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Community Conversations: Technology Use and Digital Citizenship

by Melinda Kaufman, Lower School Director and Tim Campbell, Middle School Director


Cole Parkinson from Utah NetSmartz discussed with McGillis parents and students various aspects of digital citizenship. Following are key takeaways from the conversation and additional resources for parents. 


When should I get my child a cellphone?

  • It’s not just a question of the right age. Consider your child’s maturity, sense of responsibility, ability to follow rules, understanding of technology, your family’s needs, and your capacity to monitor their technology use.
  • Peer pressure and the fear of your child missing out can make it difficult to hold off, but there are other parents who also want to delay the inevitable.
  • Additional resources:

How much screen time is OK for my kids?

  • There is no magic number that’s “just right,” and not all screen time is equal or for the same purpose; it also depends on your family’s values and lifestyle.
  • Depending on the age of your child, instead of focusing on the amount of screen time, it might be helpful to consider and talk about the value of the media being consumed. There’s a difference between screen time that’s teaching you something or giving you information and screen time that’s entertainment or social.
  • Additional resources:


How can we help our child(ren) maintain balance and how much do I let my child decide?

  • Have conversations with your child(ren) about technology use - help them understand the different types of screen time, how they feel after engaging in different types of media, what we give up when we’re on screens, help them develop self regulation skills.
  • Sit down with your child(ren) and create a Family Media Plan.  Developing the plan together is a great conversation that touches on different aspects of being a good digital citizen and helps to establish guidelines and expectations.
  • Additional resources:


One of the most important things parents/guardians can do is model healthy digital behavior for our children.  What does this look like?

Join us virtually for our next Community Conversation on October 20 for a discussion on Social- Emotional Learning.