Common Sense Celebrates Safer Internet Day by Bringing Award-Winning Digital Citizenship Resources to the United Kingdom

Education Scotland and the Welsh government partner with Common Sense to reach up to 1 million children this year

Common Sense Media
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Common Sense Education's free digital citizenship resources for schools will help children think critically and use technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate as digital citizens.

LONDON, UK, 9 February, 2021—As countries across the globe celebrate Safer Internet Day to raise awareness of current and emerging online issues, Common Sense announced that it has introduced its award-winning and research-backed digital citizenship resources to the United Kingdom. The resources have been fully updated for UK learners and translated into British English and Welsh, and are now available to all schools.

In addition, Common Sense has established partnerships with Education Scotland and the Welsh government to make these new resources available for free for up to 1 million children in 2021.

"Common Sense is proud to support Safer Internet Day, and it couldn't be a better time to bring our award-winning Digital Citizenship Curriculum to the UK to help children think critically and use technology responsibly as digital citizens," says James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense. "Media and technology have transformed our lives. Educators and families are grappling not only with just how tech affects us all but also how to keep our children safe as they pick up devices at a younger age and spend more time online. Teaching positive digital habits is essential for children to thrive in today's world, and can start as early as preschool."

"Common Sense has been a pioneer in digital citizenship for more than a decade," says Lord Ed Vaizey, chairman of Common Sense Media UK. "I am delighted to be working with them, and thrilled that we can partner with the Welsh and Scottish governments to support millions of children by giving them the tools they need to make sense of the online world."

"We are delighted to be working in partnership with Common Sense to provide support for educators and learners across Scotland with these highly engaging resources, which are tailored to Curriculum for Excellence," said Alan Armstrong, strategic director at Education Scotland. "These resources will help practitioners explore how they can support learners to navigate their online lives, and provide them with the skills they need to stay safe online."

"It's vital we equip our children and young people with the skills to be able to think critically and navigate the digital world in a safe and responsible way," said Kirsty Williams, education minister for Wales. "I'm pleased we're continuing our work with Common Sense Education to provide Welsh learners with access to the wide range of learning resources offered by the Digital Citizenship Curriculum."

The updated resources were fully adapted for students, teachers, and families in the United Kingdom and tested in more than 50 UK schools. Lessons are built on the same core, research-backed Common Sense curriculum that teachers know and trust, with the addition of new teaching tools and learner activities that provide children and young people with the guidance they need to make their own smart choices online and in life.

Course framework includes:

  • Media Balance & Well-Being → How can I make screen time meaningful?
    Learners go beyond screen time to explore the impact that their digital lives can have on their well-being and their relationships with others, while learning strategies for balancing media in their everyday lives.
  • Privacy & Security → How can I keep private data safe and secure?
    Learners find out how to protect personal information and gain a deeper understanding of their data privacy rights so they can advocate for themselves and others.
  • Digital Footprint & Identity → How can I be responsible with my online identity?
    Learners consider the benefits and risks of online sharing and explore how their digital personae affect their sense of self, their reputations, and their relationships.
  • Relationships & Communication → How can I build positive relationships?
    Learners reflect on how to effectively communicate online and build positive relationships, avoid risky online talk, and understand why certain topics and conversations can best lend themselves to certain mediums.
  • Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech → How can I be kind and respectful?
    Learners take on these tough topics and play the active role of an upstander to build positive, supportive online communities and combat online cruelty.
  • News & Media Literacy → How can I think critically about what I see and create?
    Learners will identify credible and trustful information sources and reflect on their responsibilities as thoughtful media creators and consumers.

The launch of the updated curriculum builds on Common Sense's entry into the UK and expands on the organization's mission to help kids and families across the globe thrive in the digital world. In 2019, Common Sense Media forged a partnership with Sky UK to offer their independent movie ratings throughout Sky Q's programme guide, helping families in the UK make informed media choices by giving a breakdown of different aspects of each programme, such as educational value and the amount of violence.

Common Sense has been at the forefront of helping teachers, local authorities, and schools navigate the tricky online world their students are living in. Designed and developed in partnership with Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and guided by research with thousands of teachers, each digital citizenship lesson helps learners build lifelong skills. Since its launch 10 years ago, the curriculum has been shared in classrooms across all 50 US states and in more than 80,000 schools, reaching a diverse student population. Collectively, more than 1 million teachers worldwide and millions of students have used the digital citizenship resources.

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About Common Sense
Common Sense is a charity (registered in England and Wales) dedicated to improving the lives of children and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at www.commonsense.org/uk/digital-citizenship. See our ratings at www.commonsensemedia.org and our education resources at www.commonsense.org/education.

Press contacts:
Jason Maymon
[email protected]
00 1 (347) 931-1633

Lord Ed Vaizey is available for an interview or a comment.