Common Classroom: The Common Sense Education Blog

New Teaching Channel Videos Can Help You Teach Digital Literacy, Align Lessons To The Common Core

Kelsey Herron Blogger Categories: In the Classroom
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At Common Sense Media, we understand how important, and sometimes challenging, it can be to teach lessons that align with ELA Common Core (CC) Standards. This is why we’re very excited to announce our new partnership with the Teaching Channel (Tch) designed to help educators implement these new requirements in their classrooms. Common Sense Media has partnered with the Teaching Channel to co-produce a series of nine videos that feature lessons from our digital literacy and citizenship curriculum and show how they meet Common Core Standards. The videos focus on issues faced by middle school students, from digital footprints to encouraging strong research skills to online privacy. They feature teachers demonstrating how to use our curriculum lessons to meet Common Core requirements, serving as a quick “deep dive” into how digital citizenship can be used to meet these standards.

Each of the videos features actual classroom footage, interviews with educators and students, and key “classroom takeaways” that offer educators a step-by-step method for implementing the lesson in the classroom. Eight of the lessons tie directly into ELA Common Core State Standards, featuring teachers from a variety of subject areas, including Social Studies, English/Language Arts and Media/Technology.

One of my favorite videos shows Novella Bailey, a middle school teacher at West Side Collaborative Middle School in New York City discussing the issue of fair use with her students. Bailey uses our lesson “Rework, Reuse, Remix,” to discuss how copyrighted content can be used without permission if it falls under fair use, while teaching to reading standards at the same time.

“Our students really, really need to work on using evidence to support their thinking,” she said. “And that’s one of the big standards for reading and just across the board with the Common Core standards.”

Bailey shows two video remixes to her students and then asks them to break into groups to discuss whether they meet the requirements for fair use. The first video was titled “Scary Mary,” which reworked pieces of Mary Poppins into a horror film trailer, and the second was a music video by mash-up artist DJ Earworm that used clips of songs from other artists. Bailey then asked the kids to pretend they were either Beyonce’s or DJ Earworm’s lawyer and determine what was covered under fair use and what was not.

“Once the kids have these basic understandings of fair use and when it can be applied and how it can be applied, then they really get to be the decision-makers,” Baily said.

The video shows the students addressing ELA Common Core standards by analyzing a visual text, having sophisticated arguments and really grappling with fair use as a concept, and backing up all of their ideas with evidence. As Bailey found, getting her students to think critically about the digital media they consume enables them to examine the kinds of decisions they are making outside of school.

“They were just so into it and it really opened up for me as a teacher how connected my students are to digital media and how powerful it can be to get them inspired to get them thinking, to get them to begin to collect evidence,” said Bailey. “It’s just a great tool, and I feel like I tapped into an element of their lives that you don’t necessarily tap into in the classroom every day.”

Watch the full video below to see for yourself how you can meet ELA Common Core standards by teaching digital literacy and citizenship. You can download our lesson on “Rework, Reuse, Remix” or browse all of the videos in the series. We’ll be featuring more on Common Classroom in the coming months. 

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