The Importance of Professional Development for Student Safety

Rhea County School District in Tennessee was looking for a way to solve a very modern problem: protecting students in the digital world by monitoring behavior in G Suite programs. At a 2018 industry conference, Technology Director Dallas Hicks found the right solution to support the district’s endeavor after being introduced to Gaggle.

But having the solution in place is only the first step—stakeholders need to know what the technology does and the backstory to ensure they understand why it’s so important. In order to achieve this, the district turned to Gaggle’s one-day training program for its student safety platform.

“I’ve always been on the technology side, so I wanted to spend some time with administrators and teachers, showing them what we’re doing and helping focus on the importance of having a student safety platform in place,” said Hicks. The in-depth professional development training incorporated a demonstration of the technology along with some role-playing to get administrators accustomed to the robust features of the platform.

During the training, Gaggle provided various scenarios and asked district administrators to determine what intervention they felt was needed and at what point the contact should take place. “Then, the Gaggle team would tell us how it actually handled the situation,” said Hicks. “It was a great role-playing game that helped us all see how the process actually played out.”

According to Hicks, the training has helped ensure good buy-in for and usage of the platform. “We have a good group of principals who realize that if it’s that important, we do need to pay attention,” he noted. Read the case study [MOU1] to learn more about how Rhea County School District helped ensure that their educators understood how to properly handle student safety situations in order to nurture responsible digital citizens.

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