SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Throughout May, schools and community groups across California are participating in Digital Citizenship Month, an initiative to engage students, teachers, and parents in lessons around being safe, smart, and successful in the digital world.
"The online space is the schoolyard of the 21st century," said Kamala D. Harris, California Attorney General. "Our children learn, socialize, and interact online and in the mobile space every single day, so learning digital citizenship is more important than ever. We've all seen the tragic and needless toll that cyberbullying can take on youth, so we need to use every tool at our disposal to fight it. Prevention and teaching effective digital citizenship are absolutely essential - enrolling youth in protecting their own and each other's safety and well-being online."
In partnership with the California Writing Project, Common Sense Media has created a Digital Citizenship Month toolkit for classroom and family outreach. It leverages Common Sense Media's rich K-12 digital citizenship curriculum and provides digital storytelling tools that allow students to engage in the topics and create digital pieces that take writing into production. This includes a fun digital cartoon contest that runs May 15-22.
"In today's digital world, kids are tested with each post, search, chat, text message, file download, and profile update," said James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media. "Teaching our children to be good digital citizens allows them to maximize the potential of media and technology for success in the 21st century."
"With its ubiquity and its adaptability, technology can be a powerful tool for preparing kids for the society and the economy they will enter once they leave our classrooms," said Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California. "But, like any tool, it also takes some learning to use correctly. That is where efforts to encourage digital citizenship come in: encouraging and equipping California's kids to behave ethnically, reduce bullying, take care with relationships, and protect privacy and security. Technology can build new bridges for our students -- let's help them cross carefully."
To view the free online lesson plans, activities, and parent handouts in both English and Spanish, visit www.commonsense.org/educators or http://www.californiawritingproject.org/digital-citizenship-month.html. For the digital cartoon contest, visit http://toontube.launchpadtoys.com/contests/toon-academy-digital-citizenship.
About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/.
About California Writing Project
California Writing Project has been operating as a statewide professional learning and leadership development network since 1973. Because writing matters for success in the school and university, in the community and workplace, the California Writing Project has a central mission -- to improve student writing and learning by improving the teaching of writing. For more information, visit http://www.californiawritingproject.org/