Digital Smarts - Supporting Kids Digital Lives

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A recent article published in The Journal discusses the need to prioritize the social and emotional well-being of students as they have been forced into almost a completely digital life during the pandemic. Remote learning and Zoom “visits” with family and friends are only two of the ways that the role of media and technology has been cemented into young peoples’ lives.


The digital context in which young people are interacting is core to their life experiences, emotions, relationships, and identity development and is something schools and parents will need to acknowledge and address as they enter the new school year. The social and emotional wellbeing of students, particularly in and around the digital world, must be a priority for both educators and families as everyone tries to figure out what the “new normal” entails, and should be a constant subject of conversation. It is important for parents and teachers to really listen as kids talk about their individual experiences online. Many kids have acquired an array of digital skills, and probably some bad habits, during the pandemic. With that in mind, parents and teachers cannot be cowed by how proficient kids may have become nor overly shocked by where they may have wandered online. Instead, be open to their new expertise and willing to help them figure out what positive directions to take with the tech-saavy they have acquired.