New Bill Proposed for Digital Citizenship in Washington State — Please Help by writing to your Washington State Senator or Representatives in Olympia
An act relating to safe technology use and digital citizenship in public schools. Bill Number xxxx
Co-sponsors: Senator Marko Liias, Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self and Rep. Strom Peterson, 21st Legislative District
Summary of Bill: The legislature recognizes that as technology becomes more prevalent, students must learn how to thoughtfully, ethnically and responsibly use the tools available to them. The legislature intends to provide a process whereby students, parents or guardians, teachers and other school employees, administrators, volunteers, and community representatives will engage in an ongoing discussion concerning safe technology use and digital citizenship.
Definition of Digital Citizenship
Digital Citizenship means the norms of appropriate, responsible, and healthy behavior related to current technology use, including digital and media literacy, ethics, etiquette, and security. This includes the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and interpret media.
Need for Bill
Our digital communications revolution has irrevocably altered how we organize our lives. These ongoing changes have far-reaching implications for our children including their consumption of media messages, access to online information, and safe, ethical use of digital communications. Washington’s public schools must play the leading role in teaching students to become principled users of digital resources, able to stay safe in an increasingly complex communications environment.
The need for policy change is imperative. Consider just a few of the many statistics currently available:
➢ “Eight-to-eighteen year olds spend more time with media than in any other activity besides (maybe) sleeping—an average of more than 7 ½ hours a day, seven days a week.” 1
➢ Texting has replaced talking among teens. 2
➢ About one in every four teens has experienced cyberbullying, and about one out of every six teens has done it. 3
Action for Media Education
The mission of Seattle-based Action for Media Education (AME) is to foster and promote digital citizenship for children and youth and for all who live and work with our young people. Given its 25-year history working in the field of media literacy education, AME members find that the need for this bill has never been greater than it is at this time.
AME joins its partner organization Spokane-based Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media in calling for the much needed policy change that this bill would make possible. Our efforts are strongly supported by Northwest Center for Excellence in Media Literacy at the University of Washington; Media Literacy Now, a national organization promoting policy changes across the country; and the National Association for Media Literacy Education.
Rideout, V., Foehr, U. & Roberts, D. (2010). Generation M2 Media in the lives of 8-to-18-year olds: A Kaiser Family Foundation study. Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation, p.1.
Audience insights: Communicating to teens 12-17. (n.d.) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/pdf/audience/audienceinsight_teens.pdf
Cyberbullying Research Center. (2014). Cyberbullying facts. Retrieved from http://cyberbullying.org/facts/
Washington-based Media Literacy Organizations
Action for Media Education
Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media (NW-ARM)
Media Literacy Now
National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE)