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6 Top Tips for Nurturing Digital Citizens

Being a good digital citizen is all about teaching children how to navigate the online world responsibly. That means they need to know how to use technology appropriately, safely and smartly. 

So, let’s start with the basics. Becoming a good digital citizen isn’t so different from becoming a good citizen in real life. It’s all about the human behaviour behind our devices, both socially and emotionally.

With that in mind, here are our six top tips for bringing good digital citizenship into your homes and classrooms!

 

Discuss what’s happening on screens regularly.

Asking questions like “Tell me something new you learned online?” or “Can you teach me…” teaches children the value of their knowledge. This makes them more confident and more likely to share.

Talk about copyright and the importance of respecting other people’s content.

Here’s a scenario to get children talking: “Imagine you posted a photo of your Viking ship model on the Natterhub news feed. Later that day, someone else posted it and said it was their hard work. How would you feel?”


Develop critical thinking skills by exploring what’s true and what’s false online.

Choose a topic and search it using two or three different search engines, or using different keywords. Make a note of the different results; can your child understand the difference between a news article and an advert, or how images can be manipulated?


Introduce the concept of online empathy.

Children should already be familiar with the golden rule: “Treat others how you would like to be treated.”  Unfortunately, it’s very easy to forget that sometimes when we’re in abstract digital spaces. When a child wants to post something, try to get them thinking about questions like “How would that make you feel if you saw someone else post it?”

Talk about their digital footprint.

It’s important that children recognise that content they post online is likely to hang around. Try asking older children to type their own name into a search engine and see what results come up. How do they feel about what they see? Do they want to delete it? Are they able to? How will that change what they post in the future?

Make sure they know their online rights and responsibilities.

Make sure your children understand early on that everyone has the right to say no online, just like they do offline. Ask children if they know what to do if they come across offensive content. How do they report it? Do they know where the report/block buttons  live on their favourite platform?

 

Nurturing good digital citizens is no small task, at home or in the classroom. But by making conversations about being online part of everyday life, you’re off to a good start. 

With the new compulsory RSHE curriculum arriving in the coming weeks, children will start to receive the education they need to safely navigate social media and the internet as a whole. Meanwhile, we can continue to ensure children are safe and happy online by making these conversations a normal part of growing up. 

 


About Natterhub

Natterhub is an educational social media platform created to prepare primary school children to thrive online. 

Our interactive lessons give children all the skills that they need to stay safe in a digital landscape, and our Badges of Honour help teachers to keep track of their progress. 

With a cleverly designed interface that looks and feels like social media, children learn in an environment that feels like the real deal whilst teachers can make use of the extensive Natterhub content library to keep pupils engaged and inspired.

Natterhub is powered by TwinklHive, and is used in over 40 countries around the world. Twinkl, a global educational publishing house, offers primary and secondary resources to 8.5 million members, across 197 countries.

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