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School District Uses Google Apps to Teach Students 'Digital Citizenship'

School District Uses Google Apps to Teach Students "Digital Citizenship"

The Wilton Public School District in Connecticut will be utilizing Google Apps for Education at all four of its schools to allow students to develop and store a running digital profile.

"The platform allows students to develop a digital portfolio of all their work up until they graduate from Wilton High School and seamlessly collaborate with their peers and teachers," according to an article on the WiltonBulletin.com

Part of what Wilton is striving to teach its students is "how to build their digital profile and reputation — otherwise known as 'digital citizenship,' which involves the use of real-world tools like mail to model appropriate behaviors."

Each student has an individual Google drive through which their work is stored. "There are school and district staff members with system administrative rights to Google Apps who can provide technical support to students who experience issues with their accounts," the article said.

The district's move is groundbreaking because it extends the technology beyond just high school and includes its middle schools as well. The only difference is a few more safety restrictions for the younger users.

At Wilton's middle school Middlebrook, "in particular, sixth and seventh graders are able to email their peers and teachers in a 'closed' email system within the '@wiltonps.org' domain, while eighth graders have been given 'open' email accounts." The closed accounts allow users to only send emails to users with the wiltonps.org domain.

If a parent chooses to opt their student out of the account, that's okay too. "If a parent chooses to have a child completely opt out of the pilot, according to the district, 'teachers will make appropriate accommodations for students who do not have the school-issued Google account' and 'the schools will continue to communicate with parents through Edline and Power School,'" the article said.

Read more here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

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