Getting Digital Students Ready for School

As another summer draws to a close, the anticipation of a new school year is starting to build across the country. Back-to-school is a time of new schedules and routines, new classes, new friends and social interaction. This annual period of new beginnings and transitions is the perfect time to reassess how families use TV and online technology and to navigate the digital resources that are out there for parents and their children.

“For many children, their real and virtual lives have a tendency to blend together.”

Children are introduced to TV and online technology at increasingly younger ages. The role these technologies play in kids’ development continues to expand, both within the classroom and at home. In the classroom, these technologies are routinely used to enhance a child’s learning experience. While at home, a child uses them to complete research assignments and explore interests that foster creativity and self-discovery.

At, there are tools designed to help manage how a child uses these transformative technologies. Resources include information on how to talk to children about what it means to be information and media literate, and to encourage them to ask questions about the origins and creators of media. For example, what was the creators’ motive in writing an article or publishing a video? Information literacy skills help children critically evaluate resources and determine if they are based upon facts or opinions. These skills are crucial for efficiently filtering through, selecting, and thoughtfully using the vast amount of information available online or through your TV.

For many children, their real and virtual lives have a tendency to blend together. Reminding a child of this division, and how actions online can result in enormous real-life consequences, is a critical part of parenting in a connected era. addresses this challenge by offering examples on how to initiate conversations with children about this important issue.

As this new school year begins, become engaged in your own learning experience and to develop strategies for engaging children in important discussions about issues of digital literacy, online awareness, and on becoming a responsible digital citizen.