Blaise Linn—Digital Citizenship Program, Southold High School, NY

Blaise Linn—Digital Citizenship Program, Southold High School, NY

 (from Ian Jukes website "The Committed Sardine")

Thanks to Superintendent David Gamberg for sharing this with SL 2.0's community!

Greetings, Committed Sardines! I am a student at Southold High School in Southold, New York. I am going to be writing about my school’s process as we move to implement a Digital Citizenship Contract to replace our current Internet usage policy. To do this we have formed a committee that consists of students in grades 9 through 12 working in concert with our Superintendent, Mr. David Gamberg.

Earlier this year Mr. Lee Crockett came to our school and spoke to both the teachers and members of the community about the 21st Century Fluency Project and the need for changes in how and what we teach in school. After hearing him speak I approached Mr. Gamberg about the possibility of restructuring our internet usage policy (which I’ll summarize as “blocked unless proven innocent”). He suggested I email Mr. Crockett and ask for a recommendation that we could take to the school board. Mr. Crockett seemed excited to help and a few weeks ago the committee met for the first time on the topic with him, via Skype video calling as he is traveling.

During our talk Mr. Crockett explained the process we will have to go through and the questions that we will need to have answers for if we want to not give the Board of Education any choice but to agree with us. He told us about other schools that have implemented the Digital Citizenship Contract, and programs like it and suggested that we contact them and ask for recommendations in favor of the contract. He also explained that the terms of the contract and the concept of Digital Citizenship are presented each year by students, to the students before they sign it. He suggested we make power point presentations and scripts for these meetings at every level. We also must plan our presentation to the Board of Education, including any multimedia parts we wish to include.

In order to get all of this work done by the last Board meeting of the year (less than a month) we plan to divide and conquer. Two committee members are serving as spokespeople. They are drafting and will be sending out letters to school districts and education experts in order to gather corroborating evidence. Another group is going to work on designing the power point presentations.

They will undoubtedly collaborate with the group that is planning the actual script of the presentation. One student is serving as a sort of secretary by keeping minutes of all our meetings and giving them to all other members. Finally, I am documenting the process and helping the group to collaborate and share information. We are using a free online collaboration system to share documents, schedule meetings, and keep each other abreast on each of our individual progress in between meetings.

If you wish to contact us you can email us at or leave us a voice mail at +1(631)867-2510. If you think you can contribute in some way to our mission, please do not hesitate to contact us. Any kind words or helpful insights would be greatly appreciated, or even if you just want to let us know that you don’t think we’re crazy for not accepting the status quo. Thanks for reading; I will keep you updated as we progress.

Blaise Linn

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