Last week on the AIIM E2.0 Community site I posted something about this CTV News article concerning a couple of high school students and Facebook. I suggested in my post that before we can punish transgressions we need to educate. As I’m writing this I am also thinking about other events, some tragic, that perhaps could have been prevented had we simply taught our children how to behave online.
It’s hard enough growing up today and trying to learn all the rules of society. Our roles as parents, educators, aunts, uncles, and responsible adults of all stripes is to help educate the kids as to what is and what isn’t acceptable and safe. This includes online activity. We monitor the stuff our kids get up to online, but do we actually teach them? I think that it’s about time that we started to.
Teaching our kids about their online presence needs to involve the school system as well as the kids’ families. Our school systems (at least the one my kids attend) get involved in teaching our kids about sex, drugs, driving, alcohol, and religion; why not about how to behave online? Think about this for a minute: as experienced adults who work online everyday even we don’t always know what we’re supposed to do (obviously I am generalizing). How often do we complain(?) about the amount of email we receive or the number of times we need to check our Linkfacetwitwikispacebookblog? How often do we read about adults, who ought to know better, getting victimized online in one form or another?
I’m just guessing that we take for granted that the kids will just grow up knowing what to do with technology because it’s been around them since day one. That’s just silly; I’ve had cars around me since the day I was born, but that doesn’t mean that I knew how to drive without someone actually teaching me (to tell the truth, I run into people every day who I suspect don’t know how to drive even though they are behind the wheel of a car).
Is it possible to engage with the school systems to provide some sort of education to the students on how to conduct themselves online? I think it is.