Our students are growing up in an increasingly digital world. As soon as parents and teachers catch up in one area, new technologies have already emerged bring with them new opportunities and challenges. Staying on top of what’s best for kids can feel like an insurmountable task. How can we as parents and teachers prepare children for their digital futures while also setting appropriate boundaries to keep them safe? Enter Common Sense Media.
Started in 2003, this independent non profit organization proves to be an invaluable resource to both parents and teachers. As their website states, their mission is to “...empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.”
Common Sense Media accomplishes this goal in a variety of ways. First, they publish reviews of current books, movies, TV shows, video games, websites and apps. Each review gives specific details about concerning content (i.e. violence, sex, language, drugs, etc.) and suggests appropriate age levels for children. Second, they publish helpful family guides that are timely and offer realistic suggestions for parents. Finally, their “Parent Concerns” section, provides answers to real questions that parents struggle with today.
Using Common Sense Media in the Classroom
Check out the Common Sense Education section of the website. There you’ll find great resources like:
Tips for Parents
Parents, this site is for you too. Take a moment to check it out. Get helpful tips and suggestions for finding the right balance with your children at home. While this only scratches the surface, these are some of my favorites:
Common Sense Media
Helping Parents & Teachers Navigate a Digital World
A Mid-Year Checkup:
Tech Goals I've Met, Missed or Abandoned Completely
Shelf Reflection: What my classroom library says about the world and what I can do about it.
Looking Ahead, Blogging Forward
Teacher Approved Gifts for Kids
The Best Apps for Your Kid's New Device
Do Good with Great Deals
Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
Navigating the Election with Your Kids
Making the Most of 1 Classroom iPad
Apptoberfest: Google Photos
Apptoberfest: The Bible for Kids by YouVersion
Apptoberfest: IXL Math
Apptoberfest: Teach You Monster to Read
I Tried...I Failed...& You Can Too!
Let Go and Let Them
Oh the Place You'll Go: Using Green Screens in the Classroom
The Kindle Fire HD 8 - The iPad's Days are Numbered
A Fresh Start: Changes for the Year Ahead
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 2: Getting the Lowest Price
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 1 : Finding the Best Stuff
Stop Everything and Kahoot!
Coding in 2nd Grade with No Prep and $0
Kindles in the Classroom: A Year In Review