Model Policy for Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy in Public Schools
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. 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. School administrators and educators are now faced with new and at times overwhelming challenges, such as those related to privacy, digital footprints, cyberbullying, and sexting.
Through partnership with Common Sense Education and like-minded advocacy organizations, such as the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) and Media Literacy Now, Common Sense Kids Action has developed a comprehensive digital citizenship legislative solution for policymakers to use as a model to implement quality digital citizenship and media literacy training within their states. The legislation is similar to Washington Senate Bill 6273 and builds upon the success of activists in this field such as Claire Beach and Senator Marko Liias.
Our 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. The advisory committee will develop best practices, resources, and models for instruction in digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy. The committee will also develop strategies that will support school districts in local implementation of the best practices and recommendations developed, including strategies for delivering professional development to educators and administrators. Our legislation also calls for the mandate that districts must annually review their policies and procedures on digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy.
Common Sense Kids Action believes 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.
Common Sense has been a leading resource for school administrators, educators, and parents interested in learning additional ways to help kids thrive in a world driven by media and technology. We believe good online behavior mimics good offline behavior and that there is no differentiating between the two when it comes to safety, responsibility, and respect.
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