a facebook page as well to keep parents informed and up to date with things that are going on. I also communicate through group e-mails. I think my biggest challenge and struggle in connecting parents is that the kiddos only come 2x's a week and they are 2-3 year olds. Not a whole lot goes on in the digital world at this age. So outside of the digital part...I am teaching kiddos to be good citizens on a daily basis. Expectations on how we treat each other is a continuous goal of our school (how we talk to friends, how we use our hands, the importance of how we treat each other). Anytime I use something at school that involves the internet the links are shared with the parents.

    As I have a kiddo in elementary school...I LOVE the idea of parent tech nights. I know my child is using the computer on a daily basis...but I don't know what they are doing or how we can be involved. I think it is important to keep open communication between the school/teachers and the parents. Last year when he was in kinder we were given a reading link that kids could access their program from home and it was linked to their school account. I could monitor what he was reading at school and it tied into what he was doing at home.

    As our world begins to grow in the technology community...I think the social media is a huge part of our daily world and it is important to get a good handle on it. Facebook, twitter, snapchat...oh my! The scary part as many have said before is that these kiddos seem to be more educated than the parents in this area! So it is our duty as teachers and as parents to educate ourselves!

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    1. after reading many of the responses...I like the idea of including my newsletter maybe on my blog...with a link. I do a weekly newsletter but always send it home in a paper version...I like the idea of getting parents to check it on-line.

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  26. I really like the idea of students being involved in creating and presenting digital citizenship material to parents. It holds the students accountable and gets everyone on the same page (parents, teachers, and students). It's also a great opportunity to show parents what their kids are doing online at school.

    My son, a second grade student, has computer and IPAD time at school and I would love to see what he is doing. The school has sent home a reading website where he can read books online and answer comprehension questions, which allows his teacher and myself to keep track of some of the things he is reading. Our school has a Facebook page, twitter account, and school website that they utilize to send out information. My favorite form of communication is the text message alerts that are sent out as reminders.

    I also love the idea of round table discussions. I think we can learn so much from one another.

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    1. I agree with you about liking the idea about students creating and presenting material to parents. In our district I could see parents from the PTO leading workshops for other parents and eliciting students help. Parents currently sign an acceptable user agreement and students are allowed/encouraged to bring in their own devices. The technology teacher teaches student lessons on digital citizenship, perhaps she could share those with the staff and parents.

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  27. I have not done anything with our parents in the form of DigCit training. As I sit here thinking about it, I am thinking it would not be a bad thing to include in our weekly newsletter that gets sent out to the parents. Providing them links they can go to for additional resources would be a good thing too. I think most of our parents do not intend to be poor digital citizens, they have never had any training on it and do not know any different.

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    1. You said it, 'no training'; it is akin to parents not heeding warning signs about drugs and thinking it could never happen to their children. This week's TIME magazine cover story (dated August 29) highlights where we are headed, entitled "Why we're losing the Internet to the culture of hate." It is an eye-opener that every middle-school, high school teacher, parent and any other informed citizen should read. In addition to the article written by one of TIME's better columnists, it also offers a continuum of social media sites that makes our worries about sites such as Facebook and Snapchat seem like a visit to the county fair.

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    2. SO agree with you, Tammy! Read the "Time" story, and it's all so true. Parents have little clue about what their children and their children's peers say on social media. Only because I'm a teacher do I have a little knowledge about how to see some of this. I talk regularly with my own daughter and my students about how what they post might show up later in their lives.

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  28. I think the suggestions outlined in chapter 6 are good ideas, but it is hard to get some parents involved in their child's education. Even presenting digital citizenship education in an open and friendly manner such as coffee & tech nights will present timing issues. Some parents work 2nd or 3rd shifts, are too busy with other school activities, or they don't feel they need to know because their child is learning it.
    Something that might work is collaborating with the local library to set up one of these opportunities to teach parents about digital citizenship. I know my local library would work with us on coffee/tech night then we could education the public and parents.
    I do think it's important to share information via texts, email, etc. We all know parents are connected somehow (via phones, ipads, etc) and by enlisting them digitally, we can keep them up to date and maybe slip in some tips on expanding their digital citizenship.

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  29. I have not done anything with my parents in the form of Digital Citizenship. I do send out a letter at the beginning of the year with my email, phone number and hours I am available. Most of my parents contact me through phone, however; I have had a few that send emails. I also send some of my case conference paperwork through emails to parents who prefer to have it that way.

