Sunday, April 22, 2018

Resources to Help Parents Raise Empowered Digital Citizens from @CommonSenseEdu

Kids today.  They're addicted to their phones. Distracted. Cyber bullied. Right? 

Well not quite.

Kids today are living in a world more connected than ever before. They are living in a world where they can harness the power of social media for social action and they are doing that in ways many adults could never even imagine. 

As innovative educators we do our part to help our students become empowered digital citizens, but it's not just our responsibility. Parents want to help their children engage effectively in today's digital world, but many just don't know how. 

Fortunately, Common Sense Education has some amazing resources to help remedy that and lucky for you, I've compiled them all in one place.

Resources to Help Plug in Parents

Plugged in Parents

As part of their Plugged in Parents, Common Sense has put together resources to present a "Parent Talk." The talk provides audiences with a general overview, a sense of Common Sense's approach and tone, and information around highlighted topic to use during the Q&A part of the presentation. There is also some additional content and links to share with parents if they ask.


Support materials

Connecting Families

From cyberbullying and photo sharing to digital footprints and online safety, the Connecting Families program helps parents address important topics and have meaningful conversations with their kids about making great choices in their digital lives.

This free, yearlong program includes everything parent facilitators need to encourage their schools and communities to use connected technologies in ways that are both fun and safe. Resources include a step-by-step hosting guide, conversation topics, and printable resources to share -- all carefully researched and crafted by Common Sense educational technology experts.

Here is the breakdown:

Parent Kick off Events

  1. Digital Life Survey: A simple survey of the school community's daily use of and attitudes toward media and technology. You can share the results to generate a buzz and ongoing conversations about your community’s behaviors and opinions.
  2. Video Discussion Night: Invite families to drop in for a brief parent coffee, grade-level assembly, or school-wide community meeting where a short video is used to spark a dialogue. This comes with a guide packed with everything you need to host a successful discussion.
  3. Teen Panel: Our kids are often the experts. The teen panel highlights the unique voices and experiences of teens in your community and is valuable to parents with kids of all ages. It comes with a comprehensive handbook that focuses on every detail from how to select and invite panelists, to how to manage Q&A on the night of the event. 


Facilitate parent discussions with our Conversation Cases. Each topic includes a real-life example, question prompts, and materials for facilitators and participants. Below is a sampling of conversation topics.

Family Toolbox

The family toolbox provides resources you can use throughout the year to help parents continue authentic conversations at home with their children. Here is a sampling of what you will find: 

Your Turn

What do you think? Are these resources you have or would use where you teach? What do you think would work best? What would be challenging? Not sure how to organize a workshop in your school.  Read this article from innovative educator, Craig Kemp.

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