MARCH 8, 2012 BY TERI COUETTE
I find that the saying “one person can make a difference” certainly applies when it comes to helping students become responsible Digital Citizens. At many schools it takes just one person to have that vision and forge ahead and make a culture of Digital Citizenship happen.
At Mt. Ararat, a culture of Digital Citizenship is being championed by a dynamic Technology Integrator, Lisa Hogan. I first met Lisa a couple of summers ago at the MLTI Summer Institute in Castine Maine where we participated in a workshop on Common Sense curriculum. Lisa spoke with me several times over the next couple of months and although “technically” the school was not part of the research demonstration schools, Lisa has shared her expertise and progress. Lisa began with her vision to help students and their parents several years ago and even invited John Palfrey who wrote the book Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives to speak at her school.
Lisa takes a whole school approach and has worked with all of the grades so that the school has a program that works and is scaffolded.
Lisa began looking at the whole school curriculum and the Common Sense curriculum a couple of years ago to see what would work in each grade. She does not do this in isolation but has been actively seeking out staff who will help her achieve the goal of school wide implementation. They have included other curriculum besides the Common Sense Media curriculum. Last year Lisa had planning blocks with the Humanities/LA teacher and Social Study teacher in the 6th grade and planning blocks with the Social Studies teacher in the 8th grade. Lisa’s ultimate goal is that each grade level have the “teams” themselves (including specialists) plan how it will get into the schedule.
Lisa also has a student technology group who are teaching some of the lessons in the high school. The students felt that the teachers there also learned a lot! Grades 7th and 8th did four lessons before the laptops went home and the Assistant Principal said that he thought it really made a difference. “I am not seeing any where near the issues that I had previously.”