Citizenship News and Notes

Bradley County Schools Focuses on Digital Citizenship

BCS Digital Citizenship

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.

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.

Consequently, when certain criteria are met, schools can receive the designation of becoming a Common Sense School. In the 2018-12019 school year, North Lee (NLES) and Taylor Elementary Schools (TES) were both recognized with this distinction.

NLES and TES have demonstrated their commitment to a whole-community approach in preparing their students to think critically and use technology responsibly. This includes dealing with subjects such as plagiarism, loss of privacy, and cyberbullying. The recognition acknowledges our schools’ commitment to creating a culture of digital citizenship.

“We applaud the faculty and staff of North Lee and Taylor Elementary Schools for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students’ education,” said Liz Kline, VP, Education Programs, Common Sense Education. “They deserve high praise for giving their students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large.”

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.

About the author

Pam Coleman

Pam began teaching as a second career in 2006 at Black Fox Elementary. She taught kindergarten and fifth grade prior to becoming an Instructional Technology Coach in 2016. She loves collaborating with teachers to find ways to implement technology in the classroom, promoting Bradley County
School by creating flyers or shooting pictures, teaching students about digital citizenship, and training teachers and students on new programs or software.

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