Archdiocese of Chicago

 About the Resources Minimize

This page will contain resources for teachers to share with their students.  The teachers of the Archdiocese of Chicago Schools will need to teach three lessons per K-12 classroom each year in order to be certified and compliant with e-rate and CIPA requirements.  Common Sense Media offers free, rich resources that not only fulfills the minimum requirements but allows teachers to go beyond and focus on best practices using technology in the classroom.


 Links to Resources Minimize

How does my school keep track?

Because the Archdiocese of Chicago is a certified school district (15-16), each school will need to:

1.  Fill out the inquiry form per school.  

2.   Teach 3 lessons per K-8 class (45 minutes per lesson) - see suggestions on right side.  Watch the webinar for details:

View the presentation:  Feb. 16, 2017 presentation


3.   Provide parent outreach in at least three ways:

  •  One of these efforts must be the distribution of at least one Common Sense Family Tip Sheet or the Family Media Agreement to all parents/caregivers. You must also complete two additional activities. Examples include but are not limited to:

o Hosting a school-wide parent education evening with a teen panel with materials, ideas, and best practices from the Connecting Families program.

o Training Title 1 coordinators and/or PTA/PTO leaders to facilitate ongoing family engagement activities, such as informal discussion groups using Connecting Families resources.

o Publishing an article about the importance of digital citizenship in the school newsletter.

o Posting a link to Common Sense Media on the school website.

o Embedding the Common Sense parent advice blog widget in the school website.

Giving your parents easy access to advice on parenting in the digital age by adding our Making Sense blog widget for families to your school's website.

Parent outreach resources:


4.  Please fill out this form when complete:

Letter to Principals:

Connecting Families: Parent engagement program for grades 6-12
Digital Passport: Interactive digital citizenship game for grades 3-5
Digital Compass: Interactive, choose your-own adventure digital citizenship game for grades 6-9

Digital Bytes:  Teaches teens digital citizenship through real-world dilemmas.

St. Clement Wiki Link:  Example of one school's work w/ Common Sense

2016-17 Certified School List


 Lesson Information Minimize

Common Sense Education and the Chicago Archdiocese are committed to working together to provide schools and educators within the Archdiocese the necessary tools, training, and support to: (1) empower students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly with technology, and (2) effectively integrate technology into the classroom to improve student outcomes.

Empowering Students with Digital Literacy and Citizenship Skills

Common Sense will provide schools high-quality digital citizenship materials to use with both students and families, as well as provide teachers and administrators training on implementation best practices. The intent of these efforts is to not only provide schools all the tools they need, but also to build the knowledge, confidence, and skills of teachers and administrators in taking a whole-community approach to digital citizenship. A whole-community approach is a holistic implementation model that involves student instruction, family engagement, and educator training.

Student Instruction

Common Sense will provide Chicago Archdiocese schools with the following gold-standard resources to teach digital citizenship instruction in approximately 204 schools over a period of three years to an estimated 85,000 students.

  • Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum (grades K-12): A free curriculum (available online and as iBooks Textbooks) that uses engaging content to teach kids to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly online and with mobile devices. Lessons are differentiated by grade level, and spiral with new content year by year to deepen learning. Each lesson is aligned to Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and National Education Technology Standards.
  • Digital Passport (grades 3-5): Web-based games and videos teach and test digital citizenship fundamentals, with a robust teacher dashboard for easy reporting, Digital Passport is available online for free; the Archdiocese may select to pay a small fee if they decide to use the tool an app for iOS, Android, and Edmodo.
  • Digital Compass (grades 6-8): In this choose your own adventure interactive experience, students explore digital dilemmas and try out possible solutions-- all without risking real-world reputations. Digital Compass is complementary to the Curriculum, allowing students to take charge of their learning while also engaging in deeper learning and instruction via the teacher-guided instruction of the Curriculum. Digital Compass is available for free online and as an app on iOS, Android, Chromebook, and Edmodo through the 2015-2016 school year. Starting June 2016, Digital Compass may be a fee-based tool that the Archdiocese may need to purchase if so desired.
  • Digital Bytes (grades 9-12): This free, student-directed website empowers teens to think critically about digital citizenship issues through media-rich activities and collaborative media production projects that tackle real-world dilemmas.

As outlined below (in the Teacher Training section), educators throughout the Chicago Archdiocese will receive training and professional development on implementation best practices for the aforementioned resources. Doing so will build teachers’ knowledge, confidence and skills in implementing digital citizenship instruction for students.

Over a period of three years, the goal is for all Chicago Archdiocese students to receive a minimum of four hours of digital citizenship instruction every year using Common Sense resources. While all schools will have access to the materials and resources at the start, we will scaffold and target our training and support efforts in three phases—adding new grade levels each year: 

  • Year One (2015-2016): Focus on 75 K-8 schools, reaching 20,000 students.
  • Year Two (2016-2017): Focus on 150 K-8 schools, reaching 65,000 students.
  • Year Three (2017-2018): Focus on 6 high schools, reaching 85,000 students.

The student instruction will follow the Scope and Sequence (Appendix A). Each school principal will determine which teacher(s) will facilitate the instruction for students. Providing this comprehensive instruction will empower students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly online.

