Thursday, October 23, 2014

Common Sense Media - Digital Citizenship Resources for Families

Have you ever received a frantic phone call from a family asking for digital citizenship resources? Perhaps you have wondered if there might be a tool that could help you pick out a movie, book, or video game for your own children? Or maybe you just weren't quite sure how to start that conversation about sexting with your teenager? Common Sense Media is the site for you.

Now you might be thinking, "Wait...Common Sense Media? Isn't that our digital citizenship curriculum?" YES! It is, but Common Sense Media is also an amazing resource for parents. Earlier this week I shared the resources below with PFAA families at the P4A meeting to help them start conversations with their children about appropriate online behavior. Take a look at them for yourself. I am sure you will find each one handy.
  • Reviews - Not sure if your child should read a particular book or curious what conversations to expect after watching the latest video? Check out the Common Sense Media Review section. You will find reviews for books, movies, TV shows, music, and video games. There are also useful Top Lists (Best Movies, Best Books, Best Apps, etc.) just to the right of the Reviews tab.
  • Parent Concerns -  A section of the site containing a variety of resources (videos, articles, blog posts) for topics parents often ask about regarding technology (ex: screentime, cyberbullying, social media, etc.).
  • Parent Blog - Regularly updated blog posts for parents and educators on helping students use technology effectively. Topics can range from whether or not you should let your kid see a particular movie to great books for Christmas or apps that help with mathematical reasoning. You can subscribe to the blog via email or get regular posts by liking Common Sense Media's Facebook page.
  • Connecting Families - These pages are technically buried in the Educator section, but have phenomenal resources for families. Two powerful sections to check out are Discuss and Share. The Discuss section contains short articles and vignettes parents can use with their children to discuss how to handle situations like cyberbullying or multitasking and time management. The Share area has an amazing Family Tool kit with resources like customizable technology contracts and family media agreements.

But Wait...There is More!

All of these resources, plus a few more (I'll let them be a surprise) can be found on our new NCS Digital Citizenship page. Take a minute or two to give it a read and let me know if you think there is any content I should add and feel free to pass this link along to all of your families and friends.


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