Sadly, there was not a topic for this week's Share #youredustory. So, I've decided to continue with a topic of my own: citizenship.
Recently, I started a new job at a smaller private boarding school. Coming from 10 year in the public school system, there are a lot of things that are very different, including conformity. Individualism runs wild among faculty. Teachers are considered "experts" of their trade and are allowed to do what works for them. Though this ideology has many perks and benefits, in the arena of digital citizenship, it can pose problems.
Prior to my working here, digital citizenship was not a standard. There was a focus on several larger speaking events surrounding the topic, but it was not embedded deeply within the curriculum. You can say this about many schools, I'm sure.
So, after a few weeks of working here, I sent out a Google Form asking for faculty members to sign-up if they were interested in being a member on a campus digital citizenship committee. And, immediately, I had responses! I asked for each to express their experience with digital citizenship and their goals for the focus group.
We met two weeks later for an hour and we hashed out the beginnings of our plan.
Now, just two weeks after our initial meeting, we have a digital citizenship Website and activities planned for digital citizenship week (CommonSense Media, October 18-24). We have also spoken to the entire faculty about the "plan" and we have a chapel planned for middle school students and high school students to introduce the topic. We have decided to focus on bringing awareness to the issue this first year of our committee. In future years, we will build upon awareness.
So...what are our plans? That's what I am most excited about!
We plan on launching our activities during national digital citizenship week. Since that week, unfortunately, falls on a week full of parent/student conferences, we are having to revise it slightly. All students are members of an advisory who meets each day for 10-15 minutes. So, on Wednesday of digital citizenship week, all advisories will complete an activity. After that, on D-days (a day on our school calendar that happens once a week) advisories will complete an activity. D-days will become digital citizenship days.
To kick this off, we have met with the faculty and we have created a Website using Awesome Tables to highlight the activities as well as the resources. We are also hosting a chapel for middle school students and for upper school students. For the purpose of this year, we have three main focuses: information literacy, safety & security, and relationships & communication. All activities belong to one of those categories.
Though it is still in its infancy stages, we are excited about the momentum surrounding a topic that impacts each of us daily.
What have you started this year that you are excited about?