The grade 8s and I are really enjoying our digital citizenship time! I always structure every class the same way. DEAR, Read Aloud, Digital Citizenship mini unit and then work on our main unit. It sounds like a lot, but our classes are 112 minutes long and grade 8s need to be kept busy!
So far, we have found out the jamboard on cell phones are difficult, google forms are great for surveys and mentimeters are super cool but I don’t have the paid version so we could only use it for two questions.
After each survey, I pull up the results and we discuss. I don’t attach the student’s names to their responses, and the kids enjoy the anonymity of it. Last week, I wanted to get a sense of the guidelines and expectations the kids had in their homes. They loved sharing them! Some said their phones had a “bed time” (put away at 9pm) while others said they had to have permission to download certain apps and games.
Our discussion naturally took us to a place where I asked the kids to come up with 3 rules (or less) that they believe parents should have for their kids. It was so cool! They met in small groups and then we gathered back together to share the findings.
Most said they liked the idea of a certain amount of screen time or a down time, decided upon together with parents. Some said they thought we needed to include something about locations on (only for certain people like family or close friends). The kids were super engaged and we spent way longer than my allotted 15 minutes!
One of the kids brought up Google Family Link app so we did some digging. Turns out it checks most, if not all of the boxes for cell phone guidelines that the kids brought up!
Some of the features of Google Family Link are:
-Guide children to good content (all apps and games must be approved by parents/guardians)
-Set Screen time limits (ex. time limits – 2 hours or shuts off at 10 pm)
-Location services (see where your children are)
I am curious to know if you use this app with your own children, or if there are other better apps out there!