Website Wednesday: More Ways to Use Common Sense Media

by Kristie Burk

When people ask me about my favorite website as a parent, I almost always answer Common Sense Media. Before my children watch a movie, download an app, or play a video game, I like to consult this site (and/or use the app).  When my eleven-year old son wants to download an app to his iPhone, he knows that he has to check the age rating on Common Sense Media first. For example, he knows that Minecraft has an age rating of “8,” so I’ll probably approve it.  However, Common Sense Media gives Meerkat an age of “17,” so he knows not to even bother to ask about that one!

In addition to the age ratings, Common Sense Media will rate the app on ease of play; violence; sex; language; consumerism; drinking, drugs, & smoking; and privacy & safety.  You can even drill down to get more specific details in each category.

There are some other great uses for Common Sense Media and Technology for Educators as well:

1.  Find the best websites, apps, and games, rated for learning by educators and mapped to standards.

2.  Access free K-12 curriculum to teach students digital responsibility.

3.  Look at plans to implement 1:1 into your classroom.

4.  Access professional development materials.

Do you use Common Sense Media and, if so, how? Let us know at


One comment

  1. I, and many of the other elementary librarians, use Common Sense Media digital citizenship resources to meet the goals of the DASD Digital Citizenship curriculum. Their lessons align wonderfully with the district’s scope and sequence and the prescribed videos from (the federal government’s website for safe and responsible online use). Common Sense Media provides educators with lessons and units by grade band that include student activities, videos, worksheets, and assessments. They are an excellent resource for meeting the needs of students when it comes to learning about: cyberbullying, Internet safety, privacy, and security; copyright; information literacy. The lessons have prompted excellent questions from students, spirited class discussions, and real world problem solving. In addition I have recommended this site in my Library newsletters to parents in response to their questions and concerns about technology and media for elementary-age children.


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