When we think about social media in schools, we typically focus on the communication, teaching and learning that we manage in our jobs.
Parents are an indispensable ally in our efforts to teach digital citizenship — and schools can help parents seize this opportunity. Even the most tech-savvy parent knows the uncertainty and worry that comes when children and teens begin to use social media. Parents worry about their children’s safety and well-being in the digital world, but so often they also feel overwhelmed. With an ever-changing social media landscape, it feels impossible to keep up with every new site, scam and threat to our children’s healthy development.
In my district, we work to engage and encourage our students’ parents to take an active role in their children’s growth as digital citizens. A page in the parent section of our district website offers parents support and empowerment with the most basic tools. We’ve aimed to make it a helpful, supportive place to start for parents to navigate across the spectrum of social media. Developing this resource has given us simple content for school newsletters, social media posts and parent engagement activities all year long.
We have countless opportunities to remind our community that being a good parent doesn’t require anyone to be an expert in social media. After all, if they can have conversations about their children’s experiences with friends on a Friday evening, they can — and should — have the same conversations about their children’s experiences on social media. It’s that simple, and it can make a powerful difference in your schools and community!