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Policymakers Considering Digital Citizenship Legislation in 2016

It is our priority that schools and families have access to tools that help them safely navigate the digital world.

The United States Department of Education released its 2016 National Education Technology Plan last month.

The plan, which is updated every five years, is the nation's flagship educational technology policy document.

Common Sense Kids Action is making it a 2016 priority to make sure our schools and families have access to tools that help them safely navigate the digital world.

The 2016 National Education Technology Plan outlines a "vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible." The plan includes recommendations in five areas: learning, teaching, leadership, assessment, and infrastructure.

The learning section focuses on the importance of teaching our students how to become responsible digital citizens. The report states, "For example, helping students learn to use proper online etiquette, recognize how their personal information may be collected and used online, and leverage access to a global community to improve the world around them can help prepare them for successfully navigating life in a connected world.

Mastering these skills requires a basic understanding of the technology tools and the ability to make increasingly sound judgments about the use of them in learning and daily life."

The report also highlights Common Sense Education's digital citizenship curriculum as a resource school districts and educators can use to help students learn these vital 21st century skills.

Students increasingly have access to the Internet and mobile technologies at home and school. We believe technology has great promise for learning, communicating, and sharing. We know, however, that students are not always aware of the potential consequences of their actions in the digital world.

The Common Sense Census, released earlier this year, sheds light on what kids age 8–18 are doing with entertainment media every day. Given the amount of time kids are spending -- six hours a day for tweens and nine for teens -- it certainly does matter.

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.