Developing Digital Literacy Skills Can Help Kids Stay Safe Online

Developing Digital Literacy Skills Can Help Kids Stay Safe Online

Whether it’s school, shopping or making an appointment, technology is well and truly present in almost every aspect of our lives.

Because of this constant tech presence, it is vital that kids start developing digital literacy skills so they can better understand the digital world around them.

What is digital literacy?

Technology is such a valuable resource, but to get the most out of it, it helps to know how to use it properly.

Digital literacy is knowing how to use technology safely and effectively as well as understanding your digital footprint.

Being digitally literate is a huge benefit for anyone of any age, and the good news is it’s never too early or late to learn more about technology, how it works and how to keep yourself safe online.

Areas of digital literacy

Safety: understanding how to protect yourself online is vital, so it’s essential kids learn online safety skills as early as possible.

How you can help:

  • Make sure kids know how to block and report
  • Encourage kids to think before their post. A lot of personal information can be accidentally given away in pictures, whether it’s a school uniform, house number or any other detail that reveals your child’s location.
  • Help kids identify when an email or message might be a scam.

 

Employment: while getting a job might be a while away for kids, digital skills are not just desired but required in the workforce.

How you can help:

  • Technology changes all the time but making sure kids have a good understanding of the basics such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint is a good place to start.
  • Encourage them to find solutions to any tech problems they have. For example, if they don’t know how to create a table in Word, encourage them to research and find the answer for themselves.

 

Education:  it’s almost impossible for technology to not be a part of your child’s schooling. Many kids go to school already understanding how laptops, computers and tablets work, but it helps to develop their critical thinking skills too.

How you can help:

  • When doing research for school projects, teach kids to tell if something is a reputable source. Checking the qualifications of the author, the website it is posted on as well as any motives that source might have (such as trying to sell a product) are great places to start.

 

Digital footprint:

Have you ever looked back on your Facebook memories from ten years ago and just…cringed?

Everything we posts leaves a digital footprint and it’s not uncommon for potential employers to scroll through potential employee’s social accounts to see who they’re hiring.

How you can help:

  • Help kids understand that things posted online don’t always disappear when deleted. All it takes is one screenshot for something to spread.
  • Stopping and thinking before posting is a good habit for anyone of any age to get into.
  • Most online activity leaves a digital footprint, from things you post, comments you make and websites you visit. Help kids understand that their online activity leaves traces that might impact them in the future, so they can make better decisions about what they do online.

 

Learning how to use technology safely and effectively is something we can all benefit from.

By helping kids develop these skills early, we are helping them to navigate the digital world in a way that helps them get the most out of the technology available to them.

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