Empowering Students to Prevent and Manage Social Conflict

Decision-Making & Social Skill Development for Elementary Grades

Digital drama occurs when real-world conflict takes place in online environments and through electronic forms of contact. Conflict that occurs in digital places and though mobile devices can quickly escalate into cyber-bullying situations. To mitigate these issues, the i-SAFE curriculum provides students with the opportunity to think critically, effectively communicate with peers and parents, and to arrive at workable solutions in an age-appropriate manner.

Preventing Digital Drama in Grades 3-5

Students in grades 3-5 are often eager to own a mobile device and to join social networks. However, a premature release into the world of social networking and digital communications can lead to numerous issues including digital drama. Digital drama between friends from school can negatively impact students’ sense of safety, well-being and academic performance.

Developmentally, children ages 8-10 have not yet formed the capacity to effectively execute quick judgment calls; an ability that is crucial to remain safe and secure online. Parental consent, and adult guidance and supervision in online environments is essential. Social sites and apps designed for children under age 13 provide a safer, more secure alternative to popular social media platforms. Major social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, require registrants to be at least 13 to comply with COPPA laws. Some parents and guardians also use this age requirement as a guideline to determine when they will allow their children to own an account on sites and apps designed for people ages 13 and up.

At this stage, students in grades 3-5 (ages 8-10) can benefit from conversations with their teachers, parents and guardians regarding the pitfalls that exist on social networks; pitfalls related to privacy, safety, security and social issues such as digital drama and cyber bullying. Such conversations with caring and supportive adults encourage healthy dialogue that will open the doors of communication in the years to come.

Building Conflict Resolution Skills in Grades K-2

Students in grades K-2 can benefit from learning conflict resolution skills prior to technology adoption. By age-appropriately teaching primary grade-level students to effectively manage conflict offline, before they deeply integrate digital communications into their daily lives, they become better equipped to resolve problems in person thus preventing possible bullying and cyber bullying situations in the future.