With Spring Break on the horizon and other events in the news, it’s a good time to remind you that Digital Citizenship instruction should be continuing beyond December. Yes, I realize that the board policy states that official student instruction is to be completed by Winter Break, but we all know there are ways to keep planting the seeds of good online behavior — short video clips, parent information, technology/DigCit nights, and more.
FCPS District Safety Advisory Council — last week, this group held a meeting where they invited experts to help them dig into the causes of school violence. Assistant Fayette County Attorney, Heather Matics, told the council that “gangs, guns, and naked pictures” were the most common problems affecting students in our schools. Let that sink in … sexting is a serious problem in our schools, hence our continued emphasis over the last 6-7 years on making sure we teach our children to understand what it is, how to avoid it, and how to report problems. As Matics states, “Possession, transmission and manufacturing of child pornography is also a growing problem among students.” Please be sure to read the article for more information: “‘Gangs, guns, and naked pictures.’ Lexington Focuses on What Lands Students in Court”.
FCPS Newsletter for Parents — feel free to send this newsletter home to parents before Spring Break. Many of you indicated that having pre-made materials would be a big help when it comes to this type of communication outreach. If you do not want to use the newsletter as is, the individual articles are listed below.
Sexting Handbook from Common Sense Media — some really good information in this resource — from how to turn down a request for a sext to who can help.
Please 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
Scoop.it! 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.
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
Scoop.it! 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.
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 little 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.
Videos: Ruff Ruffman — these videos “address topics including texting, sharing photographs online, conducting searches, and finding the appropriate balance of technology and media use in everyday life” and are from PBS Learning Media.
2017-18 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
Google: Be Internet Awesome — here’s a link to an article explaining the new curriculum and game from Google, one that you’ll probably find very beneficial. The activities show promise, so be sure to explore this resource.
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, so 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.
Please click on this LINK to let me know if you’ll be at the same school next year.
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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.