Countdown to Winter Break — and Instruction

snowflake-310071_1280Please remember that board policy states that digital citizenship instruction for all students must be completed by Winter Break. Well, technically the policy says four months from the first day of school, but we stretch it a couple of days to make it easier for everyone to remember.

While we always encourage instruction to continue throughout the year as part of best practice, the official part must be completed by December 19.



  • Breakout Game: Digital Citizenship — Thanks to David Mato, Maxwell, for sharing a resource he found on Teachers Pay Teachers. It looks very comprehensive, and David said it’s well done. It’s worth consideration if it suits a curriculum need.

In the News

  •! Savvy Cyber Citizens — lots of new articles including teens targeting THEMSELVES online, sharing too much on social media, and how Facebook makes connections between users, even when they personally don’t share the information.

Common Sense Steps Toward Digital Citizenship

FCPS badge for 2017-18
FCPS badge for 2017-18

I’m happy to announce that Fayette County Public Schools will be applying to be a Common Sense District. As Common Sense Media’s site states, “This is an official stamp of recognition from Common Sense Education for districts that are dedicated to teaching digital citizenship to young people and to taking a whole-community approach.”

Districts must show that at least 50% of schools are using the Common Sense Digital Citizenship Curriculum and/or other tools such as Digital Passport, Digital Compass, and Digital Bytes. That’s easy for us since we have plans detailing use of these materials. In addition, district must demonstrate parent engagement and education on media and technology issues and have a plan to help all schools reach Common Sense School Status over the next two years.

More information on becoming a Common Sense School or Educator is located below under Resources.

  • Instructional Plans — are still in the process of being vetted.
  • Due Dates — don’t forget that all required instruction on the plan must be completed by Winter Break.


  • Be recognized as a Common Sense School — if you are using Common Sense Media lessons and resources with students, providing professional development to staff, and are engaging and educating parents about issues, you’re eligible. I have told Common Sense Media that I will handle submitting school information, so please click here to let me know if you’re using these resources. My goal is to get our remaining schools to this level. The criteria, as taken from the website, is:
    • Create a school vision including digital citizenship and digital teaching.
    • Develop a Common Sense School Implementation Plan. You will be asked to enter the implementation details in the Common Sense School application. The implementation plan should include all criteria outlined in the following steps.  (Easy if you’re using 3-5 CSM lessons for at least two grade levels and a vast majority of you are)
    • Provide professional development to all educators on digital citizenship. PD may be conducted in person (by school staff) or online, using Common Sense Education resources. In-person PD may be combined to cover both topics. (Ideas include using short chunks of faculty meetings or one outright training, sending out weekly information training sheets from Common Sense, utilizing a Canvas/Google Classroom course, etc. Common Sense requests one piece of documentation. Other ideas are here.)
    • One or more educators leads digital citizenship instruction on at least two full grade levels using Common Sense Education resources. All students at those grade levels must receive instruction. Schools have two options to meet student-instruction criteria: (Easy since most of our schools are using several of these lessons with multiple grades)
      • On two grade levels, teach five lessons/modules/storylines/or two Digital Bytes,
      • OR on three grade levels, teach three lessons/modules/storylines/or one Digital Byte
    • Engage parents school-wide and educate them in three distinct ways. (Easy — the parent handouts, etc. linked on our website can be used to share directly with parents in emails/newsletters, link the parent resource page on the district site to the school website, offer the FCPS Social Media brochure in the school office and other areas like Guidance and the FRC, host parent/tech nights, create posters for parent nights that don’t involve technology topics, offer etc.) Check out Common Sense Media’s Connecting Families for more ideas.
    • Save at least three pieces of documentation from your efforts implementing: professional development, digital citizenship student instruction, and/or parent outreach to submit with the Common Sense School application. Easy
  •  Become a Common Sense Educator — this isn’t hard but it requires a little bit more effort in my opinion since you have to go through one of the tutorials for a grade range. The estimation is 4-6 hours total. New people — here’s where your work pays off! Here’s a link to more information. When you complete it, please let me know, so I can take care of submitting your name.

