Exploring the PowerUp WHAT WORKS Tech Research Briefs: Teaching Students with Disabilities about Online Safety, What Administrators Need to Know

The integration of technology into the school environment demands that teachers, staff, and students develop what is increasingly being referred to as “digital citizenship.” This means, that in addition to introducing technology as a learning tool, schools must recognize and aim to cultivate a positive culture around the many roles technology plays in our lives—including our work, our social life and recreation. The ever-changing landscape of technology tools and applications is not something that can be safeguarded by policies that selectively block just some tools—others are sure to substitute for that blocked content. Instead, what promises to establish real and lasting online safety is teaching students safe practices and developing a culture of respect in the virtual realm, just as we teach them in the material one. For students with disabilities, this effort must be made with particular attention paid to the domains of learning and social interaction which prove most challenging to them. Without the proper attention paid to the training and development of digital citizenship, those aspects of learning which might be improved by the use of technology might otherwise be exacerbated by its premature and/or improper application. Fortunately, PowerUp has gathered and summarized the relevant research on this topic in one of our Tech Research Briefs, Teaching Students with Disabilities about Online Safety. Make sure to consult and use the Tech Research Briefs along with our Technology Implementation Practice Guide when considering new developments in the technology use policy plan for your school or district. Comment below to let us know what you find most valuable in the Research Briefs and  the Technology Implementation Practice Guide!  Acknowledgement: Special thanks to Michael McGarrah for helping to compile this post. 

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