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Digital Citizenship

Thursday, January 27, 2022 Volume 16 Issue 17

In the last couple years, Digital Citizenship has become a more important topic for our students than ever. Since the start of the pandemic, student have had more access to screens, particularly during times of remote learning. Since students each have access to their own device, this provides new opportunities, but also new potential problems. ​ Librarian Michael Zetterberg provides lessons in digital citizenship to students at TM. Using the Common Sense Digital Citizenship Curriculum, students are learning how to stay safe on-line, how to be responsible and respectful to others on-line, what type of information must be kept private, how to be upstanders if cyber bullying happens, and how to report problems that come up when they are on-line. ​ Students begin to access technology at a younger age in today’s society. It is not uncommon to see children scrolling on phones and iPads well before they enter school. While our students are clearly “digital natives” and our comfortable with the use of technology, they are still children who need the guidance of adults to shape the decisions they make on-line and to help protect them from potential dangers. ​ Access to inappropriate sites is a concern from many parents. Student computers at school have strong filters preventing them from visiting sites that contain mature content. However, this is not true for students’ phones, which operate on a network independent from the school. Our school expectation is that student phones are turned off and put away throughout the school day. If students need to call home, they are welcome to do so from the school office. Students are able to access their phones on the bus, and many students play games on their phone as entertainment during a long bus ride. If students are not using their phone appropriately on the bus, they will be asked to keep it put away and given a seat near the driver to ensure appropriate supervision. ​ Outside of school hours, it is important for parents to continue the conversation with their child about what apps they use and which sites they visit. You may consider asking your child to sign an agreement about using technology in accordance with your family’s values. You can find examples of Family Media Agreements here: . ​ You may also want to consider limiting your child’s access to more mature media. Common Sense Media has resources for setting parental controls that can block adult content, help regulate phone usage at bedtime, and help you create safe access to certain sites. You can find this here: . Our students are curious and without guidance, can find their way into information that you might prefer they not access.Technology can help students create, communicate, and enrich their learning. The trick is finding a healthy balance of technology use with other types of learning and teaching students to use this tool in a responsible way. Making sure that your child uses technology with the guidance and oversight of adults will help to ensure a positive experience. I encourage you to check out the Common Sense Media site and all it has to offer.


Treats for our Teachers & School Staff!

Check out FTME's online sign-up form to facilitate TM families to bring in treats for school staff - a small way we can show our support for the hard work and juggling of tasks teachers and staff do every day to support our bullpups. ​ Click here to sign-up to bring in a treat for our teachers and school staff!


Did you know there is a FTME email list?

Friends of Thurgood Marshall Elementary (FTME) has a separate email list that we maintain to get information out to our school community on short notice. It is facilitated by MailChimp, an email provider, that allows us to send emails to a large group at once. You can unsubscribe at any time, but many folks stay on the list even as alumni families! ​ We are hoping to get as many folks on the list as possible - as the more connected we all can be, the better we can be about communicating TM needs and news. Use this link to sign up: Think you might have already signed up but aren't getting emails? We've noticed that email spam filters catch these emails pretty regularly - if you think you might have signed up, search in your email for an email sent on January 25th with the subject line "Thankful for Thurgood Marshall staff!!", you might see it in your spam or junk or trash filter! Add that email to your 'safe sender' list and you should get future communications. So far, we are sending emails only as needed, so we shouldn't be filling your inbox. Please reach out to Cadence Miller - if you have questions about the email list or issues signing up!

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