Common Sense Education & Best Buy

Common Sense Education and Best Buy Teen Tech Centers

Your one-stop shop for everything you need to incorporate digital citizenship into your Teen Tech Centers.

Common Sense Education and the Best Buy Foundation have partnered up to bring you a comprehensive page where you, as Teen Tech Center Coordinators, can get all that you need to help implement and utilize our digital citizenship resources. We have outlined specific tools to help ensure that the youth we are serving are both tech-savvy and are developing the 21st-century skills needed for their future careers.

Digital Citizenship & Literacy

Kids and teens are using the immense power of digital media to explore, connect, create, and learn in ways never before imagined. With this power, young people have extraordinary opportunities, and yet they face potential pitfalls, too. Some of these pitfalls can include anything from cyberbullying, digital cheating, and copyright infringement to safety and security concerns.

Common Sense Education has created a suite of digital citizenship resources that look to empower our youth to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly, all around eight main topic areas. Curious to learn more about the eight topic areas of digital citizenship and how they can help to foster 21st-century skills in your program?

Explore Digital Compass

Digital Compass

Learn the fundamentals of digital citizenship through our award-winning, animated, choose-your-own-path interactive experience, designed for grades 6-8. Invite kids to explore digital dilemmas, make good (and not-so-good) decisions, and try out possible solutions through stories and mini-games -- all without risking their real-world reputations. Digital Compass is also available in Spanish

Need a little introduction to what Digital Compass looks like? Check out this video.

Play online now Get the app

Use our Educator's Guide (en español) and the accompanying Quick Start Guide (en español) for suggestions on how to get started and best practices for implementing Digital Compass in your program.

Digital Compass FAQs

Which devices does Digital Compass work with?

Digital Compass is available on the web, Edmodo, Android mobile and tablet app via Google Play for Education, as well as iTunes for the iOS mobile and tablet app. The web version will require internet access, but once downloaded, the app versions do not need a connection to the internet.

How long does Digital Compass take?

Each story takes a minimum of 45 minutes; so 8 stories x 45 minutes = 6 hours. Each story has 9 endings, 23 decisions, and 32 paths, which makes for a total of 50 possible combinations! Each story also includes a skills-based mini-game.

Why are students playing through a character (avatar) and experimenting with negative as well as positive outcomes?

We relied on current game design research to help align our ideas with the developmental needs of children in grades 6–9. Take a look at the synopsis Dr. Michael Carter outlined for us, located in Appendix A in our Educator Guide.

Can students earn badges through gameplay?

Yes! Students can be rewarded for their hard work on Digital Compass. Click here for more information on our Digital Compass student badges

Tech Requirements

  • One of the following Internet browsers: Internet Explorer 7–11; Chrome; Firefox; Safari
  • Windows 7, Vista, and XP or Mac OS 10.5 or higher
  • Flash (version 10 or higher)
  • Sound card/speakers (individual headphones are recommended)
  • Also, check with your school/district about firewalls. You may need to clear the URL: www.digitalcompass.org.
  • Also available on iOS 5.1.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Explore Digital Bytes

Digital Bytes

Digital Bytes teaches teens digital citizenship through student-directed, media-rich activities that tackle real-world dilemmas. Teens learn from the experiences of their peers, then create collaborative projects that voice their ideas for making smart, safe choices online.

Digital Bytes is ideal for after-school programs or community centers that need short, relevant activities that teach digital citizenship and critical thinking about media consumption and creation.

Need a little introduction to what Digital Bytes looks like in action? Check out this video.

Explore Digital Bytes now

Use our Educator's Guide for suggestions on how to get started and best practices for implementing Digital Bytes in your program.

Digital Bytes FAQs

For whom is Digital Bytes intended?

Digital Bytes is geared toward teens age 13 and up. Digital Bytes works best with collaborative groups, but individuals can complete it, too.

How many Bytes are there? What topics do they cover?

Currently 16 Bytes cover a variety of digital citizenship topics, such as "Internet Hoaxes," "Copy-Paste Culture," and "Online Entrepreneurship." Additional Bytes will be added periodically.

How long does Digital Bytes take?

Each Byte is designed to take about two hours to complete.

Do I need any other hardware or software?

Each Byte includes suggestions for additional tools teens might want to use, such as a video camera and presentation and creation software. Many of the suggested tools are commonly available or free to download.

How do teens share their voices?

The work they do through the Digital Bytes program can be recorded and shared as videos on YouTube or Vimeo.

How do teens share their videos?

Teens are encouraged to record their work and share it with their peers and with their digital communities. Facilitators can help by creating a group account on YouTube or Vimeo so teens can upload their videos more easily.

Is it OK to share teen videos online?

Before uploading videos, we recommend that facilitators read the privacy policies and user agreements of these services and consider whether teens need to obtain parent permission. Before uploading, be sure the videos do not contain any personally identifying information about the students and that materials used fall under fair use and do not violate copyright.

How can teens get their videos featured on the Digital Bytes site?

Digital Bytes features videos submitted by teens and selected by Common Sense Education staff. To have your teens' videos considered, mark them as public (omit any identifying information), and email us the link at [email protected] with the subject line "Digital Bytes Video." (Note that we cannot feature all videos received.)

Can students earn badges through gameplay?

Yes! Students can be rewarded for their hard work on Digital Bytes. Click here for more information on our Digital Bytes student badges

Tech Requirements

  • Browsers: Internet Explorer 9 and above; Chrome; Firefox; Safari
  • Operating systems: Windows 7, Vista, and XP or Mac OS 10.5 or higher
  • Streaming video: The site contains embedded videos from Vimeo. If your network blocks Vimeo, you may need to show the videos on your personal device.

Additional Resources

Looking for something to send home to help parents become part of the conversation? Use our new activity sheets that align with our eight different topics and that can help extend the learning outside your program walls. These activities are also great to use within your program walls.

Common Sense Education thanks this generous sponsor for supporting the development of Digital Bytes.