With more people than ever spending time and communicating online due to the COVID-19 virus “stay at home/shelter in place” orders throughout the country, it is important to remember basic media literacy skills and digital citizenship/internet safety guidelines when reading news articles, doing research, exploring new websites, apps and using online tools. Distance Learning Graphic

As we move into a time of #RemoteLearning, please keep in mind – and put into practice – the tips listed below:

  • Flex your media literacy muscles – Do not believe everything you read; fact check your sources before sharing articles or news stories online. Allsides, News Literacy Project, Politifact and Snopes are great starting points. Explore our curated Media Literacy Resources to learn more.
  • Protect your passwords – Do not share them with friends (not even with your best friend). 
  • Protect your personal information – Put on your “skepticals” before signing up for “freemium” offers for online apps – especially if they’re asking for credit card information.
  • Respect other people’s privacy, point of view, and intellectual property.
  • Contribute in positive ways to online discussions – Here are some sentence starters from ReadWriteThink: Writers… Written Conversation Sentence Starters.
  • Create a balance with your screen time and other activities. 

The need for kids to take control of and be mindful of their screen time is a huge concern shared by families, teachers, and administrators. Of course, kids will go through periods of both heavy and light media use, but it’s all about balance. #RemoteLearning should not be limited to digital resources, but rather a combination of digital and analog. Working together, we can help our kids maintain a healthy media balance.

#RemoteLearning should also be a balance between consuming content and creating content. As kids have more time to explore hobbies and interests, this is a perfect time to share their ideas, thoughts, and passions with family members, classmates, and friends through a variety of media (handwritten, texted, recorded, etc.). 

#RemoteLearning is also an opportunity for students to start building an awareness beyond their current world view. Many organizations offer students a safe venue for connecting to and sharing their learning with national and worldwide online communities. From our regional SECC’s Call to Action: Share Your Story to the Center for Media Literacy’s Mind Over Media Challenge, kids can use the Internet to share their voice with an authentic audience – transitioning in the process from a digital citizen to a global citizen.

We would love to showcase examples of how you have implemented any or all of our tips. We invite you to leave a comment with your examples – or perhaps additional tips you have found to be useful.