Resources for Parents & Families
For parents and families there are a variety of resources available for helping your child develop into a positive digital citizen. Here are some resources to start the conversation with your children.
NCS Presentations & Workshops
Common Sense Media
Common Sense is a handy site for all families and educators. Dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology, the site contains resources and tools for parents and teachers to help kids make wise decisions.
- Reviews - Not sure if your child should read a particular book or curious what conversations to expect after watching the latest video? Check out the Common Sense Media Review section. You will find reviews for books, movies, TV shows, and video games.
- Parent Concerns - A section of the site containing a variety of resources (videos, articles, blog posts) for topics parents often ask about regarding technology (ex: screentime, cyberbullying, social media, etc.).
- Parent Blog - Regularly updated blog posts for parents and educators on helping students use technology effectively. Topics can range from whether or not you should let your kid see a particular movie to great books for Christmas or apps that help with mathematical reasoning. You can subscribe to the blog via email or get regular posts by liking Common Sense Media's Facebook page.
- Connecting Families - These pages are technically buried in the Educator section, but have phenomenal resources for families. Two powerful sections to check out are Discuss and Share. The Discuss section contains short articles and vignettes parents can use with their children to discuss how to handle situations like cyberbullying or multitasking and time management. The Share area has an amazing Family Tool kit with resources like customizable technology contracts and family media agreements.
Common Sense Media Parent Tip Sheets
Options for Limiting Technology Access
Concerned about this site your child might be accessing or the amount of time they are spending online? Or perhaps you are simply interested in a tool that would help you monitor and channel online activities? These might be some tools for you.
- Network Filtering - There are a variety of options for filtering your home network. Often, these will filter all users at the same level regardless of device they are using.
- Device Restrictions - Most modern devices allow you to set up some restrictions from programs and websites you can access to even time limits for using a computer. Below are links for setting up restrictions (often called "parental controls") depending on your hardware and operating system.
- Apple (Mac) Computers - Yosemite 10.10, Mavericks 10.9, Mountain Lion 10.8
- Windows Computers - Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista
- Apple (iOS) Tablets - Setting Up Restrictions
- Chromebooks - Setting Up Supervised Users (for personal Chromebooks and individual Gmail accounts)
- Android Devices - Coming Soon
Resources for Teachers
Digital Citizenship Curriculum
At Natomas Charter School we use the Common Sense Media Digital Literacy & Citizenship Curriculum. These materials are free to download and fully customizable. The provide natural hooks into lessons on using email, appropriate online behavior, and being ready for the 21st Century workplace.
- Curriculum Overview - A high level overview of all of the Common Sense Media curriculum resources.
- Scope & Sequence - A great place to start when it comes to navigating the full list of lessons.
- Digital Passport - An online tool ideal for 3rd-5th graders for creating self-paced digital citizenship lessons.
Additional Helpful Resources
Along with the Digital Literacy & Citizenship Curriculum, Common Sense Media also provides a few other helpful educator resources.
- Graphite - Common Core-aligned resources and lesson ideas for teachers to use with their students. Many also weave in digital citizenship skills.
- Educator Blog - Common Sense Media maintains a blog target at educators with tips and tricks, as well as lesson resources. You can subscribe via email to get regular updates.