Digital citizenship; how are we addressing it?
Culturing positive digital practices in our students and community, like every other initiative, offers both a dramatically progressing opportunity and a significant and ongoing challenge.
The expectation of minimal screen time is practiced primarily in grades K – 2. In the intermediate grades (3 – 6), Chrome books are used when they can be employed as an appropriate learning tool. As an example, Grade 6 will be engaged in a unit on digital citizenship which will incorporate faith foundations. In the secondary program there are a number of areas where positive digital citizenship can be shaped. We have Chrome book options for classes as well as BYOD or “bring your own device” as instructed and managed by the classroom teacher.
As our students progress through high school, at what point should parents allow unrestricted and unmonitored use of their personal cell phone? Will you be there making decisions for them through senior secondary grades and then into post- secondary? I imagine not! Are you encouraging and honouring your children with increasing levels of trust in their online conduct? I hope you are able!
The following policy regarding cell phones can be found in the secondary student planner:
Cell Phones: Cell phones may not be seen, used or turned on while in the class room. Failure to follow this may result in students having their cell phones confiscated and kept in the office until the end of the school day. Any reoccurring issues will be referred to their homeroom teacher, administration and/ or parents.
This policy does not restrict the classroom teacher from asking students to engage with their cell phones in the classroom in a specifically designed classroom activity where the device is used as a positive learning tool.
As I sit here writing this in a school that I am visiting in Vancouver, my phone has become my computer to communicate with the two JKCS offices as well as to write newsletter articles while researching Erase Bullying on Google. I just ordered some classroom supplies on Amazon and I am listening to the Hallelujah chorus with earphone connections. What a powerful and useful device! Excuse me for a moment, my son is calling.
In the past and also planned for the near future, we have and intend to further engage the media specialist Jesse Miller.
This presenter talks to teachers and students about the risks and benefits of the use of digital platforms.
The challenge we are facing also include a significant time of program transition, new staff and newly enrolled families/students. All need to be drawn in to consistent application of well-considered digital device practices.