Classroom practices and safe digital spaces

More than a third of youth under 13 are using social media, most often through apps created for those over 13

The same practices that apply to create engaging, safe spaces in the classroom should be used in digital spaces, according to Candice Odgers and Jacqueline Nesi, members of the U.S. National Scientific Council on Adolescence who helped author a report on youth and digital technology.

In The Hechinger Report, they write that youths need age-appropriate opportunities to engage online and that new regulations are needed to keep them safe.

We know how to create engaging, safe spaces for youth to learn and thrive. We already rely on evidence-based standards and best practices to ensure that classrooms support learning and well-being; these practices need to be applied in online spaces.

It is time we expect more from the online spaces where youth spend so much of their time. We need to insist that tech companies employ standards and policies to support our young people and keep them safe, and that policymakers enforce them.

The authors’ report says research supports four specific evidence-based recommendations:

1) Digital technology should scaffold healthy development and promote wellness.

2) Digital technology should have design and use requirements that make it safe for early adolescents.

3) Digital technology used by early adolescents should incorporate and advance the best available research as part of its design and evaluation process.

4) All early adolescents should have reliable access to the level of digital connectivity and devices required to fully participate in their education and learning.

The Edsby platform for K-12 has been built to provide secure online spaces for the interactions between, learners, educators and parents that are so critical to K-12 students’ development. It integrates with a district or region’s databases to ensure only trusted users interact with each other. And it never monetizes user data, or displays advertising. Learn more.