[Taken from the Common Sense Media Mission Statement]
The internet is a wonderful, amazing, terrible, and frightening place. People have access to an unprecedented amount of information. That information is not always valuable. It is not always true either. The question then becomes how do educators and parents make sure that students are able to access information with a trained and wary eye? This is where digital citizenship comes in and is more important than ever. But where do you start? How do you teach students to spot the difference between relevant and insignificant, untrue information? There is help out there. Common Sense Media is a group that provides lessons and educational information that focuses primarily on keeping students safe and knowledgeable as they navigate the internet.
“Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We 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.”
One such program that Common Sense provides are Digital Bytes. Digital Bytes are short student-directed and rich activities that tackle real life situations that provide perspective to students. Each activity is centered around a specific topic that is relevant to real life problems. Activities are collaborative and student driven. Bytes are quick and are perfect for the beginning or end of your lessons. Bytes get students thinking about how their actions online can impact them as they grow older.