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Celebrating Digital Citizenship Week in California

Last week, Common Sense Kids Action and Assembly Member Chau facilitated a conversation on the edtech challenges our students and educators face each day.

On Oct. 17, I joined California Assembly Member Ed Chau for a Digital Citizenship Roundtable in Alhambra as part of a celebration for Digital Citizenship Week in the state.

In 2016, Assembly Member Chau authored ACR 203, the Digital Citizenship Resolution, and this year he authored ACR 130, the extension of that resolution. The resolution was sponsored by Common Sense Kids Action and declares the third week of October Digital Citizenship Week in California.

Assembly Member Chau brought together a group of superintendents, school board members, educators, mental health professionals, and parents for a conversation about the importance of digital citizenship. I had the privilege of facilitating the conversation.

Common Sense believes digital citizenship means empowering students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. Our discussion touched on what is happening in school districts to provide effective digital citizenship instruction; the challenges our educators are seeing as students use new apps; and the kinds of policies, tools, and resources that are helping to mitigate the challenges our students and educators face each day.

A key part of the roundtable focused on how today's devices and apps can contribute to cyberbullying and increased stress among our students. We had a fruitful conversation about how digital citizenship isn't just a technology issue, but instead should be considered a major focus of our student's social and emotional learning.

Our colleagues at Common Sense Education have developed a guide to help educators connect challenging digital dilemmas to social and emotional skills through discussion questions, lessons, and digital tools that target key social and emotional learning skills and build students' character. Our conversation concluded that we need to emphasize this connection more with educators across the state.

We look forward to holding more events across California focused on digital citizenship and how we can work with school districts and educators to help ensure our students have the tools they need to succeed and thrive. We also look forward to working more with Assembly Member Chau in the future on these vital issues impacting our students and our schools.

Kids Action