Children spend more than seven hours a day online, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study published in 2010—and that figure has likely only increased since then—so it is imperative that families and schools educate children about how to interact with media and technology positively for learning and life. Common Sense Media’s curricular materials provide a comprehensive guide to using the Internet and digital devices productively, safely, and wisely.
The free curriculum includes four Student Workbooks—one each for grades K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12—and accompanying Teacher Editions, for a total of eight iBooks Textbooks. Each student edition features age-appropriate text, artwork, and activities. Materials are divided into units consisting of several activities that can be completed in one class period. Students read informational text, watch videos, and interact extensively with the workbooks, completing a wide variety of activities, including doing matching exercises, answering open-ended questions, and taking activity quizzes and unit assessments that are delivered electronically to the teacher.
The Teacher Editions list curricular standards the activities align with and outline the time each activity will take and the materials and preparation required. Resources include links to studies, reports, and informational articles, as well as background documents for teachers and handouts for parents. Topics include identity theft, cyberbullying, copyright and fair use, and online research and creative pursuits like making videos and recording mashups (combinations of existing songs).