Engaging Families With Digital Citizenship

Today’s Contributor: Amy Gibbs,

I am the Librarian at Joslin Elementary. Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and dogs, being outdoors, knitting, drinking tea, reading, and hanging out with my friends.

Last semester I presented a Digital Citizenship and Awareness information class for parents. I used the information from Common Sense Media. I have used Common Sense Media in the past for teaching digital safety with Kinder-5th graders. My point of the presentation was to show parents where they could go for information as well as start some conversations in our school community and maybe have them start thinking about how they use the screen at home.


Using Common Sense Media Pros and Cons


  1. They have a lot of the information already printed for you. I was able to take one of their Slide Show Presentation and make it my own.
  2. The had a letter for parents already ready to go.


  1. Their Spanish content is limited. While I used the letter they had to send home, I had to get a staff member to translate it for me.
  2. Because they are changing their website, finding the video was hard. I ended up going to Youtube to find the video and then inserted it into the slides.

Day of the Event:

As we all know, we plan, have an agenda, have everything ready, and there is always going to be a change no matter how much we plan. I was prepared, but remained flexible. I had some parents who came in with another agenda and wanted to get questions answered and be on their way, and other questions had no agenda, but wanted to be informed. I gauged the audience at the beginning to see what we needed to cover. I did make sure we have enough time to show the slide show and answer any other questions that arose. To me the most successful part of the meetings were the conversations the parents had with each other.  Many parents either have a very strong viewpoint of screen time or they are pretty relaxed. Though they had different point of views, they were able to share in a safe and open environment. I watched how they would listen to what other say and carefully consider their points and get deeper conversations going. I felt that all the meetings were success. In the weeks to come, I had parents come and talk with me about what they had learned and share what they had changed at home with their child and screen times and viewings.





  1. This is a great resource. Thank you for sharing. Our campus is going one-to-one next year and there are already discussions about parental engagement and resourced for digital citizenship. Common Sense Media is a great resource, but sometimes its overwhelming because there is just so much available.

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