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Knowledge Delivery Systems, Common Sense Media Partnership Provides Internet Safety Courses

Knowledge Delivery Systems, a provider of online professional development courses, has partnered with nonprofit Common Sense Media to make four Internet safety courses available to K-12 teachers. The courses, available now, fulfill a requirement of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) for schools to receive E-Rate discounts.

E-Rate is a program run by the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company. It provides discounts to private and public schools and libraries for Internet and telecommunication services. Eligibility requirements include location and economic need.

CIPA mandates schools that receive these discounts "provide for the education of students regarding appropriate online behavior including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and regarding cyberbullying awareness and response," according to a 2011 Federal Communications Commission report and order.

The Common Sense Media courses, which are aligned with the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and National Education Technology Standards and based on the research of Professor Howard Gardner at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, focus on how to teach digital literacy and citizenship in grades K-12. They include curricula, resources, and lesson plans, and include examples for each grade.

The four Common Sense courses for teachers are:

  • "Meeting CIPA Mandates for E-Rate Compliance," a 60-minute course which focuses on implementation and reporting requirements for administrators;
  • "Digital Citizenship, CIPA, and E-Rate for Elementary School Teachers";
  • "Digital Citizenship, CIPA, and E-Rate for Middle School Teachers"; and
  • "Digital Citizenship, CIPA, and E-Rate for High School Teachers."

At the elementary school level, school districts have the option of providing one 45-minute lesson per grade each year, or three lessons delivered during second grade and fifth grade. The courses are:

  • Kindergarten: "Going Places Safely";
  • First grade: "Sending Email";
  • Second grade: "Show Respect Online";
  • Third grade: "Talking Safely Online";
  • Fourth grade: "The Power of Words"; and
  • Fifth grade: "Digital Citizenship Pledge."

Middle schools can provide two 45-minute lessons each year for each grade, or offer them all in sixth grade. The courses are:

  • Sixth grade: "Safe Online Talk" and "Scams and Schemes";
  • Seventh grade: "Trillion Dollar Footprint" and "Cyberbullying: Crossing the Line"; and
  • Eighth grade: "Which Me Should I Be?" and "Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding."

At the high school level, one 45-minute lesson can be provided per grade per year, or all courses can be provided in the ninth-grade benchmark year. The courses are:

  • Ninth grade: "Private Today, Public Tomorrow";
  • 10th Grade: "Risky Online Relationships";
  • 11th Grade: "College Bound"; and
  • 12th Grade: "Taking Perspectives on Cyberbullying."

Knowledge Delivery Systems monitors course completion by teachers and delivery to students and includes E-Rate documentation.

"Students today live and breathe the Internet, so it's critical to provide them with the skills to be safe, respectful, and responsible digital citizens. The courses we developed with KDS provide everything teachers and administrators need to teach students digital citizenship skills, while also meeting CIPA mandates," said Mike Lorion, general manager of education at Common Sense Media, in a prepared statement.

For more information about Knowledge Delivery Systems, visit kdsi.org. Go to commonsense.org/educators for additional information on Common Sense Media.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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