Taught at all grade levels
Samaritans on the Digital Road ties the grade 1-12 Religion curriculum to the responsible use of technology by our students. Each grade explores a specific verse from Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. The website gives teachers tools and resources needed to teach five lessons for each grade level. The parable verses serve as a guide for the lessons, which aim to build student awareness and skills for participating in the online world. Students learn the meaning of being a "citizen" and transfer those skills to the online world as a "digital citizen." They learn how to contribute to social good and how to navigate the moral challenges found "on the road" of the Internet.
Meeting a Need
This project is a direct response to the recent School Climate Survey where it was reported that our students would benefit from explicit, directed learning focused on "Digital Citizenship." Each year the lessons will be taught to all grades in early November, as a pre-cursor to Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. Parents are encouraged to start conversations at the supper table, in the car or wherever the family meets, by asking their child about his/her learning as Samaritans on the Digital Road fills our classrooms with experiential, thought provoking activities.
Continuing into the future
These 5-lesson, grade level plans will continue to be taught each fall in all grades across the Board. (A French translation of the resource material was added in the 2014-15 school year.) The lessons are designed so that each builds upon material from the previous year. This minimizes repetition but still allows some issues to be revisited based on students' progressing levels of maturity. Where possible, lessons are not limited to a specific platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so that they will continue to be applicable as new digital platforms emerge in the popular culture.