    The parents I would need to reach do not usually have internet access and would not attend any kind of teaching of Digital Citizenship.

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    1. I wonder if parents know computer science is an Indiana Standard and it addresses digital citizenship. My parents are also low income but they do have cell phones which can access the internet.

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  30. Our school had a parent day organized by the administration. The topic of cell phone use in the school was discussed. I spoke with the school counselor and she plans to have an assembly to address on line bullying. It will be a one shot deal.
    I talked to parents on the first day of school about the benefits of on line learning. They expressed an interest.

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  31. Our school had meetings with parents to discuss 1:1 and Ipads. I currently interact with the parents in my class through Remind, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. It will be a learning process for all of us. I would also like to set up a Google Classroom for my class.

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    1. Our students had to watch a short video before getting their Chromebooks. The school uses Google Classroom, and we've had a group of teachers who have gone to conferences to learn how to use it.

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  32. I believe that trying to educate parents on digital citizenship should be something that is done through a movie or slide presentation that can be watched at home with their student. This could create conversations and allow both parent/student to understand expectations. Parents often go to their children asking questions about using the internet. This is fine, except that most of the time we do not get the full story from our children/students. Parents may not be aware of some of the dangers because students and parents see things differently.

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  33. The community that I work for may struggle with being a good digital citizen. I often hear things like my parents hate computers so the job of getting parent help for good digital citizenship will be difficult. I am planning on sending home or emailing some steps from the book on what good digital citizenship is. I also plan to address it at any open house we have this year.
    I am hopeful that by educating the child maybe they can help educate the parent.

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  34. These are great reflections on how to include the parents. I am coming in late and will seem to repeat what many of you are saying. It is clear we need to share information.

    Reaching parents any way we can is important. Do you know about Hootsuite? I have not personally used it, but my district uses it to make one comment and it is sent too all social media sites that they choose.

    The biggest roadblock is how to reach all parents, especially those that need it. I feel that the answer to this lies with their kids. As long as their kid is presenting it, if their kid is asking them for participation in a digcit assignment together, or if a survey is sent out requesting their feedback about this topic that concerns their kids, it might involve more in numbers.

    Our police department is very active in connecting the community together in issues such as this. They advertised in multiple ways to bring the parents to a gathering on digital citizenship. If a parent didn't show up, they surely heard about it somewhere in the community as parents were sharing some lessons learned.

    I also like an earlier comment of the parents taking an online lesson through the school's LMS; something that can be required with the AUP signature; something to do with their child.

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  35. It is so hard to educate our parents about technology - even the ones that are very involved struggle in this arena. I just spent a good part of my evening helping out an acquaintance so she could set up her son on Google Docs to type up a paper (she was trying to find Word for free)! Technology changes so much, and adults are struggling to keep up. I consider myself very tech savy, and I am at times very overwhelmed with all of the options out there! I personally think we need to educate and include our parents in the discuss on digital citizenship in the same manner we have approached including them in discussions on education in general. Most parents just want to help their students succeed, but they aren't even sure where to start or how to help (I had to Google a lot of my 4th graders Social Studies this week!!). Open communication and an inviting environment are great first steps, I think!

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  36. I think the hardest part will be the parents that think they know everything and will tell you how it is done. I believe there has to be a perfect harmony of teacher, student, and parent in order to create the ultimate digital citizenship. Like anything else we teach in the classroom, there has to be open communication and talk about the correct citizenship in the digital world. This needs to happen sooner than later since everyday that passes, we become more dependent on technology. Within my classroom, I utilize a class website through Shutterfly. My main reason for Shutterfly was it is very easy to upload pictures so the parents can have access to them. This website is also private so only the people I invite may have access to it.

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  37. I'm trying very hard to stay "up to date" and have even found the Bloomz app/website to be AMAZING-I got rid of my Facebook group as I found Bloomz to be more private and thus far, the parents have loved it! Then again, I only have about half of my parents signed up currently...so how do I get them to join?! Many parents seem "too busy", not invested, or just think its pointless; all while I'm over here working hard to update it and keep them in the loop.
    I loved the idea of putting a little link or message in a weekly newsletter to parents in regards to teaching parents digital citizenship. How do we know if they have read it? Should we send home digital citizenship homework for parents and students to do together? That way they are both learning while spending time together.

