Digital Citizenship Week 2023!

By Chantilly
October 14, 2023

Digital Citizenship Week is  October 16 – 20!  Each day during the week, schools and parents/caregivers can take simple steps to get in sync and partner together to educate and support students with digital life.

We hope Digital Citizenship Week will spark some educationally valuable conversations that can be promoted and supported all year long, by students, parents and teachers.

Monday, October 16: Media & Technology Impact All of Us

FCPS Shared Responsibility Model

Consider the following:

  • What can your family commit to doing at home with your children to best support your children’s school in providing a safe, positive online learning environment for everyone?
  • How does using technology at home with your child provide opportunities for you to teach them about digital citizenship and for your child to demonstrate positive digital citizenship.

Parents Take Action:

  • Regularly ask your child to log in and show you the digital tools they use at school and at home.
  • How are your household expectations for technology use working? It's a great time to review and revise them with your child. Device Contracts, Media Agreements and Tip Sheets are available to support the conversation. (Translations included)
  • Parents can actively model and explicitly teach their children good digital citizenship practices. One of the most effective ways for parents/caregivers to support their children is to actively help them understand, interpret, and respond appropriately to the content, contact, and conduct they experience online together.

Did you know...

  • Android Users: If your family uses Android devices, Google’s Family Link can help you set certain digital ground rules,manage apps, keep an eye on screen time and remotely lock your child’s device.
  • Apple Users: If your family uses Apple devices, Apple Families provides tools that help keep parents in the loop.


Tuesday, October 17: Critical Thinking

Beyond Credible Sources

The current world of news media -- both internet-based and otherwise -- requires students to have a critical, but not cynical, eye. Personal experiences can help students stay critically engaged, particularly when the source is social media or a news outlet with a particular point of view.

Parents Take Action:

  • Show your child how you get news and information from different places, and explain how you make your choices.
  • Ask them where they get their information and what tools they use to decide if something is credible, trustworthy, and fair. 

Did you know...


Wednesday, October, 18: Digital Drama

Have you ever heard kids say “I don’t want to be a snitch?” You might also know children who go straight to an adult to resolve their conflicts with peers instead of problem solving for themselves. Others stay silent and fearful when being treated in an unkind way.

How can adults support children in knowing when digital drama rises to a level that should be reported?

These resources and strategies can help students understand how online haters, trolls and cyberbullies might be impacting them and provides action steps for students to take accordingly. Check out these video links to learn more.

Parents and Teachers Take Action

  • Share a story about a time when someone did something hurtful to you on social media. How did it make you feel, and how did you deal with it? Help students understand ways they can rate the severity of the behavior and what action steps they can take.
  • Tips for helping someone in crisis.
  • Having a contact card on your child’s mobile device in case they need help a good idea. Consider adding these numbers to your children's phones if they have one:
    • When you are at school: Text NEEDHELP to 85511 – Hit send
    • If you are not at school you can: Call Crisis Link at (703) 527-4077. Text NEEDHELP to 85511. Call 911


Thursday, October 19: Supporting Student Thinking & Wellbeing 

Are we speaking the same language?

All or nothing thinking, labeling, mind reading, negative filters, shoulds, personalizing, and fortune telling.  These are the thinking traps.  When school staff and parents speak the same language, it makes a strong impression on kids. Here’s a simple strategy that both parents and school staff can use to help students think through and reframe their thinking.

The Spectrum Strategy

  • View it: The Spectrum Strategy
  • Try it: The next time your child or student is facing a digital dilemma and doesn’t know what to do or has undesirable behavior in relation to their online activity, give the Spectrum Strategy a try.
  • Reflect:
    • How did using this strategy change how this conversation might have gone?
    • How does this strategy honor the complexity of choices children face and how did it support the child's thinking?


Friday, October 20: Healthy in Mind and Body 

Did you know FCPS has a Media Balance and Wellbeing toolkit for families to support students in developing an internal sense of media balance?  This toolkit is full of guiding questions and digital resources to support student wellbeing at home. There are also resources designed for parents to help students become safe, ethical, responsible and respectful digital citizens.