The Fortnite Craze and Keeping Kids Safe Online by Dianne Shapp
For some families, Fortnite has taken over and it can be hard to know what’s appropriate and what has crossed the line. We are hearing from some of your children that they have come across content and language that makes them uncomfortable, and we are encouraging them to come talk to you about it. Even if they fear they may have broken a rule, they must tell an adult because their safety is of the utmost importance.
Want to know more about Fortnite? Check out this Ultimate Parent Guide to Fortnite. Did you know that the game is recommended for ages 13 and over due to violence and language? Did you know that live, unmoderated voice chat and on-screen texting is possible between users and that this exposes your child to random strangers online? The Ultimate Parent Guide is only one of many resources available to you on the Common Sense Media website. Set aside some time for this informative site.
At school, we are committed to teaching your child about cyber safety and about digital citizenship. Third, fourth and fifth graders have had lessons from I-Safe and Common Sense Media. I-Safe is supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention from the U.S. Dept. of Justice. Common Sense Digital Citizenship curriculum takes on timely topics for school communities, supports teachers with improved classroom tools, and prepares students to take ownership of their digital lives. The combination of both these programs gives students a nice balance of internet safety (stranger danger, cyberbullying, keeping personal information private) and digital citizenship (how to participate responsibly and follow the rules of online interaction.)
The following are the six categories of the Digital Citizenship Curriculum.
Media Balance & Well-Being
Privacy & Security
Digital Footprint & Identity
Relationships & Communication
Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech
News & Media Literacy
As parents, you have a big role in this area of your child’s education and online safety. It is you whom the students are relying on to set rules, supervise them and discuss what to do if they encounter anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or afraid. Please peruse the resources that we have shared here and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.