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New Year’s Resolution: Wise Decision-Makers

January 16, 2018
By Jennifer Baham

Janelle Hendricks frames her weekly K-5 computer lessons around three SJCS Throughlines: Wise Decision Makers, Efective Communicators, and Collaborative Workers. A recent Common Sense Media unit called “The Power of Words” explored these Throughlines on the topic of cyber-bullying. The unit opened with a simulation called “Across the Line” where students had to decide if a line of text was harmless or harmful communication. Each student had to physically decide whether or not to “cross the line” taped on the floor.

Cyber-bullying happens both intentionally and unintentionally. Through this unit Mrs. Hendricks set goals for students to identify cyber-bullying, grow an internal compass for wise-decision-making in their own cyberworld communication, and gain solutions to respond to possible cyber-bullying. Because written text carries no tone of voice or facial expression, cyberworld text requires a particular etiquette. One solution students learned in this unit was STOP: Step away; Tell a trusted adult; Okay sites with parents first; Pause and think online.

What can parents do? Regularly check your student’s accounts including sent mail and browsing history. Keep a current list of your student’s passwords for all accounts. Consider the screen time for members of your family. If you have not already done so, talk through and create a family media agreement and device contract. There are great resources available for parents such as Fuller Youth Institute, Dr. Powell’s Sticky Faith guide, and Circle parental controls (used by many of our SJCS teachers and parents).

As we teach, train and guide our young people to live in this beautiful, broken world, let’s be intentional on the power of our words both of and on line. How might our wise decision-making advance God’s kingdom as we engage and transform culture for Jesus Christ?