Common Sense Education Congratulates 7,000 Certified Educators on Reaching More Than One Million Students with Digital Citizenship Instruction in 2015–16 School Year

Unprecedented Number of Certifications Translates to Largest Crop Ever of Students Receiving Critical, Award-Winning Instruction
Common Sense Media
Friday, July 29, 2016

San Francisco, Calif. -- Common Sense Education today released its final tallies of school districts, schools, and educators that achieved certification in the organization's award-winning K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum during the 2015–2016 school year. This school year saw certifications increase by more than 500 percent over the 2014–2015 school year with 7,060 educators, 1,183 schools, and 41 districts achieving certification, resulting in 1.3 million students receiving digital citizenship instruction.

Launched in 2011, Common Sense's Digital Citizenship Curriculum was designed to help educators, administrators, and schools navigate the tricky online world their students are living in. As technology becomes more commonplace in the classroom, teachers and students alike face new challenges, from cyberbullying and digital drama to creative copyright and plagiarism.  

"Kids have never had as much access to the internet and mobile technologies as they do today, so it's more essential than ever for schools to empower students with strong digital citizenship skills so they can harness technology for learning and life," said James P. Steyer, Common Sense founder and CEO. "We applaud these educators for going above and beyond in their commitment to the safety and development of their kids and communities."

Designed to teach students how to think critically online, the comprehensive Common Sense K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum includes resources for students such as lesson plans, student digital interactives, and assessments, as well as professional development for teachers and materials for family education.

"With the teaching of Common Sense's Digital Citizenship Curriculum, there has been a decline in cyberbullying incidents this year from prior years," said Jennifer Goodwin, a Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified Educator at Acton Elementary School in Maine. "In addition, parents have thanked me for the communication of social media sites that they were not aware of so they can keep up with their children and help make sure they are safe at home, too."

"This year has truly been eye-opening for some of our students. They have become more aware of how they respond digitally and in person, face-to-face," said Angela Simmons, a Certified Educator at Longleaf Elementary School in Pensacola, Florida. "It has really helped to make a difference, and I think it will only continue to make a difference throughout the school, extending to even its very culture."

Applications for the 2016–2017 year will be available in mid-August. For more information about the Common Sense Certification Curriculum for educators, schools, and districts, visit: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/certification

About Common Sense Education
Common Sense Education provides teachers and schools with free research-based classroom tools to help students harness technology for learning and life. Our K–12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum and interactive games teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world. Our educational ratings and reviews platform helps educators discover, use, and share high-quality digital products that propel student learning. Common Sense Education works with more than 340,000 teacher members in over 110,000 schools to help ensure all children have the opportunity to thrive in the 21st century.

Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and educators thrive in a world of media and technology. To see all of Common Sense's education resources, visit https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators.

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