The Journey

By: Desiree McConnell

One of my projects for this summer has been to work with a coworker to develop a plan and curriculum for teaching our entire school community about Digital Citizenship. As we explored the topic and learned more it was apparent that we needed to educate the entire community, not just the students.

Digital Citizenship was a topic only talked about before this past school year and one that no one had really invested any time in researching.  We found as we started conversations that most people didn’t know what Digital Citizenship was or what it covered. However, that changed this past fall when a group of us saw a need to educate our school community on the topic of Digital Citizenship.  Since then, we have had speakers from the FBI and dedicated an entire month to building awareness and educating our community.  During “Digital Citizenship Month” each grade level was responsible for teaching their students about cyber bullying, privacy, and etiquette for communicating online using lessons tailored to their specific grade level. After the “kick off” it became apparent that our efforts were just the beginning and much more education needed to happen for the entire school community.

The following are some of the questions that we found needed to be answered and continually revisited as we develop our plan of action and curriculum.

Who will teach it :

1.)  Librarians

2.)  Teachers in all areas

3.)  Technology specialists

4.) Chaplain

Who needs to be taught :

1.)  Parents

2.)  Faculty

3.)  Administrators

4.)  Students

Why :

1.)  Most parent’s aren’t teaching their students about Digital Citizenship

2.)  Increasingly schools are being called on to discipline students in regards to online behavior.

3.)  Technology is part of the world we live in

4.) Using technology responsibly is a skill that is necessary for success in the world today

5.) The way people in the school community use technology can affect the school

When :

 1.)  Integrate in the curriculum by using real world examples dealing with technology within lessons throughout the curriculum

2.)  In computer classes

3.)  Organizing parent educational coffees

4.)  During staff meetings

5.)  Through monthly posts in the school’s news letter

6.) During Chapel

The areas covered above are just the beginning and we know as this journey continues that there will be more questions than answers.  However, we do know that the topic Digital Citizenship is a topic that is not going away.  Like technology itself Digital Citizenship is an ever changing and growing area of study.  Tailoring your curriculum and educational opportunities to your school community is essential in order to be successful.


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