Digital Citizenship Symposium

Tuesday March 30th, 2010 was a special day – the day our Board held their first Character Development/Digital Citizenship Symposium. The ballroom at St. George’s Hall was buzzing with energy. The room was filled with administrators, teachers and students. We were about to share a day focused on Digital Citizenship in the context of Character Development and ultimately moving the agenda forward.

Showcasing our Digital Citizenship poster, in the case a giant one by the registration desk.

The Character Development – Digital Citizenship Program

8:00-8:30 Registration

8:30-8:45 Welcome

8:45 -10:00 Keynote Speaker  – Jesse Brown

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:00 Morning: Session A – 21st Century Tools of Learning

  • Option 1 Social Media – Networking Tools
  • Option 2 Equity of Access – Adaptive Technologies
  • Option 3 Digital Literacy and e-learning
  • Option 4 Tools for Student Engagement
  • Option 5 Multimedia Projects – Original Work

11:00 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 12:00 Morning: Session B – Classroom Applications

  • Option 1 Digital Citizenship in the Classroom
  • Option 2 Bitstrips – Literacy
  • Option 3 Creating a Collaborative Online Community
  • Option 4 Digital Citizenship in the Classroom -Ministry Project
  • Option 5 Building Community – Blogging

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 1:45  Session C ” Your Digital Footprint “ – Panel Discussion

1:45 – 2:00 Break

2:00 – 2:45 Afternoon : Session D ” Where do we go from here?”

  • Positive Impact of Technology – The New A.U.P.

2:45 -3:00 Day Program – Closing

Evening Session for Parents and Community members

6:45 – 7:00 Welcome

7:00 – 8:00 Keynote – Jesse Brown

Jesse Brown, owner of Bitstrips for Schools, recently licensed for use in Ontario schools and host of TVO podcast “Search Engine” kicked off the day with a keynote presentation that tackled three questions:

  • Do cell phones belong in classrooms?
  • Do teachers belong on Facebook?
  • Does the internet make us stupid?

After exploring the ins and outs of these questions, the day moved to the break out sessions. I attended Steve Rensink’s session on using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom and Susan Watt’s session on Digital Citizenship in the Classroom. Both sessions were well done and provided opportunities for all to extend their learning.

The afternoon’s activities started with a panel discussion, which I had the privilege of hosting. The panelists included two secondary school students, a teacher, an administrator and a business representative from Opentext.  The discussion started by allowing each panelist to present their views about how integrity, respect and social responsibility (3 of our 8 key character attributes) relate to Digital Citizenship. Picking up on key points made early in the discussion, I also explored two additional points with the panel:

  • Explain the important differences when interacting in a face to face situation vs. an online environment, and
  • With the ease of copying, sharing and distributing content, give your views on academic honesty.

The final session of the day was prepared by Harry Niezen, Ron Millar and Anita Brooks-Kirkland, our ICT consultants. Seating arrangements for this session grouped students with students, teachers with teachers and administrators with administrators to explore a series of questions focusing on the future of our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Each table had a recorder so that the ideas and view points expressed could be captured, reviewed and considered in the rewrite of our AUP which will begin as a followup to this event.

All in all this was a successful event. The day closed with Susan Watt relating some classroom experiences from her point of view as our Technology Support Teacher and me announcing the launch of our new student email system and additional access to social media tools (including Facebook as of September) and our intent to embed their use in curriculum delivery. I think the highlight of the day for me was seeing all attendees – students, staff and administrators seated side by side and learning together. I feel fortunate to have been a part of this important WRDSB event. Congratulations to the event organizing team!!!

Additional Resources

Did you know? (4.0)


The day as captured on Twitter

Social Media policy framework reference

Event Wiki

~ Mark