Extra advisories educating students on online ethics


Emily Price

The lessons in advisory over the next few weeks are designed to prepare Bearden students for the arrival of the new laptops.

Editor’s Note: This is one of many stories The Bark will run over the coming weeks about the new laptops. Check the website frequently for more news and updates.

Students will go to their advisories every day for 20 minutes starting Sept. 9 until Sept. 20 to become better familiarized with online ethics and with the MacBook Pros that are only weeks away from arrival on campus.

The rollout of the laptops will take place Sept. 24-26.

Bearden administrator Mrs. Rachel Harmon was tasked with creating the lesson plans each day for all advisory teachers.

“We know students know how to use computers, but knowing how to use them in an ethical, professional manner that adheres to Knox County policies is why we’re doing this,” Mrs. Harmon said.

The digital citizenship curriculum will cover six units, including topics like cyber-bulling, online identities, sharing information, online relationships, privacy, and citing and editing.

Many students have probably heard several warnings from their parents or their school against cyber-bullying and over-sharing on social media, but students may see an even more relevant discussion on acceptable behavior online in these upcoming advisories.

For example, “sub-tweeting” is a popular way to let people know what the tweeter is thinking of another person in an often thinly-veiled insult, and students may see that passive-aggressive bullying technique addressed.

“I think my peers could learn a lot about not putting down other people, not cussing, not putting inappropriate pictures up, because I see it all the time,” Bearden junior Madeline McReynolds said.

Other lessons will focus on what colleges and employers look for in a prospective applicant on social media. This is in an effort to reach students who feel that it doesn’t matter what they post on social media.

“You make one mistake from innocence, which I’m sure there’s a lot of innocent mistakes made in one area, and then it could ruin your entire life, and with it being a Knox County computer, we’ve got to be even more careful,” Mrs. Harmon said.