This week we are staging at St. Gregory a three day Digital Citizenship bootcamp, (DCbc), for all our students.

[Interested?  Read this post and the following three posts which you can find clicking on the digital citizenship “tag” on the right.]

This project was launched at our end of the year faculty meetings last May, during which we reflected very thoroughly upon our first year of being a 1:1 laptop school.   As at so many other schools, our biggest concern was about the problem of digital distraction: students sometimes play games or check social media when they ought to be doing school work.

As the conversation proceeded, others said that they were just as concerned about the ways students were communicating on social media, and the problem of cyberbullying.   Someone pointed out that we hadn’t really taken a distinct and intentional effort to educate our students about our expectations and the issues involved in these three areas, and it was then that our digital citizenship bootcamp concept was born.

Some have confused this with a “digital skills” bootcamp– that we’d be teaching,  for instance, the use of Google apps.  Rather, this is about citizenship, not skills: it is  exclusively about how we all can be better digital citizens, using digital tools more responsibly and respectfully and in ways which strengthen our community.

Each day this week, our students are rotating through, as paired grades (7&8, 9&10, 11&12) each of our three sessions:

  1. Managing Digital Distractions,
  2. Cyberbullying and What You Can Do About it,
  3. and Social Media Responsibility and your Digital Footprint.  

Our sixth graders have had their own specially designed, developmentally appropriate sessions on these topics.

It is my intent to share, in a series of posts, each of these sessions.   Below (or after the “more” button)  is the program, including the powerpoint slides and the two videos, for our Cyberbullying presentation, prepared by our School Counselor Kim Peace-Steimer and our Librarian and Director of Information Literacy Laura Lee Calverley.

About this session, the presenters have explained,

During our 45 minute presentation, we addressed types of bullying,  including physical, verbal, and cyberbullying.  The students discussed the different types of bullying, the impact that it could have, and some steps of how to address bullying within the school community.

Each student was asked to reflect on a time they may have experienced bullying and the impact it had on them personally.  This led the way to open dialogue regarding the need for courage and standing up to prevent further incidents, the need for respect for others, the process for reporting bullying within the school community, and the acknowledgement of digital footprints that follow hurtful comments and digital drama.

Topics covered:

  • Types of bullying

  • Personal experience with being bullied

  • Possible origins of bullying/cyber bullying behaviors

  • Impact of cyber bullying/sexting

  • School policy on bullying

  • Steps towards prevention