Parent Resources

Parent Responsibilities

To help ensure your child acts responsibly online, consider the following guidelines:

Monitor your child’s online use even when they are not in school. This includes mobile apps, gaming, and social media. Share your values and expectations with your children, engaging in conversations about acceptable online behavior. Remember that digital citizenship instruction is an expectation for all PWCS educators, with parental support playing a crucial role outside of school.

Make sure you and your children understand the expectations, rules and regulations, policies, and procedures it contains. Use these "rules of the road" to navigate opportunities and challenges in PWCS, while protecting the health, safety, and rights of PWCS students and staff, and the quality of our learning environment.

Qualities of a Digital Citizen

Constructs knowledge through critical and analytical use of technology.  

A good digital citizen can construct knowledge from various sources. They can locate, evaluate, and cite content (including text, image, audio, and video) from credible sources. As a critical thinker, consider how to minimize different biases that can influence their work and the work of others.

How it may look at home

  • Encourage curiosity by asking your child open ended questions about what they see and do online.
  • Foster awareness about their own thoughts regarding what they see online. For example, how did it make them feel? What did they think of when they saw that image?
  • Encourage children to question credibility and help them understand the difference between fact and opinion.
  • Model your own critical thinking by cross checking news with multiple sources and identifying any biases found
  • Support their good choices and help them identify safe, credible websites and other digital content.

Uses digital tools to explore and exchange ideas safely and responsibly.  

Digital tools have revolutionized the way we learn and collaborate. It is important for students to understand how to evaluate these tools and use them safely and responsibly. As responsible creators, they value copyright laws. Interactions should be positive, provide reflective feedback, and support productive problem solving.

How it may look at home

  • Take time to learn about default settings and how to change privacy settings on the apps your child uses.
  • Have a conversation about what is and is not appropriate information to share online.
  • Discussion about the importance of respecting others intellectual property or content found online and encouraging the use of citations to give credit to others.
  • Help your child choose high-quality, educational content from trusted sources.
  • Take time to get familiar with the technology platforms your child likes to use. Taking a genuine interest in what they enjoy will help you better understand what they are doing online.
  • Routinely check your child’s search history

Employs ethics, empathy, and understanding in digital experiences

Understanding the impact of technology and online interactions is an important theme in teaching digital citizenship. Students must understand how their digital identity and reputation are cultivated in the digital world and how it can influence their future. It's crucial to provide opportunities for students to express kindness and empathy in their interactions and learn how to respond to negativity appropriately. Students can demonstrate social responsibility by ensuring information created and shared is true, meaningful, and respectful of others' work.

How it may look at home

  • Talk about how words and actions can affect other people and how it may impact how others perceive them
  • Model positive online interactions and look for teachable moments to share the importances of making good choices.
  • Discuss “digital footprints” or the long-term implications of online activities and what is being shared online. Consider doing a search of your own name and sharing your thoughts about your own “digital footprint.”
  • Discuss cyberbullying and what they can do if they see or experience cyberbullying.
  • Discuss what to do if they feel uncomfortable with any online interactions, like requests for photos, unsolicited messages, or disturbing images
  • Model open mindedness by listening to others and considering different viewpoints or opinions.

Manages a healthy balance between online and real-world lives. 

Technology shapes our experiences every day. According to Common Sense Media, having balance means students are using technology “in a way that feels healthy, purposeful, and proportional.” (Source) While establishing a healthy balance, it’s important to identify the benefit(s) to using the screen instead of offline options, like increasing accessibility or differentiation, while weighing the negative effects like distraction.

How it may look at home

  • Set clear rules for when, how, and where technology can be used in your home. Consider tech free times or areas for everyone in the family, like during meals or bedtime.
  • Model good digital habits by limiting your own screen time and balancing free time with offline activities.
  • Support self-regulation by setting up screen timers and limits on use of personal devices.
  • Highlight the benefits of technology, like increased accessibility and opportunities for learning or connecting to others, and the potential risks, like overuse of social media, online predators, and misinformation.
  • Adjust rules and limitations as student grow older to support greater independence
  • Encourage your students to use their technology for creation rather than just consuming information
  • Sit with your child and explore content together for the opportunity to connect while also providing supervision

Girl holding a tablet who is surrounded by technology-related icons inside of a blue circle. The blue circle is surrounded by a series of small groups of people who are engaged with technology items.

Other Resources

Parent’s Ultimate Guides (Guides from Common Sense for parents about common apps such as Snapchat, Roblox, Instagram, Fortnite)

Parenting, Media, and Everything in Between – Collection of articles from Common Sense Media to support families and provide guidance for talking with their child(ren) about a variety of digital citizenship topics.

Digital Citizenship Resources for Family Engagement – Tips and topics from Common Sense Media for families to engage in conversations about digital citizenship.

Kids' Books about Social Media and Digital Life – Explore this collection of books curated by Common Sense Media to support digital citizenship topics

Heads Up: Stop. Think. Connect – Resource provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in multiple languages, that provides information about sharing, interacting, and protecting privacy online

Protecting Kids Online – Resources provided by the FTC to support parents when talking to your kids about being online and how to help them make good decisions and stay safe

How To Be A Good Digital Parent Toolkit – Videos series and resources for parents published by the Family Online Safety Institute

How Can I See My Child’s Browsing History – Article that shares how to access browsing history from a variety of devices, including laptops, mobile phones, and gaming consoles.

Netsmartz Tip Sheets for Families – Quick tip guides for families on a variety of digital citizenship topics.

Apps: Explained – A series of articles designed to help parents stay informed about various popular applications.