Tag Archives: common sense media

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 11/10/2014

CS_supporter_school-MEDThis week’s tip revolves around the best ways to navigate the extensive amount of violent media available to kids, educate your children about the consequences of violent behavior, and choose games that help enforce positive values rather than glorify aggression, profanity, and sexual content.

Experts are still unsure whether there is a direct correlation between media violence and violent behavior, yet agree that heavy exposure can be an added risk factor for aggression. In addition, constant exposure to mature and graphic content, especially if it’s ‘OK-ed’ by parents, can lead to desensitization to disturbing imagery. We would rather have the media our kids’ use reflect our own personal values, yet it can be difficult to isolate the good from the bad in the sea of movies and games when our kids are claiming, “but all my friends have it!”

According to a study from Northwestern, the number one influence on kids’ media consumption is how their parents think and act regarding media. Help your kids think about what they are consuming by explaining the true consequences of violence, and point out how unrealistic it is to get away with violent behavior. For more recommendations for finding quality, age-appropriate media, check out Common Sense’s tips on how to deal with media violence.

Also, if your kid is an avid video-gamer, and you’re not sure whether or not to indulge his latest plea for the new Grand Theft Auto V, make sure to check out Common Sense’s list of the 10 Most Violent Video Games of 2014 (and What to Play Instead). Many popular games on the market get the most attention because of their adult content – added mostly just for shock value. While these games are OK for adults to play, make sure you stay up to date on which are and aren’t appropriate for your kids’ age group. Read more.


Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 11/03/2014

CS_supporter_school-MEDThis week’s tip addresses the best ways to engage kids about the US’s political process during election week. Even if your kids have some years before they can vote, you can still help guide them toward becoming media-savvy participants in democracy.

Encourage your kids to think critically about political advertising and news sources, and push them to judge for themselves the credibility of online sources. For younger kids, turn to age-appropriate news sites such as HTE Kids NewsTIME for KidsScholastic Kids Press Corps. Older kids can fact-check on their own; websites such as factcheck.org and politifact.com are independent fact-checking websites that check statements from the White House, Congress, candidates, and advocacy groups, and rate claims for accuracy.

If your kids aren’t aware of which candidates match their views, take them to isidewith.com or Project Vote Smart to learn about how their own opinions manifest in ballot measures and candidates running for office. Letting kids do their own research and make decisions about the elections helps develop their political consciousness, and allows them to feel more invested in the issues and debates they encounter during elections.

For more tips on steering kids through the political season, check out Common Sense’s blog.

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 10/27/2014

CS_supporter_school-BIGA tip on explaining upsetting news to our kids:

Thousands Die Of Ebola In West Africa. ISIS Grows Its Ranks. Another Shooting Leaves Community Grieving. Disturbing news is everywhere; we see it in the morning paper, when we switch on the TV, and on our daily scroll through Facebook. Today’s kids are also surrounded by upsetting news. This constant stream of information shows up in sharable videos, posts, blogs, feeds, and alerts. Since many kids get information directly to their own smartphones and laptops, parents often aren’t around to immediately help their children make sense of horrendous situations. And because much of this content comes from sites that are designed for adults, what your kids see, hear, or read might not always be age appropriate. Check in with your kids about what they are seeing in the news, and remember that your kids will look to the way you handle your reactions to upsetting situations to determine their own approach. Check out Common Sense’s tips on Explaining the News to Our Kids.

Also, in honor of Halloween this Friday, Common Sense has put together a list of spooky media and non-related activities for the whole family. Check out our list of 31 Halloween Ideas for Kids to Play, Make, Eat, and Watch.

You can also check out Common Sense’s digital citizenship music videos, which address ways to be smart, safe, and responsible about technology. Their latest hip-hop video, Oversharing: Think Before You Post, raps the top 10 things to think about before posting, such as #1 Remember the Golden Rule, #2 Don’t Brag, and #3 Avoid TMI (too much information).

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 10/20/2014

CS_supporter_school-MEDHave a conversation with your kids about what it means to be a “digital citizen.” Have them sign a Family Media Agreement, a checklist that acts as a guideline for safe, thoughtful, and balanced media use. Common Sense Education offers three versions, for K-56-8, and 9-12.

You can also check out Common Sense’s digital citizenship music videos, which address ways to be smart, safe, and responsible about technology. Their latest hip-hop video, Oversharing: Think Before You Post, raps the top 10 things to think about before posting, such as #1 Remember the Golden Rule, #2 Don’t Brag, and #3 Avoid TMI (too much information).

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 10/13/2014

CS_supporter_school-MEDMany of you may have heard about the recent hacking scandals concerning Snapchat, the popular photo sharing app. Not only were several celebrity nude photos hacked and released to the internet in recent weeks, but hackers this past weekend released videos and pictures of as many as 200,000 teenagers, Snapchat users who had entered their information into snapsaved.com, a third-party site that allows users to save snapchats sent to their mobile accounts. Snapchat is prevalent amongst teens; it reports half its users to be between the ages of 13 and 17, and parents of teens know that the app and the current “selfie” trend are dominant aspects of teen social lives.

So, how can we keep our kids safe on these types of applications? Check out Common Sense’s Q&A.

Also, learn more about the hack.

Finally, make sure your kid is educated about privacy. Remind him/her that nothing shared online is ever 100% private, even if it may grant the appearance of privacy. Common Sense’s topic center on Privacy and Internet Safety offers answers to frequently asked questions surrounding appropriate sharing and the best ways to keep kids safe online. Educate yourself around these issues and have a discussion with your kid about how to stay protected on the internet.

Read on for more information about privacy and internet safety.

Common Sense Media Supporter School

Common Sense MediaWe are happy to announce that The Hamlin School is a Common Sense Media Supporter School. This program is designed to support administrative, faculty, and parent efforts to wisely and constructively integrate technology into students’ lives at school and at home. Through our partnership with Common Sense Media in the Bay Area, our school community has direct access to the nation’s leading experts on media, education and technology while also supporting our local educational community.

Common Sense Media, is the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. To explore their (over 22,000) ratings and reviews of movies, books, music, TV shows, games, websites and apps or to find answers to your media-related questions, visit www.commonsensmedia.org and join the one million registered users.  To learn more about our partnership with Common Sense, contact Mark Picketts.  

Some resources that you may be interested in bringing into your home are their family media agreement and the device contract.  We look forward to partnering with you in preparing the girls to be healthy and successful in these media rich times.