I take that back. An unkind statement, said aloud, only heard by those within earshot can be softened with a quick apology. But the realities of life online are such that all expressions -- cruel, kind, and every sort imaginable -- have a longer shelf life when emailed, posted, recorded, and texted. The action of sharing intensifies the impact.
Sometimes it seems as if keeping up with the ever-evolving digital landscape is like tracking a shape-shifter. Kids are quick to adapt, and we need to be on pace, too. We launched Digital Citizenship Week in 2013 to shine a spotlight on the importance of helping kids learn how to create a safe, responsible digital life.
The purpose of Digital Citizenship Week is to build awareness of the importance of teaching digital citizenship and to help teachers and schools activate their communities in meaningful ways around these topics. Digital life is a reality for many; that’s why our whole-community approach engages everyone -- from educators and students to parents, district officials, and community leaders.
Our work with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) showcases the power of collaboration. The highly publicized rollout of 1-to-1 throughout the district brought a new urgency to the challenges and opportunities of growing up in a digital world. LAUSD wanted to act fast. They launched a Digital Citizenship Week initiative in Spring 2014. One of the activities during the course of the week was sharing with students Common Sense’s digital citizenship music video -- Pause & Think Online. After watching the video, students were inspired to create their own digital citizenship song; and they wrote their own lyrics to the music of “Happy” by musician Pharrell Williams. Taking this kind of creative and innovative approach was an important part of the success of the project.
The entire community now sees digital citizenship as a critical part of how LAUSD is integrating technology into the classroom. Due to the success of the spring campaign, LAUSD is celebrating Digital Citizenship Week for the 2014-2015 school year this month.
Want to participate in this year’s Digital Citizenship Week? We’re always here to make it easier for teachers and schools, whether you’re just getting started with teaching digital citizenship or need fresh ideas to enliven your approach and engage your students.