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5 Skills Kids Need to Thrive in an Online World

Our little ones are so tech savvy they often learn how to swipe, zoom, or pinch a screen not long after they learn how to turn a page of a book! And soon enough, they will be socializing, interacting, and engaging even more in their digital world. So how can we help them grow into responsible “digital citizens”? Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), gives us advice.

Parents today are among the first humans responsible for simultaneously raising kids in two worlds. Our children are active members of the physical world that includes the schools, playgrounds, and neighborhoods we’re all familiar with.

“But they also belong to a very real digital world, a parallel universe accessed through computers, tablets and smartphones.”

Their dual “citizenship” allows kids to move seamlessly between these two worlds hundreds of times each day. As parents, we want to ensure our kids are happy and healthy in both the physical and virtual world.

In my book Digital for Good: Raising Kids to Thrive in an Online World, I offer five critical skills all young people need to develop to become successful in using technology in learning and life:


Prioritize time for activities both on and offline.


Evaluate the accuracy, perspective, and validity of digital media and social media posts.


Accept multiple viewpoints, and engage with others online (and offline!) with respect and empathy.


Use technology for good! Digital channels can help connect with family and participate in communities.


Understand how to be safe and create safe spaces for others online.

Learning healthy digital skills is something that must be practiced. And it is important to begin laying the foundations for these skills with young learners long before they begin using social media or engaging with others online. When it comes to help create healthy digital citizens, parents and teachers must be careful not to provide a list of don’ts (things not to do with technology) but instead focus on the do’s (the tech use we want kids to practice).

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About Ailey

Since its first historic performance in 1958, Ailey has been innovating and evolving the perception of American modern dance throughout the world. Noggin is honored to partner with them in helping kids all over get up moving, learning, and expressing their feelings through dance. Because movement has meaning when we dance how we’re feeling!