Our youth need to learn to cope with the challenges of the growing digital world.
They face many risks such as cyberbullying, technology addiction, obscene and violent content.
They need assistance to improve their digital intelligence and learn how to assess and evaluate these online challenges.
We need to assist our youth now. There is no time to wait and see what will happen.
The youth of today are in the centre of a dynamically changing world.
They spend more time using digital technologies than they spend with their parents or in school.
The impact of technology is widespread and accelerating faster then we can imagine. Technology is having major social and economic impacts, especially on our youth.
Children are already immersed in the digital world. They are influencing what that world will look like tomorrow.
This points to exciting possibilities and also challenges.
The digital age gap is an example of a challenge.
THE DIGITAL AGE GAP – CHILDREN VS ADULTS:
Children use technology differently than adults.
Adults do not understand fully the risks children face online.
Adults may not be able to help children on how to use digital technologies safely.
This gap results in different perspectives on what is acceptable behaviour.
It is up to us to help equip our children with the skills and support so that they can become successful.
Children are exposed to many risks.
They face risks, such as:
obscene and violent content;
scams and data theft.
These online risks greatly influence a child’s development.
Internet governance and policies for child protection are often ineffective. They are slow to catch up to the rapidly evolving digital world.
HOW TO ASSIST THEM:
We need to think about how to nurture their ability and confidence so that they can excel both online and offline.
Digital citizenship is often overlooked.
They need to learn about digital citizenship from a very young age as they live in the digital world.
As soon as they start using any digital device they need to learn about the challenges.
Dr. Yuhyun Park is the CEO and Founder of DQ Institute. This organization promotes the digital education of the world’s children.
DQ stands for digital intelligence quotient.
Dr. Park has published articles about digital intelligence with the World Economic Forum.
She describes the set of social, emotional and cognitive skills required. These help people face the challenges in adapting to the demands of digital life.
She describes the following eight inter-connected areas:
Digital Citizen Identity: –Building and managing a healthy identity online and offline with integrity.
Screen Time Management: –Learning self-control to manage screen time, social media and playing online games.
Cyberbullying Management: –Detecting and handling situations of cyberbullying.
Cybersecurity Management: –Protecting data with strong passwords and managing cyberattacks.
Privacy Management: –Handling all personal information shared online and protecting privacy.
Critical Thinking: –Distinguishing between true and false information, good and harmful content, and trustworthy and questionable contacts.
Digital Footprints: –Understanding and managing the nature of digital footprints and their real-life consequences.
Digital Empathy: –Showing empathy towards your own and others’ needs and feelings online.
A quality digital citizenship education offers opportunities to assess the skills and give feedback.
We need to evaluate both hard and soft DQ skills.
After the evaluations they need to provide feedback of their own strengths and weaknesses. This feedback will enable them to find their own paths to success.
Parents, teachers and leaders can start digital citizenship education in their areas of influence.
Technology is changing but values endure.
The following foster healthy, ethical and confident behaviour online and offline: