Tag Archives: digital citizenship

Hamlin University: Year 2

At The Hamlin School we want parents to learn with us. We feel that a community functions best when we are all knowledgeable about the philosophical and practical approaches to educating children. With this in mind, today we launched our second year of Hamlin University.

The following classes are taking place over the course of this academic year:

-Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) for Parents, taught by Kylie Cobb

-The Birds and the Bees, taught by Konika Ray

-The Beginning Reader, taught by Lindsay Bothwell

-Public Speaking, taught by Tim Johnson

-Moving Beyond the Leveled Letters, taught by Lindsay Bothwell

-Think Like a Mathematician, taught by Gillis Kallem

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Common Sense Media & Hamlin Partnership … year 3


Dear Parents, We’re excited to again be working with Common Sense this year as part of their Supporter School digital_citizenship-certified_school-medProgram (our third year). We’ve partnered with Common Sense because we are fully committed to empowering our children to make safe, responsible decisions online and help them take advantage of the best that technology has to offer for learning. Many of you may know Common Sense for their movie, TV, and book ratings and reviews, but they also provide a wealth of education resources that we will be implementing in a variety of ways.

As a member school, we are taking a whole-community approach to digital citizenship and will provide students and families with the support and tools you need to navigate the digital world in the classroom and at home. We will be sharing Common Sense’s best resources with you throughout the school year, including timely tips and advice, as well as engaging in parent and educator workshops and sharing best practices with a network of member independent schools in the Bay Area and across the country.

To prepare for the back-to-school questions and concerns you may have, check out Back-to-School Rules for Cell Phones, What is Pokémon Go?, and 5 Social Media Musts for Teens. Visit commonsense.org for more information, and we will keep you updated about this program through coffees, events, and weekly blog postings right here.

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Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 11/12/2015


Are you wondering what are the best kinds of social media apps for kids?  The problem is that it isn’t always easy to find social sites specifically designed to be beneficial for kids. Though 45% of teens say they use social media every day, they rank it lower in personal enjoyment than every other kind of media, according to our just released Census Report on Tweens and Teens and Media Usage .  It is possible many teens use social media simply because their friends do and they don’t want to miss anything, rather than actually liking what social media has to offer.

Kids are moving away from having one social-media destination  and instead are downloading different apps for different purposes.  We have compiled some apps that make it easier to promote positive interactions, as well as those apps that enable teens to explore their interests, be creative, make connections and learn about the world.  Take a look at these apps that might make your kids (and you) a little happier.

Have a great week and don’t forget to use Common Sense.

img from: http://jasoncurlee.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/socialmedia.jpg

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 11/5/2015


Tumblr is an unending streaming scrapbook of text, photos, videos, and audio clips. It pioneered the vibrant, graphic-rich, full-screen design that kids love (which is one reason Yahoo bought it for $1.1 billion 2013). And — with more than a million blogs — it remains one of the most popular places on the Web for creative types to design original pages, share cool things they discover, and follow others with similar interests. On Tumblr, the goal of many users is to be “reblogged” (as opposed to racking up likes, as with Instagram), which makes the service feel like a creative community bonded by shared interests — and not a popularity contest. Read full  Tumblr article here.

Tumblr is unique because of the wide variety of content that users can post from their phones or computers. Not only can they text and post photos, they also can offer up quotes, links, music, voice messages, and videos. It all shows up on a member’s page along with a stream of posts from people they’re following. This ability to post instantaneously can be a risk for impulsive teens (or any teens, really). Check out how to keep up with the latest social apps and websites teens are using  and check out the 15 apps and websites your kids are going to after Facebook!

Have a great week and don’t forget to use Common Sense.

Hamlin’s November #DigCit Theme …

The Digital Citizenship theme for November is “Relationships Online.” We hope you will be able to continue the discussions at home with the help of our monthly discussion questions.

How are your online relationships different from relationships in real life? (Maybe even your relationship with the same person online and offline)

Have you seen unkindness happening online? How can you be an up-stander in this situation?

