Understanding Digital Footprints

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Bayport-Blue Point High School is among five Long Island schools collaborating on a first-of-its-kind Digital Generation elective course this year. The unique inter-district learning program highlights the growing importance of digital media as it relates to both personal branding and business.

The curriculum for the course is aligned to the Digital Generation undergraduate course at Stony Brook University. Throughout the course, students will complete traditional coursework, but will also work with students in other districts to complete projects. Through the use of Google collaborative tools like Hangouts, Gmail and Drive, they will be able to work on documents and presentations together remotely while experiencing what it is like to work in the 21st-century business environment.

The content of the course, which draws from business, technology, social media, digital marketing and more, is highly relevant to today’s technological society. Moreover, students can bring the skills taught in the course with them to college and their professional careers.

During a recent kickoff event, which involved program partners Stony Brook University, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, Google and Driven Local, the students from all five schools met for the first time. Stephen Fang, regional manager for Google in Education at Google, opened with an address on the importance of collaborative tools in education and how using these tools and developing key skills will benefit students in their careers. Digital marketing experts from Melville-based Driven Local shared real-life applications of digital marketing and spoke about the importance of building a personal brand online.   

Stakeholders from all participating school districts, which include Comsewogue, BBP, Westhampton Beach, Northport and Half Hollow Hills, have worked collaboratively to design the course’s common curriculum over the past year. These schools districts, along with Eastern Suffolk BOCES and the Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook University, created the Long Island eLearning Project over a year ago with the hope of developing something that was innovative in design and focused on the 21st-century student.

“This class is a great opportunity for all the students that are involved across the five districts,” said Timothy Hearney, Ed.D., assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “It was truly a collaborative effort with many moving pieces.  What makes this class so special is the connection that was made between the five high schools, Stony Brook University and Driven Local, a local marketing business.  This class truly depicts what 21st century teaching is all about, which would not have been possible without everyone’s input especially the five high school teachers who built this curriculum.”

Students who successfully complete the course are eligible to earn college credit.