In the News

  •! Savvy Cyber Citizens — updated as of today. Stories on Germany’s new social media Hate Speech law, and the dangers of online dating in Kentucky.

I Hear the Freight Train Coming …

Reminders & Updates

When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry…

  • Plan Due Date — Yep, the whistle is blowing for your school instructional plan. I figured we needed a freight-train-1640348_640little touch of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues to kick off the reminder that instructional plans are due September 29.  No worries, though. The freight train that is Paula will roll around the bend next week with another harassment reminder for you.
  • New Coordinators’ Online Training — Don’t forget to complete the Common Sense Media and NetSmartz certifications listed below. There’s additional information in our previous memo.


Back in the Saddle with Digital Citizenship

sunhat2017-18 means another year of teaching our students how to be good digital citizens and protect themselves while using online technology. Please know that school coordinators serve an important role in providing that instruction and are appreciated for their effort.


  • Last Coordinator Training — if you haven’t attended a training this year, please sign up on the PD Menu. Our last session is this Wednesday, August 30, at 9:00 a.m.
  • New Coordinator Certification — we will not be using iSafe certification for new coordinators this year. Instead, new people will complete the following courses and submit proof of certification to the district. This is a one-time requirement for when a coordinator first takes over the position. The due date for this training is September 29.
  • Due Date for Instructional Plans — due September 29


In the News

  • Savvy Cyber Citizens — updated as of 8/22/17. Contains articles on new apps such as Snap Map, Yellow, and Sarahah, so you’ll want to learn more about those.

Save the Date! August DigCit Training for Coordinators

We will be returning to face-to-face meetings this year for school Digital Citizenship Coordinators. You will be required to attend one of the training sessions below, savedateso go ahead and mark the dates on your calendar. As soon as I get a confirmed location for August 8, I’ll put all the dates on the PD Menu and then notify you.

Updated Location Information below as of 5/19/17):

  • August 8 — two sessions available
    • 9:30-11:30, Tates Creek Library, large Conference Room
    • 1:00-3:00, Tates Creek Library, large Conference Room
  • August 24 — 4:30-6:30, Annex Lab 305
  • August 30 — 9:00-11:00, Annex Lab 305


I need you to fill out the two surveys below by Friday, May 12.


In the News


Don’t forget Digital Citizenship in the Spring!

As I emailed you the other day, please don’t let opportunities to instruct students on Digital Citizenship slip away just because the December deadline is past.

Ideas for sharing include: 

  • Using a morning show or school announcements to share information or video clips with students.
  • Selecting digital safety tips to share with teachers and asking them to focus on it with students for certain weeks.
  • Teaching parents or guardians at a school activity, such as Conference or Technology nights.
  • Posting articles on the school website for parents to access.
  • Sending out a newsletter to parents with information that allows them to educate themselves about Digital Citizenship.

These are just some thoughts off the top of my head. Feel free to share in the comments below if you have other strategies!

Also, get a head start on next year.!: Creating Savvy Cyber Citizens continues to be updated.

The Brief Pause in Harassment

How you feel about the FCPS School  Internet Safety plans?

Finally, the harassment about getting in those school plans is thankfully over, and you can now start deleting those emails I sent. Okay … I hear your muttering … you’ve already done that. I get it. Anyway, now you can just focus on making sure students get Internet Safety instruction before Winter Break, while the bad memories of the evil district coordinator fade away.

I will continue, however, with sharing resources and reminding you of important dates. Basically, that means you’ll still be harassed with reminders about completing the curriculum plan. Remember, all instruction according to school plans has to take place by December 16.

Seriously, though, thank you so much for all your hard work. I do appreciate each and every one of you, and if you need me — at any point — just email or call!


  • Video: Phone Addiction — thanks to Jennifer Prall for this resource!
  • Article: Moment App — another great share from Jennifer.

In the News

  • Savvy Cyber Citizens — updated as of 10/25/16. Stories on how devices negatively affect productivity, Apple staff fired for sharing photos, and more.

