Kids of all ages are swiping and scrolling, totally transfixed by screens of all sizes. Welcome to the new frontier of parenting. If you have questions on how to take control of the technology in your kids' lives, you came to the right place.
If you're a parent of an elementary school student, you might feel that the landscape is shifting under your feet. So much is changing in modern schools, from Common Core, new state tests, laptops, and iPads in classrooms to new ways of teaching -- and learning. This comprehensive guide will help you find the best teacher-approved apps, games, and websites to support your kid in each grade and the best advice to help you understand current trends in schools and how they affect your kid.
Struggling to keep up with the media and tech your kids are using? Common Sense's Parents' Ultimate Guides can help keep you up to date and answer your questions about all the latest titles and trends. Whether you're trying to figure out if a new app is safe for your teen or if a popular game includes blood and gore, we've got you covered.
Digital Passport & Compass
Introduce students in grades 3–5 to Digital Passport™ by Common Sense Education. The award-winning suite of six interactive games addresses key issues kids face in today's digital world. Each engaging game teaches critical digital citizenship skills that help students learn to use technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate. Games are available in Spanish.
Digital Compass by Common Sense Education teaches students the fundamentals of digital citizenship through a choose-your-own-path interactive game, designed for grades 6–8.
Below are additional online resources for families to discuss good digital citizenship behaviors with children.
Start the Conversation
Kids spend so much time online that families and teachers need to help them make good choices about how to stay safe. At home, parents can start discussions about Internet safety and encourage their children to come to them with concerns about things they see and hear online.
Set Some Rules
The best way to help kids understand appropriate Internet use is by setting clear rules and expectations. Parents should discuss family Internet usage rules with their children and make sure they understand the dangers they may encounter online.
When kids are online they have access to a wide variety of communication tools. Online predators have access to those same tools. Parents should educate kids about the potential dangers of online predators and what they should do if someone they don’t know contacts them online.
Parents should be aware that children can face bullying online that is similar to what they encounter in the physical world. Gossip and teenage drama can spread rapidly through online social spaces. Talk to your kids about treating others with kindness and respect. Be alert for warning signs or complaints of bullying. Cyberbullying is REAL.
Children should be able to have positive online experiences. Parents should do their best to monitor what kids consume online and what they post. Parents can’t monitor everything but establishing boundaries and providing positive examples can help students make good choices about their own online behavior.
Parents need to help kids make good choices about the kinds of personal information they provide to websites or social media apps. When they’re online kids should always keep certain questions in mind: Can I trust this website? Why are they asking for this information? Can giving someone this information be dangerous? Will they keep my information safe? Do I have an adult’s permission?
Most people lock their doors to keep their families and belongings safe. It’s equally important to safeguard your personal information when you are online. Parents should teach kids the importance of online security including limiting the information they share with websites, managing social media privacy settings, and most importantly, using strong passwords and never sharing them.
These days everything kids (and adults) do online leaves a digital trail. Parents can make sure kids understand that almost everything they do and post online can be searched or shared by others. Things that kids should avoid sharing online include their full name, their physical or email addresses, phone numbers, passwords and photos or videos.
Parents can help their kids develop good digital hygiene by teaching them habits including reviewing privacy and security settings regularly, turning on multi-factor authentication, creating strong passwords and/or using a password manager and keeping apps and devices updated.