• FYI, a recent blog post of mine through Bright Futures about digital citizenship. Everyday I read another dozen (or more) references to inappropriate student or adult actions online. My list today includes a high school teacher tweeting nude photos to a student; another teacher who was fired for sexting a student; a middle school student arrested…[Read more]

    • Thanks for posting Ed, and it is okay to feel grumpy about this issue. More does need to be done to work with the whole school community. Many Maine schools are thinking about digital citizenship and implementing some instruction for students but it is my feeling that many schools are currently overwhelmed with standards work and budgets. I…[Read more]

    • Thanks for the reminder, Ed. It does seem hard to fit everything into the busy school day. I think it makes the most sense to address these issues as they apply to student work. For example, my 5th graders were questioning a specific student’s email. I suggested that perhaps they could speak directly to each other since the students in question…[Read more]

  • There are a lot of issues to consider when creating student tech teams but a changing school environment means working those things through. It would be great to find good models of where this is working and how the tech teams function. Perhaps we can check with schools that have created good student tech teams and have that conversation.

  • A question for the group…or more appropriately several questions. One of my colleagues used to say, “School is the place were students come to watch their teachers work.” Hmmm…that is still true in many places. So why don’t we ask students to get more involved in their own learning? Specifically, with 11 years of creating tech-savvy…[Read more]

    • I believe it is because schools are still functioning on the obsolete industrial model…they are set up to prepare individuals for the work force of yesterday. School leadership must embrace the realities of the 21st century and take a good long look at what has changed since the model was established. For some strange reason, education and the…[Read more]

    • Sir Ken Robinson does a great job explaining the pitfalls of our industrial school system in public education. Mass Customization is the “new” buzz word in education. I read a great book entitled, “Inevitable: Mass Customized Learning: Learning in the Age of Empowerment (New Edition) by Charles Schwahn and Beatrice McGarvey (May 30, 2012). This…[Read more]

      • You are quite right!! Our tech team was disbanded when the members ventured too far in their normal curiosity regarding everything from exploring terminal to by passing some of the unneeded filters. They were the brightest and the best!! The schedule in the school began to focus on teaching to the tests more so the tech team had no time to meet. I…[Read more]

  • Speaking of talking about Social Media in our schools…
    If you want to have a great three day, hands on workshop at beautiful Bowdoin College this summer learning about social media and Digital Citizenship then please sign up. Kelly Mendoza, Senior Manager of Education Content and Curriculum, Common Sense Media and Doctoral Candidate, Temple…[Read more]

  • Thanks Pam for this post. I especially like the discussion that begins with what are the fears and what are some bright spots. It has been my experience that many schools lock down potentially great learning opportunities instead of even having this discussion and doing research on how it might be different.

  • . . . and I forgot t give you the link! Can you tell it’s been a long day?


  • I just found an interesting article in American Libraries magazine – ”How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School.” It was done by Edutopia in conjunction with Facebook – good combination. I really think that administrators need lots of support dealing with social media and this could help.

  • I am reading the Book “Talking Back to Facebook” by James Steyer that every parent should read. James Steyer is the founder of Common Sense Media. This book is directed to parents and cautions the parents to connect with their kids around the use of technology. It has made me think more deeply around kids being able to have 24/7 access. This…[Read more]

    • Teri, thanks for highlighting this NY Times article…very interesting. In schools we have talked about getting parents “involved” for years. Now, around the topic of technology and learning, I believe that teachers and parents MUST work together…more important than ever. Since the line between home and school has been blurred with 24/7 access…[Read more]

      • I agree and have asked Common Sense Media to discuss parent programs again this summer when their regional managers get together. I think in Maine schools are beginning to become aware of the issues and have taken on some of the responsibility in teaching students. Now we need to go back and push to get that parent connection to be stronger. I…[Read more]

        • A class for parents? A great idea. Research on schools with strong parent/caregiver connections clearly shows that students do better academically. So why wouldn’t that same idea apply if we were to connect schools and parents around digital literacy and digital citizenship issues. This moves then from a “nice thing we should do” to an…[Read more]

  • A NY Times today had an article on Bullying by Nicholas Kristof under the OP ED section. It is titled “The Winning Essays Are…” and there is a link to his blog that contains several poignant student essays on bullying . Below is the current article and a link to the…[Read more]

  • Ed,
    Great article from Dangerously irrelevant on school social network policies. This certainly is a heated topic and one that seems to create a huge divide between schools and within schools. I keep feeling that education of faculty, parents and students is the key and I suspect that will be the norm in ten years.

    Thanks for sending that web…[Read more]

  • Lots going on with this topic…three excellent resources that I wandered across recently:

    http://www.dangerouslyirrelevant.org/ Response from Scott McLeod and his readers about social media policy.

    • […]

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  • There have been interesting discussions lately about the Portland School Department which is considering filtering student laptops at home. At the same time Common Sense Media posted an article on their blog about Maine’s 1 to 1 program, It highlighted Jeff Mao’s vision that includes digital citizenship education and it features comments by…[Read more]

    • Excellent article about the leadership of Jeff Mao and the work of Maine teacher-leaders Lisa Hogan, Laura Richter, and others. Rather ironic that in a state with our history for technology and learning leadership (MLTI!) the school district in our largest city has opted to restrict access for students. I recognize that this issue is complex and…[Read more]

  • A few days ago I was asked to help the district administrators to provide evidence of E-Rate compliance. Here’s a link to CSM e-rate toolkit. I simply completed the form and hit print. Wonderful! http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/erate-admins

  • Stephanie Bresett added this question as a status update:

    Can someone provide examples of Best Practice Policies for Social Networks at school? Both students and staff please. The IT department is working on […]

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  • Can someone provide examples of Best Practice Policies for Social Networks at school? Both students and staff please. The IT department is working on this and has asked for my input (hooray!!) This is progress because typically these things would come from the top down; not from the trenches upward. Thanks for your insights.

  • I was just reading something that was discussed on the AASL (American Association of School Libraries) list serve and wanted to share. It is an article from theJournal. On the second page is a quote from Common Sense Media. The comments and frustrations are also worth discussing.

    ‘Banning Is Not the Answer’ to Mobile and Social Tools in…[Read more]

    • Thank much Teri. I just sent to the superintendent, asst. superintendent, tech coordinator, principal and vice principal. I feel that this is really an important issue and the head in the sand approach just does not work. When we embrace the tools of this digital generation, we connect in a meaningful way with them and can accomplish so much more…[Read more]

  • A colleague sent me this article, “How to Erase Your Digital Footprint” that I thought might be of interest to this group. It is a link from the website MAXIMUMPC. To tell the truth I am afraid of learning how big my digital footprint is but find that Google Alarm Fascinating! It is getting quite difficult to protect our privacy but if students…[Read more]

  • The You Tube video is great !
    The Libraries United Conference scheduled for this May in Orono is full of programs that are examples of 21st century libraries. For example, there is a session on hosting an appy […]

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  • At the elementary level, I thought I would involve our librarian and the library ed techs in teaching some of the curriculum in Common Sense Media. In particular, I was targeting the Research and Informational […]

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  • Interesting question. I sit on a district leadership team. We just has a Vision Cafe that included representation from multiple stakeholders. One of the top 6 topics that were suggested for our strategic plan was […]

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