Panic in the Streets? Curriculum Plans Due

Okay, plans are due tomorrow, September 30th. I checked today to see just how many, and there aren’t a huge amount uploaded.

Now … that’s okay because they aren’t due until tomorrow. However, I’m getting the heebie jeebies since there are normally a lot more turned in by this point. Don’t let me down. Get those Overview forms in Google filled out and the Curriculum Plan uploaded to SharePoint!

Schools with confirmed uploads (This list just means I have all the parts or have already contacted you about missing pieces. I haven’t vetted any content.)

  • ACE
  • Booker T.
  • Cassidy
  • Clays Mill
  • Coventry Oak
  • Deep Springs
  • Dixie
  • Garden Springs
  • Glendover
  • Harrison
  • Martin Luther King Academy
  • Mary Todd
  • Maxwell
  • Millcreek
  • Morton
  • Northern
  • Southside
  • Squires
  • Veterans Park
  • Wellington

Uploading School Curriculum Plans


The only real change we’ve made this year to our Digital Citizenship/Internet Safety world is to the plans. Part of those changes were a necessity, and some were for more convenience. All of this information is also available on our district website.principal signature graphic1

  • Part 1: Plan Overview — our experienced coordinators know this mostly functions as a data sheet providing a quick overview of number of students, who is providing the instruction, etc. We are moving away from the old Excel sheet and moving to a Google Form. Here’s the link. When you click on it, you’ll be prompted to login with your district credentials (email and password) if you’re not already logged into Google.


  • Part 2: Curriculum Plan — the plan basically stays the same as last year where you copy and paste in the topics and lessons that will be covered with students. The main difference will be where you upload it. We now have a SharePoint site with permissions set up so that you will upload to your school folder. You will be prompted for your district credentials to access. The only other change is that I’ve created a Principal Signature sheet to make it easier for you to remember that requirement.
    • Digital Citizenship SharePoint — direct link to the site for uploading your completed plan. Please submit as a PDF.
      • If you prefer to browse to it, open SharePoint in Office 365 (online) and click on District Sites/Office of Instructional Technology/Subsites/Digital Citizenship Coordinators.
    • Blank Curriculum Plan Template — this link will take you to the Instructional Plan part of our website. Just scroll down for the Blank Curriculum Form. Besides a PDF, there are Word and Google Doc versions available for you to download/copy and edit. (Notice that Word requires you to click on Edit Document. From there you can download.)


  • Scamalot — funny British videos all dealing with spam email. The list of videos are all versions of the same theme, so choose based on what works for your students. Please preview the entire video before showing to students. Probably best for middle and high school.



Ready for School!

  • Training for School Coordinators — every year, each school coordinator is required by the district to participate in one (1) Digital Citizenship training session so that you’re ready to prepare lessons for student instruction. There will be three (3) sessions offered this year.
  • Training Sessions — my intention was for there to be an online course available as an option for returning coordinators. However, Canvas isn’t ready yet, and I’m not sure when it will allow enrollment. So, I’ve added a third face-to-face training date to the calendar. All sessions will be at the IAKSS Annex in Lab 305. You may register on the PD Menu. If Canvas gets going soon, and I have time, I may still create the course to give experienced coordinators in the later sessions another option. All brand new coordinators must attend a F2F session regardless.
    • August 24, 4:30-7:00
    • August 29, 9:00-11:30
    • September 7, 4:30-7:00
  • New Coordinators — since we have so many amazing people, I know several outgoing coordinators have already been helping their replacements with planning, etc.– what a great help to the new guys. However, I can not register new coordinators for iSafe and its materials until each has attended a face-to-face training. I’m sorry about the delay, but its district criteria due to iSafe being a paid resource.
  • Coordinator Changes — if you are no longer your school coordinator, please let me know the name of your replacement. For those with no named replacement, I must have an email from your principal saying who will be replacing you. I will assume you’re the school coordinator until I hear differently. Also, if I have failed to remove your name from the email distribution list, please let me know.
  • Updated!: Savvy Cyber Citizens site — I’ve added a bunch of stories I gathered over the summer.