State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly last week proclaimed October Keeping Kids Safe Online Month in Wisconsin. To view her proclamation, visit https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/news/2021_Keeping_Kids_Safe_Online_Updated.pdf.
The fifth year of Keeping Kids Safe Online Month in Wisconsin hits close to home for so many. Schools, families, and communities have been impacted over the last year by the COVID-19 pandemic, and an increased use of technology in and out of the classrooms. This year, we will look at safe and healthy online habits and how they connect to positive social and emotional well being. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, along with the Wisconsin Department of Justice will also provide some resources to help support schools and families.
This year, we will again highlight a number of resources that focus on safe and healthy online practices while navigating digital tools and environments. We will also share some resources about being proactive, reactive, and share ways you can leverage people and resources available in and outside of schools. We also 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 DOJ rely on our partnership to continue 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 to break down the topics into more manageable pieces to better explore and leverage the many resources included. This resource 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 can’t 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.
Subscriber submission: Chad Kliefoth, Wisconsin DPI Digital Learning Education Consultant on the Teaching and Learning team