Program developed by Diana Graber
Book written by Diana Graber
Assessed by Michael Leppert
The Internet can be a tremendous tool and resource for all sorts of positive uses in life. It can also be a stunningly destructive force when used in a negative way. Cyber bullying has become a scourge to many pre-teens and teens who allow themselves to be affected by vicious comments and unkind manipulations of modern technology – Photoshop, posts, screen shots, tags, etc.
If there was ever a book that every parent should read, it is Diana Graber’s Raising Humans in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationships with Technology” (HarperCollins Leadership) and her complete program that every parent and child should study, Cyber Civics. Besides the actual book, Ms. Graber has developed a curriculum that can be used by homeschoolers and classroom teachers alike, that instructs students in the power of technology, how to respect it for maintaining one’s reputation and face-saving and that of others’ reputations and face-saving.
Diana reminds and instructs the user of the social skills and values that include basic human kindness and respect and that these skills must be applied to the Internet, just as surely as if your audience were standing in front of you. The concept of allowing others to save face and be free of criticism and ridicule, is desperately needed in the society of young people today. Simply because it seems very private inside that little computer or phone, it is not private; it is a broadcast medium and should be treated as such. You cannot just say any old thing or post any old photo or what-have-you, about someone else without there being consequences – often unplanned and unintended. Diana’s Lessons point out these facts and make the user of the program constantly aware of the power of the Internet. It might be said that using the Internet is a privilege, not a right, but of course, that is not the case; anyone can have access to the ‘Net, but it should be respected and valued.
To enable parents and children to develop a healthy respect for the Internet, when your family or school purchases CyberCivics, you receive:
- Downloadable, easy-to-teach, in-classroom (or at-home) lessons.
- Support materials and videos.
- Send-home letters for parents with suggested at-home activities that align with each lesson.
- Monthly newsletter that keep teachers engaged and informed.
- Professional development support (including a “screen-share” tutorials for teachers).
- Plus, the people at CyberCivics are always available for telephone support.
If your school is concerned about the effects of cyber activity among the student body, your administrator should visit the CyberCivics website https://www.cybercivics.com/ and take some time to strongly consider its value to your school.
If you are concerned parents of children of any age, you should do the same. Children today are sorely lacking in instruction in basic social skills because voluntary, in-person communication is so rare. CyberCivics fills the need for such instruction – not a moment too soon! Ω