Digital Citizenship in Salisbury

By Lindsey Diamond

During Salisbury school district’s 2016-2017 year, a program called Digital Citizenship was implemented into our education system. The idea started when Salisbury’s Supervisor of Instructional Practice, Ross Cooper, enacted to implement Digital Citizenship in Salisbury township school district K-12. Digital Citizenship consists of five lessons a year which aim to inform students how to use technology appropriately. The lessons include information on internet safety, privacy and security, relationships and communication, cyberbullying and digital drama, digital footprints and reputation, self-image and identity, information literacy, and creative credit and copyright. Digital Citizenship is also a NearPod program, which allows teachers to monitor students progress and move them along at the same pace throughout the lesson.

Mrs. Burns, Salisbury High School’s librarian, teaches all of the Digital Citizenship lessons for the high school. She informed me it encompasses more than just keeping your passwords private, but lessons such as relationships, internet safety, and cyberbullying as well. Mrs. Burns also enlightened that Digital Citizenship does contain a specific purpose in our educational system, because students are creating, producing, and publishing their works to share with the Salisbury community. Mrs. Burns also added that CommonSense Media, the company which produces Digital Citizenship, gives students a framework and basic understanding before they get to the High School on how to use technology in the high school. The students in the high school maintain that basic understanding.

Also, one Salisbury High School student was interviewed about Digital Citizenship and asked to put in his input. He did think the lessons in Digital Citizenship were really important to be informed of, but he does not believe students need to relearn that knowledge. His feedback for Digital Citizenship is that it should be limited to the Elementary and Middle School level, and not be implemented into the high school. Another student who was asked questions in Salisbury High School feels that Digital Citizenship is a good program, because it teaches many skills about how to manage using technology appropriately. He also believes Digital Citizenship should be taught to act as a refresher to inform students about technology. No matter what students opinions are; Digital Citizenship will stay in Salisbury’s education system for the rest of the 2016-2017 school year.

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