Common Sense Education Releases New Resources To Make Back-to-School a Little Easier for Educators
New easy-to-use tools and engaging content will help students think critically about the tech and media they use for learning and entertainment.
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 2, 2022—Common Sense Education, creators of the award-winning, K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum, has developed a one-stop destination with essential new templates, tools, and resources designed to help make the back-to-school transition a little easier for educators and to better address the opportunities and challenges school communities face today and in the future.
With the growing presence of and dependency on the use of media and technology in the classroom, and the rise of uncivil discourse spreading online, educators need more support than ever before to equip students with everything they need to succeed in an ever-changing online life.
"Being a teacher is one of the most challenging jobs in America today," said Dr. Kelly Mendoza, vice president of education programs at Common Sense Education. "It's our mission to make their jobs easier. Our work has long focused on giving teachers the free resources they need to help students and families navigate our increasingly complex world. This year is no different: we're offering turnkey templates and checklists teachers can use to foster healthy, thoughtful, and meaningful tech and media use that'll enrich their school communities."
For this school year, Common Sense Education curated a variety of easy-to-use tools and helpful resources to help educators at every grade level foster healthy tech and media use for students:
For All Grades
- Free Back-to-School Templates for Teachers and Families
- Common Sense Selections for Learning (Best-in-Class EdTech Tools)
- Common Sense K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum
For Grades 6–8
For Grades 8–12
Digital Connections for Grades 6–8
Digital Connections is an informative and educational six-part video series for tweens, teens, and their parents and caregivers, developed by Common Sense Media in collaboration with AT&T and the Public Library Association. Students and their families will learn tips and strategies on using media and technology safely and responsibly in fun and engaging ways. The videos focus on helping students learn key digital citizenship skills, from managing digital habits and navigating online relationships to dealing with digital drama and avoiding internet scams.
"In today's increasingly connected world, it is crucial for students to build their digital citizenship competency skills," said Mylayna Albright, assistant vice president, CSR, AT&T. "But not all students have access to digital citizenship education at home or at their schools -- especially students and families affected by the digital divide. I'm excited to offer this important digital literacy skilling to students on the Achievery, our free digital learning platform for K–12 students."
"The Public Library Association is committed to helping students learn digital citizenship skills," said PLA President Maria McCauley. "Library staff work every day to counter misinformation and share credible information. PLA is dedicated to providing easy-to-use resources for our members, youth, and families to improve skills to effectively use online platforms and tools."
New "Civics in Digital Life" Lesson Plans for Grades 8–12
Because students are increasingly exposed to contentious topics online, Common Sense Education has curated a set of lessons, Civics in Digital Life, to prompt constructive dialogues in the classroom on topics such as:
- What Is Cancel Culture, and Does It Change Things for the Better?;
- Do Algorithms Influence Our Lives and Our Democracy?; and
- Why Are Conspiracy Theories So Appealing?.
Created with support from the Koret Foundation, the new content offering is an expansion of Common Sense Media's News and Media Literacy lessons and complements the organization's free, award-winning Digital Citizenship Curriculum that is currently used by 1.3 million educators and over 90,000 schools across the U.S.
About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.
Jason Maymon, Vice President, Communications
Lorena Taboas, Media Relations Manager