The Bradley County School (BCS) District Technology Department has worked hard to grow the number of devices in our schools over the past three years; however, with this growth, comes a responsibility to our students and families to help them thrive in a world of media and technology. Donna Mitchell, an instructional technology coach for the district and Common Sense Ambassador, has been instrumental in the implementation of Common Sense Education lessons and presentations. She is passionate about her goal to educate staff, parents, and students on what it takes to be good digital citizens, and role models for our community. Within the district, Lou Woodard, North Lee Elementary’s computer lab manager, Letisha Wilds, Taylor Elementary’s computer lab manager, have become Common Sense Educators by teaching lessons and promoting parental engagement with their school families.
Scott Webb, Technology Coordinator for BCS stated, “One of the top priorities of the Instructional Technology Department is to develop good digital citizens. Not only to increase our digital literacy and online safety but also to promote digital responsibility and prevent cyberbullying. Students, now more than ever, need to understand the importance of digital citizenship and the impact it can have on everyone around them as well as their own futures. We live in an interconnected world; training students of all ages how to navigate that world has to be one of our top goals.”
Common Sense Education provides resources to teach students, educators, and parents tangible skills related to internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, media balance, managing online relationships, and media literacy.
Digital Citizenship Week is October 14-18th and all Bradley County Schools have been encouraged to join the conversation of what is digital citizenship and how it not only affects us individually but as a community. Ocoee Middle School students plan to produce daily episodes for their news broadcast, The Scoop, discussing cyberbullying, device care, and social media safeguards. Digital citizenship lessons will be taught throughout the district as well as other activities to kick start another year of online safety. The theme for this year will be “BCS Digital Citizens Respect & Protect”.
Bradley County Schools administrators and educators see the importance of addressing digital citizenship with students from kindergarten to 12th grade; the conversation will vary and be age-appropriate, but the opportunity to lead and model correct online behavior is now. Other schools in the district have already committed to becoming Common Sense Schools by the end of this school year.