What does it mean to be a civically engaged, responsible citizen? How does that extend to the digital world? In BVSD, we have focused on Digital Citizenship (DigCit) as an important part of our students becoming Future Ready. This year we are working with Instructional Services and Equity to embed key parts of DigCit into our curriculum.
While students need some explicit instruction in digital citizenship, the bigger lessons are often learned through modeling. Have you ever found yourself playing Candy Crush, peeking at a text message in a meeting, or posting something on Facebook that you wish you had thought twice about? Our students will be facing the same challenges in their digital lives. Digital citizenship instruction begins as young as kindergarten and extends through a student’s entire school career.
Beyond a list of do’s and don’ts, we strive to empower students to become leaders through programs such as #UseTech4Good. “Students need to be empowered. It doesn't need to be negatively driven; it's better if it's positively driven...the more we empower students the more it drives towards the goal,” shared a District Technology Advisory Committee (DTAC) member at our last meeting. One example of using tech for good comes out of David Kaufman’s 4th-grade class at Fireside, who spent time learning about Puerto Rico and the effects of Hurricane Maria. They wanted to help and decided to harness the power of social media through setting up a GoFundMe page to raise over $4,000 for solar generators. These students are perfect examples of global citizens, using tech to help others around the world! To learn more about this project, see the article in the Daily Camera.
The Fireside project is just one of many examples that highlight how students across BVSD are using technology to engage in global citizenship, but what specific skills should your student(s) be learning and when? Check out the BVSD Digital Citizenship Scope & Sequence for guidelines on what each grade band should be working on, with links to resources and lesson plans. For parents, we have gathered resource bundles for P.E.P. (Parent Engagement Program) Talks, designed to bring timely conversations about relevant technology topics to your school. Effective digital citizenship instruction requires a whole community approach!
Some of my team's primary roles are to ensure technology at BVSD is secured through best practices and to work with parents and school communities to help students learn what good citizenship is in the digital world which may be equal or even more important. Adding your voice on this topic at home and in the community is crucial to the success of these programs.
Do you have ideas, thoughts, or suggestions? Please chime in below.