St. Margaret’s Earns Common Sense School Certification for Digital Citizenship Initiatives

For its commitment to helping students think critically and use technology responsibly to learn and create, St. Margaret’s was certified as a Common Sense School by Common Sense Media, a renowned nonprofit that provides education and advocacy to families to promote safe technology and media use for children.

St. Margaret’s was recognized for its ongoing digital-citizenship initiatives, which align closely with Common Sense Media’s mission and led to the school’s certification for the 2018-2019 school year. Those initiatives include professional-learning opportunities for faculty, and educational programs for students and their families centered around technology use.

“Technology is a vital part of a student’s development, both academically and socially,” Director of Library and Digital Literacy Angela Mackenzie said. “It’s important for St. Margaret’s to focus on what it means to be a good digital citizen, and reflect on how technology use affects our learning, our relationships and our lives.”

One of St. Margaret’s strategic initiatives for the 2018-2019 school year is increasing educational programs for students and families as it relates to digital citizenship and relationship with technology—part of a broader priority toward student health and wellness.

The many programs and events planned for this school year include:

  • Frequent digital-citizenship education for Lower School students, including lessons during Chapel, Library and through character talks with all-school counselors.
  • Welcoming The Social Institute to St. Margaret’s this fall to teach Middle and Upper School students positive ways to use social media and share strategies with parents on understanding social media culture and supporting positive choices.
  • Welcoming educators from across Southern California to St. Margaret’s in February for the Common Sense Media/Eduscape SoCal Digital Citizenship Symposium, where participants will learn more about essential elements and best practices for safeguarding students’ digital lives.
  • Upper School offerings related to technology use, including an innovation block mini-course dedicated to modern media literacy.
  • The PTF Parent Up Speaker Series this year is focused on student health and wellness, including an Oct. 26 talk by expert Jean Twenge on children and their relationship with technology.
 
Other learning opportunities will be implemented throughout the year and, in some cases, have already started. This week, for example, Upper School Librarian Stacey von Winckelmann taught a class in grade 9 history on information literacy, touching on search engines, algorithms, filter bubbles and more.
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An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California