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 SDCOE to Pilot Digital Citizenship Course

​​A new program created by the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) will help students throughout the county learn to stay safe, civil, and productive online.

The Digital Citizenship program focuses on school site and district office leaders, teaching them how to roll out the curriculum in their schools. They, in turn will train teachers about the curriculum that will be worked into classroom lessons.

The professional-learning program has been built over the last six months in partnership with Common Sense Media to teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world.

“We’re working with Common Sense Media to integrate their high-quality digital citizenship resources into an interactive, online class that will train district leaders to bring the curriculum into their schools and classrooms,” said Craig Leach, a technology integration specialist with SDCOE.

Common Sense Media is a nonprofit group dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. It strives to empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives. Common Sense Media’s curriculum is currently being used in over 50,000 schools nationwide.

A group of about 20 participants is expected to take part in the first six-week course in March. From this small pilot program, SDCOE leaders are hoping to expand the program across the county and beyond. The course covers topics such as cyberbullying, online safety, and privacy. At the end of the training, participants will go back to their school districts with a plan for implementing the curriculum there.

“People are really excited about encouraging online safety with their students and teaching staff,” Leach said.

It’s important for parents and schools to work together to teach children about online safety, even from a young age, Leach said. The curriculum is adaptable for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The key is to teach students about the dangers as well as the opportunities online, Leach said.

“We were really mindful of taking a balanced approach to this,” he said.