03 May 2017

Common Sense Media: Part 1


Digital Citizenship

Technology is infused into our society: smartphones, tablets, computers, and interactive gaming consoles.  Children and adults use various devices for education, socialization, and entertainment.  Parents reported 38% of toddlers used mobile devices and 75% of children ages 0-8 have access to mobile devices.  Statistics like these increase the immediacy of teaching children about digital citizenship, online safety, and responsible usage.  


Where do conversations about digital citizenship fit in our schools?  



Teachers across our district strive to teach the whole child: content knowledge and transferable skills as well as lessons on responsibility, respect, conflict resolution, and safety.  Some of these topics are taught “on the fly” as needs arise.  Others are more thoughtfully planned out during times like morning message, advisory, or your school’s positive behavior intervention and support system.  Research shows that off-line behavior often parallels on-line behavior. This knowledge brings a level of urgency to the teaching of digital citizenship in all classes/grades.   In order to teach the whole child in the 21st century, educators must make connections to students’ digital lives and technology usage.


What is currently taught?

Currently in K-5 media classes, students learn about digital citizenship topics using the Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship lessons.  In grades 6-12, students learn about these topics during advisory time with lessons delivered to staff and students in Canvas.  K-12 lessons center around these themes:

  • Cyberbullying

  • Communication

  • Copyright and Ethics

  • Reputations and Behaviors

  • Privacy and Security

  • Information Literacy


How can you extend and reinforce those messages?  

  1. As you plan your character curriculum for your students, think about how you can make a connection to their online habits and behaviors.  

  2. Become more educated on current topics, trends, and information.  

  3. Common Sense Media offers amazing resources including a 1-hour tutorial geared to specific grade levels that prepares teachers to have meaningful conversations about online behaviors and provides direction on how to find resources for your classroom.

    1. Submit your certificate of completion for CEUs; click here for instructions on how to receive your CEUs.


Additional Resources:

K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum

ISD 720 Digital Parenting Page


Citizenship in the Digital Age Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics




 Schurgin O'Keeffe, Gwenn, and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson. "The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families." American Academy of Pediatric 124.4 (2011): n. pag. AAP News and Journals Gateway. Apr. 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

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