Not only are students at Western Elementary School in south Los Angeles learning the basic math, reading and writing skills, but they’re also learning how to be good digital citizens.
LA Unified, its Common Core Technology Project (CCTP) team, the Common Sense Media team along with students, parents, staff, and elected officials kicked off the district’s inaugural Digital Citizenship Week at the school last Friday, and “it was more than I could’ve imagined,” Dr. Shilby Sims, the school principal, told LA School Report.
Even though Sims and her instructors have already been teaching students how to responsibly interact with technology since receiving their iPads in October, she said that the event helped establish a standard and protocol for the children on how to behave online.
The event focused on three key digital issues: being safe, being respectful and being responsible.
“This age group will use technology and Internet more than any other,” she said. “It’s going to be their medium of communication.”
The goal, she added, is to establish responsible Internet behaviors that students can carry with them through their education and into adulthood.
“Technology is a resource that will support their learning and part of that resource is being responsible and that helps them become global learners,” Sims said.
LA Unified is supporting educators in this work by providing a comprehensive toolkit, including grade-appropriate lesson plans about digital citizenship, activities that can be implemented school-wide, and materials to engage parents, guardians and communities.
“Technology is powerful,” Superintendent John E. Deasy told LA School Report. “Our students are entering a digital world. Knowing how to use technology, and being safe while doing so, is fundamental for their future. This is why digital citizenship is so important to us. We want to prepare our students to be the best they can be.
“As we proceed into Phase II of our Common Core Technology Project – and as we begin to adopt new standards intended to help our students achieve – Digital Citizenship Week represents measurable advancements in our efforts to bring true 21st century teaching and learning practices into every classroom across the district.”