School Spotlight: Tyler ISD, Tyler TX
Part of the Gaggle family since 2012, Tyler ISD has a staff of over 2,500 serving a student population of 18,300 Pre-K through high school students. Funded by eRate, grades 4-12 use Gaggle primarily for email and Assignment Drop Boxes – according to Cody Levrets, Tyler’s Facilitator of Instructional Technology.
Asked about Gaggle Safety Management, Levrets shared that the district was “very pleased with Gaggle Safety Management. It has freed up time from both the campus Gaggle masters and our teachers.”
Krista Kimberlin, a Media Technology Specialist for the district, shared how she is using Gaggle to address the issue of Cyberbullying:
“With the intent of using Gaggle to create a paperless classroom for my 6-8th grade science students, I began the school year with an introduction to Gaggle features with heavy emphasis on Cyberbullying. Using Gaggle projected on a SMART board, I introduced each feature of Gaggle, having students learn how to login, and access features as I walked them through it. I then asked students to turn off just their monitors in order to bring their focus off their screens and back to instruction. We then held a classroom discussion on the responsibilities of using social media, in and out of school. I showed the Childnet International video on Cyberbullying.
After the video, students were directed to turn on their monitors and go to my blog titled Cyberbullying where they were introduced to the following questions:
- What is Cyberbullying?
- What are some ways that cyber bullying can happen?
- What should you do if it happens to you?
- What should you do if you are a witness to it?
Students responded to the prompts. They were required to read a minimum of three other students’ posts and provide a meaningful reply to each. Students were required to use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation in all of their posts. This prompted a discussion on the difference between ‘text talk’ and proper English. I liked that this lesson created a school-wide discussion regarding the seriousness of Cyberbullying, allowed for practice of different uses of technology, and allowed them to work on their writing skills, all at the same time.”