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  38. As an educator and a parent, I enjoyed reading this chapter. The digital world is moving faster than most parents realize. I am amazed at my kids when they come home from school and show me a new app, website or popular game. There is more online than any parent could ever police. It is so important to keep the lines of communication open to discuss this new digital information. The district I work for is online but few parents use computers. Many have mobile phones. I liked how the author suggested the Twitter Fast Follow feature as a mobile option. This could be a great way to share important information (i.e. weather warnings) to our parents.

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  39. This chapter helped me to realize how much I need to work on to educate both my students and their parents. We have a wide range of people in our school community. I work in a rural area, but there are both families that work with technology and others who do not. In order to help parents, we need to give them the opportunity to educate them in the electronic work, and in paper form communicate and give them the addresses and locations where they can find the information they need.

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    1. I think we need to keep the parent education piece a collaborative effort. Guiding parents through the digital world as partners with schools and students will be more effective.

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  40. I have been guilty of being so busy within the classroom that I have not reached out to parents of my students well. I think that it is really easy when teaching high school to assume that the students are communicating with their parents and that is so often not true. It maybe that I need to use Edmodo to communicate with parents on a regular basis.

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    1. I appreciate Cathy's post concerning her difficulty in finding the time to communicate with parents. I try to call a few parents each week to "touch base" with them, but this phone call is also an opportunity to discuss the parental role in communication.

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    2. Cathy, so very true and so easily forgotten. I also think the school as a whole needs to think about how we communicate with parents as a building.

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  41. I am very bad about communicating with parents. As some said before, as a high school teacher, it's easy to just assume that information is making it home. It's also easy to get stuck in the thinking that high school students need to be accountable for themselves and their education, which sometimes makes is "easy" to lose communication with parents. I'm sure I could start making baby steps towards educating parents. One way is using Canvas Parent, which allows parents to see what's going on in my classes. I can also make small steps by using what the book suggests and creating more assignments that are digital citizenship based. It would not be too difficult to adapt some of my current projects. I just need to take the leap and do it!

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  42. I work at an alternative school for high schoolers so we don't have much communication with the parents. Many of the parents don't really care about the education of their child so I'm not sure how we would could get them involved. I know when the students got their Chromebooks they did have to go to the high school. (We are housed in a room at the admin building.) They were shown a short video of how to take care of it, etc. I'm sure if there is something involving digital communication that our students and their parents could join.

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  43. It’s not just parents “that don’t know what they don’t know.” It’s everyone. And it’s also true that many people don’t have role models of good digital citizenship. I think the first step is to find ways to create awareness of what digital citizenship is and what it means. I like the idea of tech night and inviting the students to be the teachers. Teaching something makes a person learn it very well! And it sounds like it could be made into a fun and interesting event. To keep the learning ongoing, adding dig cit resources to our school’s weekly newsletter to parents is one way. But what else could we do? What else is possible? I will continue the search for ideas. Online communities are a good place to start.

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  44. I was able to discuss digital citizenship with parents during an orientation night at our school. My class will be engaging in classroom discussions online, and parents were very interested in being able to see our discussions. All parents thought that this would be a good idea for students. I think that beginning digital talk in our classroom is a good start for students and parents.

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  45. Educating parents and working together to model good digital citizenship is important for our students. Our school is talking about including a digital citizenship "workshop" for parents at our first family night this fall. It may be worthwhile to have kids "teach" their parents. That way they are working collaboratively towards a common goal.
    As teachers, we need to continue to model good digital citizenship. Appropriate use of email, social media, classroom websites, etc.

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  46. We have been a 1:1 school for several years. Our Lower Schoolers don't seem to have an issue with digital citizenshop, but our Middle Schoolers do. I don't think that some parents want to bothered by what their kids do online. They don't check. We have had trainings for our parents, but like so many have said, the ones who need to attend dont. I try and share websites and articles with my parents. My favorite is common sense media. Another resource I share is a local group called Remedy Live that helps educate parents on the dangers of social media.

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  47. I would like to possibl collaborate with our high school Advanved App teacher to develop some sort of way to reach our parents. We also have a time during the day called "flex" which is a period for electives. It would be neat to use this time for our middle school students to research and study digital citizenship and present their findings on various topics in a newsletter and on a blog. If we can engage the students and give them ownership, it is much easier to reach our parents.

