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Keeping Kids Safe Online 2020

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

In her October proclamation for “Keeping Kids Safe Online Month,” State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor stated, “Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin students are learning in a virtual environment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative families and schools stay informed about online behaviors, take note of how children interact with their peers and others online and teach them which information is too private to share, and how to manage their digital footprint. Families and schools can use a variety of resources to help educate our children on important strategies to keep them safe while online.”

As schools, families, and communities continue to get better at navigating remote learning, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is rolling out it’s 4th annual Keeping Kids Safe Online month in October 2020. This year we will not only focus on the importance of practicing safe and healthy online choices and being a digital leader, but we will also focus on the importance of the social and emotional well-being of all stakeholders to ensure we are getting the most of every learning opportunity.

Throughout the month of October, we will highlight many resources focusing on safe and healthy online practices in the classroom and the home. We continue to make connections with families by providing learning modules (English and Spanish) that take an interactive approach to having conversations and building family media plans about what is acceptable and what is not when using online tools and social media. We focus on the importance of protecting personal information while being a digital leader.

The Wisconsin DPI and Wisconsin Department of Justice partnered to create and curate resources on the Online and Internet Safety website. This website targets all stakeholders (parents, educators, administrators, and students) and provides a plethora of resources and tools to help families and schools support the safe and responsible creation and consumption of digital resources. It includes a lesson planning matrix that helps break down the topics into more manageable pieces to better explore and leverage the many resources included. This matrix is continually updated and provides just-in-time materials and information to support planning and programming.

October is a great opportunity to begin conversations about online safety and digital leadership. Given our current climate and the importance of these topics, we know this cannot end when October does. We need to ensure all stakeholders have the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to navigate this “always-on” digital world we live in.