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Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship Have Never Been More Important

Schools can play a critical role by educating, empowering, and engaging children with the best practices around technology use.

Topics: Learning

While media and technology have great promise for learning, young people need support and education to learn how to make sound judgments when navigating the digital world. A recent report from a group of researchers at Stanford has found that 82 percent of middle schoolers can't distinguish between an ad labeled "sponsored content" and a real news story on a website.

In October, Common Sense Kids Action announced our intention to introduce and expand model digital citizenship legislation in 2017 with coalition partners Media Literacy Now and the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).

The legislation calls for:

  • the creation of a state-based advisory committee composed of educators, administrators, researchers, and parents who will work under the oversight of the state education agency;
  • and a mandate that districts must annually review their policies and procedures on digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy.

Common Sense Kids Action recognizes that media and technology have become commonplace in all areas of our lives. In our classrooms, students must learn how to safely, ethically, responsibly, and effectively use media and technology resources. Kids have never had as much access to the internet, media, and mobile technologies at home and school as they do today. Schools can play a critical role by educating, empowering, and engaging children with the best practices around technology use.

Our organizations believe in a comprehensive approach to digital citizenship and media-literacy legislation that engages thought leaders, educators, parents, and policymakers in an effort to develop the protections necessary for our children to capitalize on the greater opportunities provided by the advancement of technology in the classroom.

At Common Sense Kids Action, we're working every day to make the world a better place for kids. Join our efforts to make kids our nation's top priority -- become a Kids Action Advocate today!

JR Starrett
JR oversees Let's Invest Large in Youth (LILY), a multi state program for Common Sense Kids Action. In this capacity JR works with a team of internal and external stakeholders to identify and introduce state based legislation that will positively impact kids. Prior to joining Common Sense, JR served as a seasoned political operative managing campaign efforts for some of the nation’s most competitive races. JR was recognized as a Rising Star by Campaigns and Elections magazine in 2014. He currently lives in San Francisco with his wife Morgan. JR is a frequent contributor to Campaigns and Elections Magazine, contributing to the Campaign Insider column.