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  48. The big question is always how to get parents to be more involved. How do we get them to attend the after school events? How do we get them to actually see the information that we are sending home or posting?
    There were some great ideas in the comments, some I'm sure I'm going to repeat some of them here.
    I like the idea of a parent-teacher coffee time that would be set up more like a round-table discussion instead of information being given to the parents. I think that parents would like it more, and be more willing to attend, if their students were involved in the presentation of positive digital-citizenship.
    I like the idea of sending home information about digital citizenship, either weekly or monthly. Our school has many ways of communicating to our parents. We send home school-wide newsletters, and in the past I've sent home classroom newsletters. I do utilize Remind, and we do have access to our own web page through the district's website. Email is also available. I could also set up a Facebook or Twitter account that focuses solely on classroom activities. With so many options, I think the best way to be more effective with communication is to find out first which form of communication the parents will utilize the most, possibly through a parent survey, and go from there. Perhaps if the parents do use Twitter or Facebook the most, a teacher could get their students' parents to tweet or post pictures/comments showing the students participating on positive digital citizenship outside of the classroom. Teachers could post/tweet about positive digital citizenship inside the classroom.
    I feel like student involvement is the key.

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    1. I also like the idea of giving parents the opportunity to discuss digital citizenship in a relaxed atmosphere instead of lecturing them. We find if we offer food and door prizes, more parents come out.
      Small ways, like adding a section in the school newsletter, is a great way to have on-going conversations.

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  49. I liked the ideas shared in this chapter on how to reach out to parents about digital citizenship. I also like the idea schools enlist the students to help get information across to their parents. Communication with my parents about dig cit has been limited to parent orientation and the signing of our computer usage policy. I really like the idea of a tech night and a screencast for those unavailable for those to attend.
    I know one of the difficulties I see in the classroom is that students say something like: Well at home I get to..... Younger students have a difficult understanding where the digital line is drawn between school and home. It's at this point where we need to communicate school technology expectations. Unfortunately, I agree with many statements here that notes home just don't cut it. We need to get families involved via meetings, presentations, and social media.
    I often feel as if we are expected to perform miracles without parent support and input and this topic is just one more thing we need to tackle.

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  50. Parental involvement in an inner city school is difficult to get. I believe that getting students involved in doing the educating of the parents would be an excellent idea. At conferences I get very few parents of my students to attend. Without parental support, I believe that it would be difficult to get students on board and actually vice versa. I believe this is an extremely important issue to address and requires support from all of the involved partners.

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    1. I'm in a rural corporation and it's also hard to get parent involvement with items like digital citizenship. I agree that it's key to have both parents and students on board. It's finding a way to get the parents to attend or read the materials. We find that meetings with food works!

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    2. The food idea is a good one. It definitely encourages participation. I really feel that the more students who are involved, will encourage parental involvement.

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  51. Being on the the last ones to post this week many of the items I would say would be redundant so I will refrain from those comments. The thing I hope would be most useful to us would be the social media aspect. Since I am the administrator of both Facebook and Twitter, I am planning on using Common Sense Media links for topics I find useful for our parents. I am also thinking some type of bulletin board at the front of our building that parents can see when they enter the building. Finally I think I may create a brochure to stick in the office so parents can grab them when the enter the building.


    Other ideas I would like to incorporate are having kids do stations at a meeting where parents come in and the kids show "What they know".

    We also have a phone message system at our school. I think it would be useful for a phone message to go out telling parents to look at our website or to check our Twitter or Facebook.

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  52. I must say that my school does far more as a whole to educate parents than I do as an individual teacher. This year we have adopted a new student information system. We held parent education meetings about how to navigate the system, and it seems to be going well.

    We also just started a school blog. That could be another way to interact with parents about digital citizenship.

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  53. At my school, we are a part of different social media sites. This is a great way to keep parents informed, as well as, model appropriate digital citizenship. Along with being a part of social media, the school also has a website that allows the teachers to have their own websites. It is important to use these devices as a way to get information out while still being positive role models with regards to digital citizenship. I believe we should be including parents in the use of the technology that their child does at school. Just like Bearden mentioned in the book, the more educated and involved the parents are, the more likely their child will display proper digital citizenship. I think a good way to let parents know about the technology use that will be happening in the classroom is through a newsletter at the beginning of the year. This newsletter could then point parents in the direction of using the school websites to get further information throughout the year.

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  54. I plan to get parents involved by adding info to my weekly newsletters about digital citizenship. I know that some won't read it, but it's a start and will at least reach some parents. I like the idea of parent coffees to get parents from the entire school involved. The main obstacle for our school would be finding a good date and time to reach parents.

