Discovery Elementary School and Arlington Public Schools utilizes Common Sense Media resources to help teachers and families alike analyze digital media, to help make decisions about what is and is not appropriate for each child. Annually, each APS school teaches a Digital Citizenship Curriculum based on Common Sense Media resources. However, CommonSenseMedia.org affords families powerful resources for use outside of school.
The Reviews page allows parents to filter media by age, type, topic, and character strengths. This can serve as a “menu” for both you and your child, and includes current in-theatre films, films from digital and streaming media, apps, games, websites, music, books, and more. Use this resource to understand the content of media before anyone sees it, including understanding what contains positive messages, positive role models, violence, sex, language, marketing and consumerism, and drinking, drugs, and alcohol use. In addition to the review itself, the bottom of each review page includes selected alternatives if the resource in question is deemed inappropriate for any given child. This page in particular can help parents have meaningful content-related conversations with their children about the media in their lives.
The Parent Concerns area provides information and insight into a wide variety of issues, from body image to violence to marketing, and more.
Another platform that can provide insight into child-appropriate content is KidzVuz, pronounced “Kids’ Views.” KidzVuz is a platform for the child voice, empowering children to review their own content, and provide those meaningful reviews to other kids. However, the site is 100% curated, meaning an adult familiar with the law and ensuring quality content verifies the appropriateness of every video before it is posted. They are so compliant with the law that they do not provide an automatic mechanism for sharing to Facebook and Twitter, precisely because students under 13 should not be using those platforms.
There are several “seal” programs that review content to a certain standard of appropriateness. Some of the most ubiquitous of these quality-review programs include: