During the summer of 2017, our school district, Caroline County Public Schools, realized that our community (including our students) needed some resources for making responsible choices with regards to social media. We also realized that this was going to be a huge task and we couldn't do it alone. So we partnered with several community agencies including the local Sheriff's Office, the State's Attorney's Office, Recreation and Parks, Social Services, and the Public Library. We named our committee GREEN (Growing Responsible Educated Electronic Neighborhoods). After several meetings, we decided that hosting 4 parent nights across our district would be the best way to kick off our campaign. In each location, we opened up the conversation about the legal implications of using social media, the meaning of a "digital tattoo", how students and parents are using social media, where to find helpful resources and much more.
After reviewing some feedback, we know that our community is very interested in several social media-related topics including privacy, talking with strangers online, and understanding digital footprints. We plan to host a couple of privacy sessions this Spring and we have a speaker lined up to talk to our secondary students about sexting. Through this committee, we have also secured funds from outside the school system to provide a speaker in September 2018 about being civil online.
By forming a community social media committee we have accomplished so much more than our school system could do alone. We are finding resources to spread the word about positive digital citizenship and we are all sharing the same message to community members no matter where or when we encounter them. We also feel like it is important to include parents in on the conversation and give them resources so they can have conversations with their kids at home.
Please take a look at our resources uploaded here. We've shared our first community night presentation, our school district instructional snapshot, a digital citizenship committee planning night, and some digital citizenship parent resources (handout created by one of our media specialists for distribution at our community night).