Common Classroom: The Common Sense Education Blog

Educators, We Need Your Input! Join the Beta Launch of Digital Passport, a New Classroom Tool To Prepare Students to Be Good Digital Citizens

Kelsey Herron Blogger Categories: In the Classroom
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Common Sense Media is launching a new tool for educators--Digital Passport! Educators can sign up now to explore the beta release of this new interactive learning platform and tell us what you think.

Digital Passport is a first-of-its-kind web-based tool to help educators teach the basics of digital citizenship and test 3rd through 5th graders’ readiness to engage with online and mobile technologies.

Through a combination of engaging videos, fun games, and wraparound classroom activities – adding up to about 4.5 hours of instruction – Digital Passport addresses the key issues facing kids in the digital world: online safety and security, privacy, cyberbullying, copyright and creation, and finding information online.

“Kids are growing up surrounded by media and tech 24/7, which comes with endless possibilities – and quite a few pitfalls,” said Jim Steyer, Common Sense Media CEO and founder. “And as classrooms become increasingly filled with technology and digital media, it’s crucial that kids know how to navigate this landscape safely and responsibly.”

Digital Passport provides the road map kids – and adults – will need to do just that. Since activities are based on lessons from our K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum but students can log in from anywhere, Digital Passport truly helps bridge home and school. “Both teachers and parents can be engaged with the lessons, ensuring the entire community is involved in helping us raise a generation of smart, responsible digital citizens,” said Steyer.

During the beta phase, users can:

  • Create an educator account
  • Set up class groups
  • Assign student activities and get kids playing
  • Access fun wraparound classroom activities
  • View and download assessment reports on the online games (school-wide reporting coming this fall)
  • Provide feedback via an online survey

With Digital Passport, students can complete the activities at their own pace and in the order they choose, earning badges as they complete the coursework in each topic area. The passport also tracks student progress in skills that can be tough for educators to assess, providing a quantifiable way to measure kids’ readiness to be responsible online.

Digital Passport is the latest addition to Common Sense Media’s education programs, and has already been successfully piloted in a number of classrooms. Kipp Bentley, executive director of interdisciplinary learning in the Denver public school system, was one of those pilots and was duly impressed:

Digital Passport presents a great opportunity for teachers and parents to meet kids where they are. It presents important information in a way that’s fun, impactful, and natural for many kids. Denver Public Schools is fortunate to have such a strong alliance with Common Sense Media, and we’re already seeing the benefits in our schools.

We’ll be integrating some additional features into Digital Passport this summer, including the ability to develop school-wide reports on student performance in order to better meet the digital citizenship requirements outlined in federal funding programs like E-Rate.

Digital Passport will be released widely to schools in August 2012, but you can sign up now to be a part of the exclusive beta launch group at https://www.digitalpassport.org/educator-registration.

We’ll be hosting a webinar on April 25 to help educators get started using Digital Passport in the classroom. We’ll cover how to set up your class, assign activities, lead each session, and use the student assessment tools. Sign up here to reserve your seat.

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