Given the shift, it’s critical to help teens understand their use of these tools and how to help them create healthy decisions about use. Reminding them about the basic rules of social grace, social skills, and etiquette and manners is never a bad idea. Discuss empathy, respect, inclusivity and positivity as opposed to bothering, excluding, bullying, gossiping, drama and toxicity.
Emphasize the importance of maintaining student expectations in an e-learning environment in the same way they would if they were in-person. Keep your camera on, don’t chat, don’t use technology for off-task behaviors while in class, and stay off your social media.
Maintain a respectful attitude in how you type/post messages because tone, facial expression and body language don’t go with your written messages; the meaning can change and others can misinterpret. Once it is written and sent, it can never be taken down or forgotten. Their digital thumbprint is permanent.
Another point to discuss when focusing on safety within the online world is the danger of online grooming. Perpetrators often find vulnerable youth online and start to groom them to eventually meet up for the purpose of human trafficking or victimization. The risk is incredibly significant and should be included in any conversation about online behavior and safety.
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