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

  • Scoop.it: 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. Scoop.it!: 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

  • Scoop.it: 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 Scoop.it!: Savvy Cyber Citizens site — I’ve added a bunch of stories I gathered over the summer.


Summer is Around the Corner … and August is Too!

Updates and Reminders

  • End-of-the-Year Surveysummer-751791_1280-1 — the survey I send each year will be coming soon.
  • Coordinator Training for 2016-17 — Good news! I’ve received approval to design an online training course. It will only be available to experienced coordinators and will replace a face-to-face meeting … as long as there are no dramatic changes on the Internet Safety front. Any changes would mean we would need to meet in person. The course will not be available until sometime in mid-August, though. You will also have the option, if you prefer, to attend one of the two F2F meetings I will offer to new coordinators.
  • Summer Tips — would you want me to design some type of tip sheet that you can send home or post online for parents? Please take this survey so I can gauge the response.
  • Scoop.it Articles — I have continued to update news articles on our Scoop.it site and will continue to do so over the summer. If you haven’t done so already, you may want to create your own site, so you can “scoop” the articles you like. It would allow you to gather resources as you go and have them ready for next year. Jennifer Prall at Tates Creek High has been doing that this year, so you can always ask her for feedback.

In the News

  • Creating Savvy Citizens — updated as of 5/4/16. I especially like the story “50% of Teens Feel Addicted to Their Phones, Poll Says.”

Winter is Over But Internet Safety Keeps on Rolling

Updates and Reminders

  • Parent Reminder — this is a great time of year to remind parents to check their children’s social media presence. To help with this, I’ve created a flyer that can be printed or shared electronically. You’ll find the flyer below in the Resources section.
  • Coordinators for Next Year — if you are retiring or moving, please let me know so I can start stalking your principals about a replacement. If you are not leaving your building, I assume you will continue as coordinator unless I hear differently from your administrator.


In the News

  • Creating Savvy Citizens — updated as of 3/23/16. For a positive story, check out the article on the strangers getting texts about a newborn baby.