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Schools certified by Common Sense for digital citizenship work

Common Sense certification logo Nov. 29, 2018 - All nine Edina Public Schools have received certification from Common Sense Education, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping schools and families make smart and responsible choices in their use of technology.

Media specialists at each school led the effort to become Common Sense Certified. Certification is granted following completion of professional learning units, documentation of lessons and activities, and implementation of digital citizenship instruction for students, staff and families.

Krista Winkel and Sara Swenson, media specialists at Creek Valley Elementary and EHS, respectively, were pleased to discover that they were already sharing many of the important lessons advocated by Common Sense. They also agreed that the process has helped fine tune their work. “I was focusing internet safety lessons on older students but have realized that it is important to begin this conversation at a basic level with the youngest learners,” Winkel said. “They do not know a world without cell phones, computers, texting and emails, so they need to start to develop an understanding of what it means to be a good digital citizen at a young age.”

“At EHS, we emphasize the important of growing a positive digital footprint earlier and earlier,” Swenson said. “Students have grown in their understanding of the impact of their online presence for college applications and future employment.”

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, there are 25 percent fewer school media specialists in Minnesota schools than there were 10 years ago. In Edina, every school is staffed with a media specialist, an advantage for students across the district.

“It is very rewarding to have every one of our schools Common Sense Certified,” said Steve Buettner, director of media and technology services. “It recognizes the important work being done by district media specialists and tells us that we are doing the right things to ensure our students are ready to operate safely in a world that increasingly relies on technology.”