When did your organization launch and why?
Since 2003, Common Sense has been the leading source of entertainment and technology recommendations for families and schools. Every day, millions of parents, caregivers, and educators trust Common Sense reviews and advice to help them navigate the digital world with their kids. Together with policymakers, industry leaders, and global media partners, we’re building a digital world that works better for all kids, their families, and their communities.
What does your organization do? What are its main goals? Main projects?
Common Sense Education supports K–12 schools with everything educators need to support students’ learning in a world full of media and technology. Our innovative, award-winning Digital Citizenship Curriculum prepares students with lifelong habits and skills, supports teachers with training and recognition, and engages families and communities with helpful tips and tools. Schools everywhere rely on our free curriculum, expert advice, and edtech ratings to help kids thrive.
Common Sense Media rates movies, TV shows, podcasts, books, and more so educators and families can feel good about the media and entertainment choices they make for kids. We offer the largest, most trusted library of independent age-based ratings and reviews.
What makes your organization stand out? What would you say is the most unique thing about your organization?
We combine original research with game-changing advocacy efforts to make the digital world work better for all kids. Our advocacy work highlights legislation related to technology and identifies solutions that protect consumer privacy, push for better connectivity for students and families, and hold tech companies accountable to ensure a healthy internet for all.
What are recent projects or new resources that your organization would like to share with other NAMLE members?
We’re continually releasing new content and updating our evergreen resources for educators. Here are a few recent additions: Our Civics in Digital Life resources help teachers and students consider important topics that cut across news and media literacy, digital citizenship, and social and emotional learning, all from a civics angle. Our updated News and Media Literacy Resource Center has resources for every grade level, K–12, from digital citizenship lessons to activities around current events. Our Tips by Text program offers families free entertainment picks and tips on healthy tech use, delivered via text message in English or Spanish.
What are the connections between the work of your organization and media literacy?
At its core, Common Sense is a media literacy organization. Our ratings and reviews of kids’ media are intended to help educators and families start conversations about media, and make informed choices about the media they use.
Why is media literacy important to your organization?
Media and technology are at the center of kids’ lives every day. From a very young age, kids use technology at home and at school to connect with friends and family, and to document their lives and create digital content of their own. With more and more of life happening online, we’re here to help educators, families, and kids approach media—and how it’s delivered to us—with a thoughtful, critical lens.
Anything else you want our readers to know about your organization, your mission, or your staff?
We appreciate the hard work that educators everywhere are doing day-in and day-out to help improve the lives of their students! Our resources for educators are free and always will be. We know that the digital world brings new opportunities and challenges to your work—we’re here for you every step of the way.
The views and opinions expressed in the Organizational Spotlight blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NAMLE or its members. The purpose of the Organizational Spotlight blog is to highlight our Organizational Partners and give them a place to share their reflections, opinions, and ideas.