Clinical Associate Professor University of Michigan School of Education
What does digital citizenship education look like in your school or public library community for tweens? Often, librarians rush through the do’s and don’ts, dropping a few doomsday scenarios to motivate students to make better choices. Perhaps your library holds a parent assembly focusing on the perils of online engagement. But does tween behavior change, especially after COVID-19’s seismic shifts in our digital lives? Classic digital rules of thumb (e.g., limiting screen time or “be kind online” messages) are no longer sufficient, rarely addressing young teens’ online social or gaming spheres. We designed a warm, blame-free online workshop that brought middle schoolers and parents/caregivers/guardians together, created safe discussion spaces, and leveraged college students as trusted mentors. In this session, we’ll share how we created our events, then discuss how you might leverage your role as a school librarian to convene affordable, similar conversations in your own public libraries or K-12 school library settings.