You may have heard of Common Sense, but you may not be familiar with everything they offer. They are an “independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology,” and they have a plethora of completely free resources for anyone interested in ensuring that children lead safe, happy, and productive digital lives.
One of their programs, Common Sense Education, is aimed at helping students flourish by providing teachers with lesson plans and professional development. They have been offering a complete digital citizenship curriculum for grades K-12 (and yes, even kindergarteners need digital citizenship lessons) for quite some time, but they have recently updated their lessons for grades 3-5 and they are excellent. The new lessons are designed around six areas of digital literacy: digital footprint, media balance, cyberbullying, online privacy, communication, and news and media literacy; they focus on empowering students to enable them to take control of their own digital lives. The lessons are research-based and were designed in partnership with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
In addition, Common Sense offers teachers many other tools and resources. They have ed tech ratings for tools, lesson plans, downloadable posters for your room, and the list goes on. There are resources available to help get families more involved in teaching their children to be good digital citizens and savvy consumers of digital content. Interested teachers can even earn recognition as a Common Sense Educator.
Common Sense is also behind Common Sense Media, which provides resources for parents, including ratings and recommendations for movies, television, and video games, and Common Sense Kids Action, which works with business leaders, policy makers, and others to advocate for state and federal policies that will support, protect, and nurture all children.