Imagine … a school district that is teaching Digital Literacy and Citizenship lessons to 28,000 K-12 students, with 1,800 trained teachers. Is it possible? Last week, I hosted an inspiring webinar that explained how Kent School District in Kent, Wash., did just that. Kent School District is the first district to be Common Sense Media Certified for Digital Citizenship. At this webinar, Greg Whiteman, Director of Technology Integration, and Laurie Kirkland, One-to-One Program Specialist, explained how they worked together to design and implement a districtwide digital citizenship program. Webinar attendees numbered 288 and included educators from Peru and Turkey. Attendance at one of our EdWeb webinars is free. Just register for our Digital Citizenship Community on EdWeb to receive timely webinar reminders!
The district-wide digital citizenship program, launched in 2012, supports CIPA compliance for the district's E-rate funding. Kent initially looked at five digital citizenship curriculum publishers before choosing to adopt Common Sense Media's. It was after field-testing Common Sense Media's Digital Literacy & Citizenship lessons that they were sure the curriculum was a great fit for the district. They then designed a scope and sequence that suited their needs and, using Smart Notebook files, created an online curriculum center to curate the materials in an easy-to-navigate format. Another strategy Kent employed to encourage teacher participation was to use funding they had secured to pay teachers to complete the one-hour online curriculum training. That additional incentive was effective in helping encourage full participation. Last, Kent excelled in engaging families by encouraging teachers to distribute Common Sense Media’s Educate Families resources, such as the tip sheets that accompany each lesson. They also provided information to family members at the district’s Technology Expo, an annual event attended by more than 5,000 that showcases how students gain valuable skills through technology-enabled classroom projects.
To learn more, watch the webinar for free by accessing it through the resource library in Common Sense Media's Digital Citizenship community on EdWeb. Even if you didn’t attend live, you can earn a CE certificate by watching the recording and taking the quiz at the end. For more information on Kent’s digital citizenship program, read Greg Whiteman's blog post for Common Sense Media.
Is your school or district taking a community-wide approach to Digital Citizenship? Tell us about it by logging in and commenting below!