During the week of October 19-23, 2020, St. Vrain Valley Schools will join educators around the globe in celebration of Common Sense Education’s Digital Citizenship Week, an event that champions digital citizenship, an inclusive concept that encourages responsible use of technology as a tool to create a lasting, positive impact on the world.
“St. Vrain is a proud education technology leader,” says Michelle Bourgeois, Chief Technology Officer for St. Vrain Valley Schools. “We want to empower all learners to be responsible users of that technology, and have emphasized digital citizenship as an important part of our work across the district.”
In 2019, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) launched a national Digital Citizenship Commitment campaign (DigCitCommit), providing resources and tools to educators around the world with the goal of redefining digital citizenship and reaching 1 million students by 2021. This fall, St. Vrain launched its own version of the campaign, Screen Smart St. Vrain, to encourage more than 32,000 local students and their teachers and families to think critically, make proactive choices, and behave responsibly online.
Uniting behind a pledge — “We are an inclusive community of informed, aware and balanced digital citizens who thoughtfully engage in our digital world. We are digital citizens.” — the Screen Smart campaign customizes DigCitCommit’s five core competencies to define digital citizenship in St. Vrain:
- Inclusive – We respectfully recognize multiple viewpoints and engage with others with respect and empathy.
- Engaged – We build community, solve problems, and create knowledge to improve ourselves and our world.
- Balanced – We make informed decisions about how to prioritize time and activities online and off.
- Aware – We know how to be safe and interact carefully and thoughtfully.
- Informed – We evaluate the accuracy, perspective, and validity of media.
As the Screen Smart campaign builds a common language and frame of reference for digital citizenship in St. Vrain, families will continue to be an important partner in engaging students in responsible use of technology at home. In addition to reminders in the halls of their schools and on their district-issued devices, all K-12 students will have opportunities to engage in rich conversations and authentic learning experiences to build critical digital citizenship skills necessary for future success.
“Preparing students for postsecondary success includes preparing them to be aware of their responsibilities as citizens in a digital world,” Bourgeois says. “We want our students to be safe online, but we also want them to be empathetic members of society – online and off – as they work to solve the problems of the future and use technology to make our community, and the world, a better place.”
More information and technology resources for families can be found at tech.svvsd.org/family/.