Digital Engagement Encouraging Upper School Students to be Do-Gooders Online

Upper school students are gearing up to do great things through digital citizenship. With the help of Norfolk Collegiate’s Director of Instructional Technology and Communication Arts Charlene Loope and Technology Integration Specialist Ashley King, students are making a positive impact on social media. Students are learning to build personal relationships and interests, participate in a larger conversation and think about ways to use the communicative tools around them.

“As part of [our] Digital Engagement initiative, we want to continue conversations about how students can use the many social and other communication tools at their disposal to feel empowered to do good in the communities they live in and interact with,” say Loope and King. “To that end, we want to address how communication and information delivery has changed in recent decades and have students think through how they might effectively message interests and efforts to solve problems and effect change with the help of ‘new’ technologies.”

Loope and King will be working with students throughout the year to think of themselves as digital citizens and how that citizenship changes as they get older. Students will look at social media through several different lenses before the end of the year, the first being friendship. Then, students will develop their personal brand cultivated from their personal interests and lastly, they’ll focusing on influence-driven factors like how they can use technology for good.

On Nov. 21, students will get to hear from David Richards, parent of Alec ’10 and Bond Richards ’08 and founder of Concursive, an open-source software development and solutions company. Richards will speak to students about his work helping people solve real-world problems and effect change through the technology he engineers. In recent years, Concursive has developed an arm that merges its technological capabilities with initiatives to effect change in local, national and international communities. Richard considers himself a “Venture Technologist,” someone who can help people solve real-world problems by giving them the technological capabilities to crowdsource solutions.

Loope and King submitted a proposal to present their initiative at this year's Virginia Society for Technology in Education conference. The title of the presentation is “Digital Engagement: Cultivating Meaningful Ways for Students to Employ Social Media as a Tool for Self-Empowerment.” The pair will present at the Virginia Society for Technology on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 10 a.m.