Blog: Digital Literacy

Meet the Cast of Digital Compass

Eight quirky animated characters encourage students to make wise decisions online.

Say hello to the newest members of the Common Sense family. Our new educational interactive for middle schoolers, Digital Compass, has a slew of fun and quirky animated characters that will make exploring the digital literacy and citizenship world ... well, a little more entertaining for students. Each humanoid character must navigate a unique digital dilemma reflecting real-world issues and events that shape how our students move through the digital landscape.   Grade 10 | Wallflower Digital Dilemma: Cyberbullying and Digital Drama   Rhoda is known for keeping a low profile with her petals in the books, but she's quickly thrown onto a roller coaster of digital drama when he....read more


Announcing Digital Compass

Common Sense Education’s digital literacy and citizenship resources have played an integral role in addressing the technological revolution that is happening in today’s classrooms. Having touched more than 200,000 teachers who have educated over 5 million students, this forward-thinking program addresses what it’s like to behave responsibly in the digital age.   Our suite of resources gives educators the tools to introduce reliable, research-based information to students about digital media and its impact. Fostering an organic classroom dialogue goes hand-in-hand with access to interactive activities. The conversation moves beyond the classroom by introducing parent resources and educator development opportunities ....read more


Webinar Spotlight: Carrie James on Youth and the Digital Ethics Gap

Unpacking youth attitudes about digital life and identifying their ethical "blind spots"

What are the moral and ethical "disconnects" or "blind spots" youth have about online privacy, property, and participation? In our edWeb Digital Citizenship community this month, Dr. Carrie James talked about her latest book, Disconnected: Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap. Drawing from extensive interviews with young people between the ages of 10 and 25, Disconnected explores youth attitudes about digital life and discusses messages about digital media use they hear from adults. (Full video below.) Dr. Carrie James is research director and principal investigator at Project Zero, and lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In this webinar, Carrie covered these t....read more


Webinar Spotlight: Cyberbullying, Sexting, and Social Media Use

Join educators around the globe to learn from Dr. Elizabeth Englander.

Our latest webinar hosted by our Digital Citizenship community on edWeb, “Cyberbullying, Sexting, and Social Media Use,” had a record-breaking 427 attendees, the highest number of live attendees we've ever had in an edWeb webinar! Educators from around the globe came to learn from Dr. Elizabeth Englander, professor of psychology at Bridgewater State University. Elizabeth covered what she's learned through her research on youth, including How prolific are cyberbullying and sexting among youth? What are effective and ineffective responses? Latest trends in kids’ behavior, including "self-cyberbullying" and "vamping" Webinar Highlights 6:43 -- "E....read more


The Forgotten Elements of Digital Citizenship

The week of Oct. 19-25 is dedicated to raising awareness about digital citizenship. Teachers across the country help students understand how to live better, more responsible digital lives. Two elements of digital citizenship -- security and online etiquette (especially cyberbullying) -- tend to get the most attention. Throughout October, many schools turn their attention to bullying prevention. Lessons, conversations, and statements of empowerment fill school hallways as students, parents, and communities demonstrate that they won’t stand for the pain that cyberbullying can bring. There's no question that for anyone using digital resources, understanding the most appropriate way....read more


19 Social Networking Tools for Digital Citizenship Week

Join us in celebrating Digital Citizenship Week Oct. 19-25! For our featured Top Picks this week, we put together a list of 19 apps, games, and websites that will help teachers create safe and effective social networks with their students. We all know students are spending more and more time on social networks like Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. Educators can harness this deep-seated interest by carrying it into their classrooms through any of these social networking tools. Want to take classroom discussion online? Ease on over to Edmodo* or test out Twiducate. Want to get your students analyzing, curating, and digesting content on the Web? Strengthen their digital literacy skills with Storify or Learnist.....read more


Celebrate the National Day on Writing

Kids are writing all the time. The process of composing -- from initial idea to final draft and publication -- is happening across subject areas and well beyond the school day. Whether they're composing song lyrics, film scripts, blog comments, infographics, essays, tweets, video-game storyboards, lab reports, or lines of code, what it means to write no longer conforms to the traditional notion of putting pen to paper. And as technology broadens our thinking about what it means to write, it's also extending the audience for our creations further than we ever thought possible. On Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, NCTE, the National Writing Project, and the New York Times Learning Network invite you to celebrate the 6th annual Na....read more


How Can Parents Help Their Kids Make Great Choices in Their Digital Lives?

Introducing Connecting Families: a new program to get parents involved now and throughout the year

At Common Sense, we often hear from parents who want to get their school or community involved in a discussion of how media, tech, and the digital world are impacting kids. But many parents don't know where to begin. Well, now you can help parents get started! Connecting Families is a new three-part program that offers everything you need to get families in your school or community involved in raising great digital citizens. Today’s media and technology present many challenges as well as opportunities -- from text messaging and using social media to online gaming -- and call for new ways to raise conscientious digital citizens. Connecting Families offers everything you need to facilitate meaningful community d....read more


Webinar Rewind: Building a Solid Digital Citizenship Program from Day One

As students head back to school this year, many have access to such devices as tablets and laptops, making this the perfect time for schools and teachers to set the tone for digital citizenship and to lay out their expectations for responsible use of technology. Last week, guest presenter and learning evangelist Steven Anderson discussed these issues during an August webinar for the Digital Citizenship Community on edWeb. "It's incredible, the amount of tools and resources we have ... we should be teaching students responsibility," Steven says. As director of instructional technology, Steven was formerly in charge of the digital citizenship program for a large school district. “I was responsible for the program in 81 ....read more


Are Texting and Tweeting Making Our Students Bad Writers?

The Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project surveyed middle and high school teachers about the impact of digital tools on student writing in July of 2013. While some 78 percent of the 2,462 teachers surveyed said tools such as the Internet, social media, and cell phones “encourage student creativity and personal expression,” others expressed concern that such tools are also having undesirable effects on students’ formal writing. Ninety-six percent of the advanced placement and National Writing Project teachers surveyed agreed that digital technologies “allow students to share their work with a wider and more varied audience.” An additional 79 percent also said that these tools “e....read more


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