Digital Citizenship Education: A licence to surf the web

Since last year, our institute has been a member of the network of numerous schools working throughout
Italy to promote responsible use of smartphones, young people’s favorite possession at a very early age,
and to make them aware of the risks of the web.
The project was set up in the s.y. 20217/18 in Piedmont as an implementation of law 71/17 for the
prevention of and fight against bullying. It is a path that provides training for teachers and, subsequently,
classroom work with pupils to achieve the following objectives
– Make students aware of the risks and opportunities of digital and smartphone use;
– Analysing the phenomena of cyberstupidity and cyberbullying from a prevention perspective;
– Make students and teachers aware of protection tools for combating cyberbullying;
– Forging an educational school-family alliance to raise levels of attention on these issues;
– Offering pupils opportunities for discussion and reflection on issues related to the use of the web;
– Promoting digital citizenship for students as early as primary school.
The course, which also includes the involvement of parents with informative and educational meetings,
ends with an exam to obtain a licence to use smartphones.
Pupils take the exam and, after passing it, obtain a licence for using their smartphones, which can,
however, be suspended or withdrawn, according to the school’s regulations, in the event of misbehaviour
or lack of responsibility.
It is plain for all to see that even the youngest children, all too soon, find themselves in possession of a
smartphone and surfing sites, accessing videos and using apps that are very risky and not at all suitable for
their age. For this reason, our school also wanted to involve the pupils of the fifth year of primary school in
an appropriate training course. The project, which was also much appreciated by the children, ended with
the handing over of the ‘Pink Sheet’ preparatory to the path that will be taken during the first year of
secondary school.
The courses have certainly helped the children to develop critical and appropriate attitudes to life in the
digital world, and the “Pre-licence card” and the “Smartphone Licence” are signs that have proved to be
very useful tools for emphasising the assumption of responsibility by each pupil in front of the school
community and families.