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Calhoun, Georgia – Common Sense, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology, has recognized Belwood Elementary School as a Common Sense Certified School: Digital Citizenship.

Belwood Elementary has demonstrated its commitment to taking a whole-community approach to preparing its students to use the immense power of digital media to explore, create, connect, and learn, while limiting the perils that exist in the online realm, such as plagiarism, loss of privacy, and cyberbullying.

Chad Moore, principal at Belwood Elementary School gave the credit to his media specialist for implementing the criteria to ensure the certification became a reality. "This is in large part because of Ramona Burnett’s efforts in her role as media specialist to integrate the digital citizenship components into her media classes as part of the weekly specials rotation.  I knew we needed to have a school-wide plan in place to educate students about how to handle their devices and online activity responsibly long before we ever put devices in their hands, so I approached Ramona back in the fall when the 1:1 discussions started to move forward regarding what this plan should look like.  From that moment, Ramona took the initiative and ran with it.  She researched and collaborated with her media specialist network and discovered that the resources available on commonsensemedia.org were perfect for what we wanted and needed to achieve.  She has implemented their curriculum in her media classes each week for the majority of the year, which has resulted in our designation as a Digital Citizenship Certified School. This is a huge achievement for her, for our school, and for our students as well.  Furthermore, our students’ parents can rest assured that their students now have a baseline knowledge and understanding of what it means to use their iPad and maintain an online presence safely and responsibly."

"We applaud the faculty and staff of Belwood Elementary for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students' education," said Jessica Lindl, Head of Common Sense Education. "Belwood Elementary deserves high praise for giving its students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large."


Belwood Elementary has been using Common Sense Education's innovative and research-based digital citizenship resources, which were created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The resources teach students, educators, and parents tangible skills related to Internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, managing online relationships, and respecting creative copyright. The free resources are currently used in more than 90,000 classrooms nationwide.

e technology safely and responsibly, we are providing them unlimited opportunities to maximize and personalize their learning."

To learn more about the criteria Belwood Elementary School met to become certified as a Common Sense Certified School, visit http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/certification.

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