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  55. My teaching spans students from third to eighth grade. The sixth, seventh and eighth graders just received their chrome books this week, and it immediately became obvious that some of the parents are in need of some tools in regard to digital citizenship. Several students came to school the day after receiving their computers, and openly acknowledged they had stayed up long past bed time to play on the computer. Another parent emailed me that more than once she had discovered her son had gotten up to go on the chrome book! Some parents seemed unaware their child had received the chrome book.

    During the same week, the fifth grade teachers held a back to school night, and while they post everything in a weekly newsletter, they find parents don't always read it.

    The ideas I have gleaned from this chapter include using other than email to engage parents, including Facebook pages and texting. I can share resources with parents to help them learn how to monitor their child's web-surfing as well as how much time they are spending on it. Because the parents differ greatly in their involvement, parent education will be particularly challenging.

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  56. Last year I only really worked with parents that contacted me with questions on technology. This year I’ve made it a goal to put some technology tips in each month’s newsletter to help parents adjust to their students having iPads and give them tips on various topics. For September I put some general tips for at home (i.e. charging the device in a common area) and some information on Restrictions. I also am working on redoing the library web page and want to have a technology help section. I was also available at our preview day before school started checking out iPads and answering questions about them. I’m trying to share out some things on Twitter as well from places like Common Sense Media that has tips for parents on my school library’s Twitter account. It seems like we have several parents at the beginning of the school year though that still feel like they do not have enough information, so I think we need to do more frontloading. I think this will also be helped though by the fact that our district is now K-12 with devices as of this year.

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  57. What are some challenges that you face in educating your parents and how might you overcome those?

    I think the biggest challenge is changing the mindset of the parent. Often they do not see an issue with their use and when you address what digital citizenship looks like it can be a very difficult conversation. I know that some parents have become upset when their students phones/devices have been taken away and trying to combat that in the class is a obstacle that needs to be overcome. I feel that laying the ground work in the importance of good digital citizenship is key. Discussing expectations from day one and not wavering in the consequences makes a huge difference.

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  58. Some parents know they would like to know more about digital citizenship, and some parents don't know they need to know more. Teachers and schools are educating their children; many times we need to educate the parents as well. My corporation has a Facebook page and my junior-senior high school has been using the school Facebook page to keep parents informed about many items. It's now become a lot of advertising the strengths of our school as we realize that, like it or not, we are in competition for students with surrounding districts. It would be wise of us to include information about digital citizenship on this school Facebook page. A school newsletter might also be a good addition. I have often wished that the jr.-sr. high had a version of a PTA like the elementary schools. The closest we come is our Athletic Booster Club. If we had a way to incorporate information for parents into these groups it would be beneficial.

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  59. I think that most parents take on the attitude of "ignorance is bliss" or, "kids will be kids". This also goes back to the concept that parents want to be their kids friends and don't want to do anything that hurt their kids feelings. I believe that if you can get parents to understand that kids desire boundaries, you will start to see students respect the rules more. Giving parents that tools to recognize what is happening in their student's lives will help teachers be able to focus on teaching.

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  60. I believe that there are many parents who would like to know more about digital citizenship, but either don't know where to start or are too busy to just take on the task on their own. One idea to help educate parents could be to incorporate it in their child's homework. It could be an assignment that involves having the child teach the parent about the current topic in their digital citizenship study. I think that could possibly open the dialogue between students and parents, and it could encourage kids to talk to their parents about online activities. In addition, presenting the current digital citizenship topic in newsletters and social media sties could also help educate parents.

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  61. I would love to host a parent coffee and tech night in which the students present. We are starting this year by sending home resources for parents each month. I know that a newsletter won't reach everyone, but it is a start.

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  62. We did offer a session with Stephanie Nancarrow of the State Police the night of our open house. Currently there is a grant program throughout the state to support these sessions. However, I agree about the "one and done" not being enough. I am not sure who the lead person in our district would be for implementing a coordinated effort to educate parents. As media specialists, we discussed our plans for Indiana Digital Citizenship Week and shared our plans; perhaps we should broaden it to include parents.
    One of the roadblocks we encounter is that parents are less involved directly with the schools; that does not mean they do not care, but as with many other schools, we get fewer attendees at events, PTA meetings, etc. We need to take advantage of the same media we are wanting to educate about.

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