Common Sense Curriculum

Safety and Security Strand
Safety Unit
Students learn that there are exciting places to go online, but that they should choose safe, age-appropriate sites.
Students explore the benefits and risks of online talk, and learn how to stay safe when connecting with others online.
Students learn concrete strategies for recognizing predator grooming patterns online and handling unwanted contact.
Security Unit
Students learn how to create strong passwords, handle spam, and understand privacy policies. Students learn strategies for keeping their information secure online, and identify online scams and schemes. Students learn strategies for guarding against identity theft and recognizing financial fraud.
Digital Citizenship Strand
Digital Life Unit
Students learn that the Internet is a community of connected people that have responsibilities to one another. Students reflect on the upside and downside of digital media, on the place of digital media in their lives, and about how to be upstanding digital citizens. Students consider the major ethical challenges of being online, reflect on the place of media in their lives, and think critically about digital citizenship
Privacy and Digital Footprints Unit
Students learn that they have "digital footprints" that can be big or small, helpful or hurtful Student actively manage their digital footprint so that they share but do not overshare information. Students reflect on the impact of their digital footprint on the reputation, relationships, and future.
Self-Expression and Identity Unit
(We start to address this topic in middle school) Students consider how they present themselves online and offline. Students reflect on what it means to be "fake" and "real" online.
Connected Culture Unit
Students explore hurtful online behavior and the "group think" mentality that is often involved. Students explore the ethics of online communities through issues such as cyberbullying and online-community building. Student explore how relationships and communities can thrive online, and how hate speech and other cruel behaviors can break them down.
Respecting Creative Work Unit
Students learn that presenting the work of others as one's own is called plagiarism. Students explore topics ranging from copyright to fair use, and reflect on the ethics of using creative work from others. Students consider different models of attribution for giving and getting credit online, and adpot the perspective of various creative stakeholders.
Research and Information Literacy Strand
Searching Unit
Students learn how to perform basic keyword searches and how to select a search site. Students explore different search options for finding information, and use precise keywords to yield the best search results. Students learn how to perform advanced searches from varied sources across different platforms.
Research and Evaluation Unit
Students learn what to look for when evaluating the quality of a website, and learn that not all websites provide equally good sources of information. Students learn to identify high-quality websites, how to create online citations, and the characteristics of sites that make them appealing. Students determine what makes information trustworthy online, and reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of sites that encourage collective intelligence.