How do you think the online cruelty might be different from offline behavior? Is one worse than the other?

Does information (including gossip) spread faster online or in person? What positive experiences have you had with information spreading rapidly online? What negative experiences have you had?


Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 10/21/2015


You don’t have to be an expert on texting, Instagram or Minecraft to have the talk!  With 92 percent of teens going online daily and nearly three-quarters of kids age 0-8 using apps, The Talk is an essential rite of passage. You can start by reading up on what’s going on in your kids world (click here for younger kids or  older kids).  Ask them to show you what they like online, and why. Then, express a few basic expectations, with the understanding that this isn’t a one-and-done kind of chat. Below are the 5 basic tips to go over with your kids, and click here  to get the full story. Good luck, you’ll be fine and go ahead – have the talk!

  1. Be kind
  2. Keep private things, private
  3. Don’t believe everything you see
  4. Don’t overshare
  5. Stand up for others

All the best and don’t forget to use Common Sense,

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 9/23/2015

CS_supporter_school-BIGKids may express reluctance toward reading for a variety of reasons. But, Common Sense can provide some guidance for reluctant readers. 

As with anything kids would rather not do, forcing them, comparing them to other kids, and using other negative reinforcements backfire. Following are some ideas to encourage kids to read: 

Encourage reading for funWimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney says that sometimes adults focus so much on getting kids to read they forget about the fun. But kids who are having fun will read. 

Go graphic. There are many high-quality graphic novels that draw in readers through illustrations, short-form text, and engrossing story lines. 

Seek out sports. For kids who’d rather be physically active than read a book, consider books about teams or by athletes, such as You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter about the famous lefty; Hothead by Cal Ripken Jr.; or other books about sports

Think big print. The Here’s Hank series by Henry Winkler features a dyslexic hero and a large, easy-to-read typeface. 

Let them follow their interests. You may not love Captain Underpants, but if that’s what your kid wants to read, put aside your judgment for the greater good. 

Find characters who reflect your kid’s experience. Kids like to see themselves in the stories they read. Look for books with characters and situations that mirror their experience – for example, kids of color or with divorced parents or who live on a farm or who love dogs. Whatever helps kids identify with the story will keep them more engaged. 

Look for different reading opportunities. Reading is valuable no matter what the format: Pokemon cards, product labels, game manuals, recipes. Mix in shorter-form material with longer stuff. 

Get techy. Ebooks and storybook apps that offer some multimedia along with the narrative can be entertaining and educational and may draw in kids who are turned off by text alone. Use them alongside traditional reading. 

Fact-check. With their amazing stats, incredible images, short-form text, and start-anywhere formats, books of facts such as Guinness World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not entice kids who’d rather not tackle longer stories. 

Take turns. With a book your kid has chosen, take turns reading a page (or two) to each other. Ask questions along the way. 

Enjoy the week! 

love reading

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 3/3/2015

CS_supporter_school-BIGAll kids are naturally creative and the question for parents and caregivers is how do we foster that creativity.  Common Sense has done the work for you and hand selected a variety of tools to help you foster your kids’ interest in art, science, music, writing and even directing.  Take a look at the Modern Kids’ Guide to Crafting, Coding, Composing and more and let loose your inner creative streak.  Whether you’re a teacher or parent, take this opportunity to sit down and help unleash your kids creative potential.  You’ll be amazed at the results!

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week – 1/20/2015


The annual International Consumer Electronics Show brings over 150,000 people from all over the globe to Las Vegas every January to pitch, peruse and explore new products that range from extraordinary to ridiculous.  Common Sense was at the show and we scoured the street—and the web— to find some of the best and most promising products for families.  Check out our 5 cool products for kids and families and see what the future has in store.

It is tough to find stories for kids and young teenagers that don’t reinforce body stereotypes, but we found examples of books featuring characters who are comfortable with their bodies, no matter what their size or shape.  Check out these 13 books that show characters who are appreciated for their talent, skills and integrity and they don’t trade on their looks to get ahead.

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.