4.7b | Digital Wellbeing

As a digital citizen advocate, the coach is expected to partner with educators, leaders, students and families to foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in their use of technology.

In the mission statement that I crafted for myself, I listed integrity, responsibility, and humility as 3 core values that marks my leadership. I take these values seriously as these are the same values that I wish to impart onto my students. These values are especially important when operating in a digital environment when it becomes all too easy to hide behind the mask of anonymity and where accountability is seemingly low. It is the duty of educators to instill in students the importance of fostering a culture of respectful online interactions and healthy use of technology.

In my school, one of the most debated topics that I hear from parents is the issue of screen time for students. With the global COVID pandemic pushing more classes to go online, excessive screen time has become a point of concern for parents. I wrote a post specifically to address this topic. In my post “Is Screen Time Dead?“, I argued that not all screen time is created equal. Rather than only looking at the amount of time a child spends online, it is equally important to consider the nature of that screen time. After all, an hour playing computer games online can hardly be treated as equal with an hour of learning a new language and social-emotional learning online. Instead, a healthy, balanced approach in managing screen time is what might be best for the well-being of a child in a digitalized society.

As part of my workshop design for a creative writing course which advocates digital citizenship, I tried to cultivate a culture of respectful online interactions by weaving this teaching into part of the workshop. Students were tasked with writing a fable that teaches a lesson about digital citizenship. As part of the lesson learning, they were exposed to examples and non-examples of respectful online interactions.

In my post titled “A Digital Integrity Framework: Values, Principles, and Application“, I suggested that the ingredients for success in 21st-century society lie in a balance of knowledge, skill, and character. An important component of character would be ethical behavior both offline and online, in digital environments. Here I described the characteristics of a person of integrity as well as the values and principles to look out for in an ethical audit which includes screening for accuracy, completeness, transparency, and accountability.


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