Digital Citizenship

During a recent technology class, fifth-grade students were presented with the following question:

What does it  mean to be a good digital citizen?

Students reflected on the different ways online interactions affected themselves and others and thought about ways to be responsible and respectful both online and offline. The class also spent time evaluating examples of online messages and deciding what information is appropriate to share and when. Lastly, the fifth graders were reminded that nothing is truly private online.

Please review this family tip sheet from Common Sense Media for ways to help your child navigate their digital life.

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Advisory Discussion Questions

As a follow-up to the viewing of Screenagers, middle school students spent time in advisory discussing the main points of the film and sharing their personal experiences. We encourage you to continue talking to your children about the impact of digital media on their lives and working together to create a family contract. The following is the list of questions included in advisory discussions:

  • How much time do you spend a week on social media?

  • Do you post comments online that you would not say in person?

  • Is a person’s social media identity more important than who they are in person?

  • Do you know people who “touch up” the photos of themselves that they post online?

  • What is your reaction to the study about the young mice that are exposed to screen-like stimulation and suffer permanent reduction in brain cell growth?

  • Do you have screen time guidelines in your family? If yes, are they enforced? If no, do you think guidelines could be helpful?

  • Do you notice peers using screens to avoid socially awkward situations?

  • Do you feel you have a healthy balance in your life around screen time?

  • Do you have strategies or apps you use to keep you from being distracted by screen entertainment when you need to focus on homework?

  • What do you think about the way the adults in your life use their screen time?

  • How much do your parents know about your online activities?

  • Do you think students have enough access to afterschool activities?
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Screenagers, a documentary created by pediatrician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston, is a film which explores the effects of social media, video games and screen times on families.  

Sacred Heart Greenwich hosted two screenings of the movie on Tuesday, September 27. Middle school students watched the film during the school day and all Sacred Heart Greenwich parents were invited to view the film during an evening event.  If you were unable to attend on Tuesday night, you can find additional local screenings at the Screenagers website

Jennifer Morris and Claire Neary, directors of the organization My Remarkable Self, moderated a discussion for parents immediately following the viewing. The discussions centered around helping kids maintain balance, creating a partnership between home and school and having continued conversations about technology use.  The filmmaker highlighted the success of her family’s “Tech Talk Tuesdays,” a forum for discussing technology related topics and encouraged families to commit to having many calm and caring conversations about screen time. Jennifer and Claire also shared some practical tips and resources to help parents tackle issues involving parenting in the digital age. 

Please see the attached documents, including the “Sacred Heart Family Technology Contract” and “Technology Tips and Tools.”  We recommend that all Middle School families work together to complete the “Sacred Heart Family Technology Contract” as a way to share expectations for technology use.  We hope that both documents will be helpful for you and your family as you navigate the digital world.  Please also consider to

Additionally, see below for conversation starters, ideas and advice included in a parent’s guide offered by the producers of the film.

Sacred Heart Family Technology Contract

Technology Tips



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Parent Presentation – Social Media

On Tuesday, May 10th, we hosted a social media workshop.The purpose of this workshop was to begin a series of presentations that we hope will help support parents as they navigate the digital landscape. We shared some current trends as well as benefits and challenges followed by some practical advice.

Please see the presentation below. Included are a number of scenarios that kids and parents commonly face. Parents had the opportunity to respond, to share their experiences and to offer advice . We look forward to continuing this conversation next year. Please note, our first event will be held on September 27 at 7pm.

Kiki Carozza and Lisa Weinman

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Rejecting “Technology Shame”

Alexandra Samuel, technology writer and researcher, recently posted an article titled “Parents: Reject Technology Shame“. She urges parents to resist the urge to declare their kids’ technology use as bad and to embrace it instead.  Drawn from her research, parents can be divided into three groups, digital enablers, digital limiters and digital mentors. The first group allows the kids to set the “tech agenda”, the second limits as much access as possible and the third serves as a guide and takes a more balanced approach. Read the article to learn more about her research.

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