Family Engagement

Common Sense will also provide Chicago Archdiocese schools with high-quality content from the organization’s Connecting Families Program to engage families in guiding their children in using technology safely and responsibly. The resources are available in English and Spanish, and address eight “hot topics,” which are: cyberbullying; digital drama; digital footprints and photo-sharing; distraction, multi-tasking, and time management; privacy and self-disclosure; sexual imagery and the Internet; sexting and nude photos; social media and body image (note that additional topics will be created over the course of the next year, with input from Chicago Archdiocese). For each of these topics, there are:

  • Tip Sheets
  • Conversation Cases
  • Digital Dilemmas 

Additionally, there are more general tools, which include the following:

  • Customizable Family Device Contract
  • Family Media Agreement
  • Digital Terms Glossary

These materials can be distributed to Chicago Archdiocese families in a variety of ways throughout the school year:

  • Select tip-sheets and the Digital Terms Glossary can be incorporated in Back-to-School Packets.
  • The Tip-Sheets, along with the Digital Dilemmas, Family Media Agreement, and Device Contract (among the other materials if desired), can be linked to on each school website.

In addition to the distribution of resources, the Common Sense Education Program Manager will facilitate two district-wide parent/family education events, as well as training for educators (outlined below) so that schools can develop their own internal capacity to hold workshops and informal group dialogues with families throughout the school year.

Training and Support

Each of the 100 K-8 schools Year One (2015-2016) will designate at least one staff member to take the lead on coordinating the digital citizenship activities for their school.  These school leads will:

  • Attend three trainings (provided by the Common Sense Program Manager; see below)
  • Work with the school principal to determine which staff will provide the digital citizenship instruction
  • Train the staff who will be providing the student instruction; we anticipate that approximately 2 teachers per grade level at each school will be engaged in teaching the curriculum and student digital interactives (e.g. Digital Passport) to students
  • Determine how best to engage families in these issues, including where/when/how to distribute resources and coordinating and facilitating family workshop(s) as appropriate. 

The Common Sense Coordinator will provide three trainings over the course the year to the identified lead(s) at each school, totaling an estimated 9 hours of training:

  1. Digital Citizenship Student Instruction- 4 hours
  2. Digital Citizenship Parent Engagement- 3 hours
  3. Refresher/Check-In- 2 hours

The same model will be used to train school leads in Years Two and Three.

Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certification

The schools that implement the Common Sense resources with fidelity, educating both students and parents, qualify for Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certification. Once certified, the school receives a school banner as well as other promotional materials. The educators in the schools that have implemented the student instruction can also become certified as Common Sense Digital Citizenship Certified Educators.

Once 50% of all schools within Chicago Archdiocese receive certification, and there is a written plan to certify the remaining schools within a one-year time period, the Chicago Archdiocese will qualify for Common Sense Digital Citizenship District Certification. These educator, school and district certifications are stamps of recognition from Common Sense that demonstrate to the community- and educators nationally- that the Chicago Archdiocese is committed to ensuring that students are good digital citizens and have the skills they need to be successful 21st century learners.

Effective Integration of Technology

To provide schools throughout Chicago Archdiocese support on the effective integration of technology, Common Sense will provide professional development for teachers to introduce them to Common Sense Graphite as well as how to redesign lesson plans to incorporate technology with pedagogical intent.


Graphite is a website from Common Sense where over 2,000 digital tools (apps, games, and websites) are rated and reviewed for their learning potential based on a rigorous rubric and methodology. In addition to these reviews, the site includes Lesson Flows (a.k.a lesson plans), Boards, Teacher Reviews (of products) and an increasing amount of professional development content.


The Common Sense Program Manager will provide three trainings to 300 teachers over the course of the 2015-2016 school year. The first training will delve into Graphite to ensure that teachers know how they can make the most of the tool. The second two trainings will address redesigning lesson plans to integrate technology (with the objective of moving up the SAMR ladder). The same training model will be repeated in Years Two and Three.



Over a three-year period, Common Sense and the Chicago Archdiocese aim to achieve the following reach and impact:






Digital Citizenship
85,000 receive four hours of instruction
400 educators trained as school leads
4080~ educators trained to implement curriculum (assumes 2 teachers per grade level at 204  schools)
XX through materials distribution
XX via workshops
EdTech Integration
800 educators trained
2000 educators actively engaged in Graphite







Digital Citizenship
80% of schools report a more positive school culture based on post surveys of school administrators
At least 85% of students demonstrate proficiency on digital citizenship concepts, as measured by the Curriculum Unit  Assessments.
Based on surveys after trainings and at the end of the school year:
At least 90% of educator leads who participate in the trainings report that they have the confidence, skills, and materials to bring digital citizenship back to their schools
At least 90% of teachers who implemented the digital citizenship instruction report:
  • They had the confidence and skills to do so.
  • Their students benefited from participation
At least 85% of families report that they gained the knowledge and skills to guide their children about at least three aspects related to digital citizenship (e.g. digital reputation), based on post workshop surveys
EdTech Integration
Based on surveys after trainings and at the end of the school year:
At least 90% of teachers who participate in the trainings report that the trainings helped them gain knowledge and skills to better integrate technology




 Lesson Links Minimize

Student Instruction Suggested Scope and Sequence




Going Places Safely

Keep It Private

Sending Email



Staying Safe Online

Follow the Digital Trail

Screen Out the Mean



My Online Community

Show Respect Online

Writing Good Emails



Rings of Responsibility

The Power of Words

Private and Personal Information



Digital Citizenship Pledge

Strong Passwords

Picture Perfect



Talking Safely Online

Super Digital Citizen

What’s Cyberbullying?

Digital Passport (Interactive for grades 3-5)



Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding

Scams and Scenes

Digital Life 101



Safe Online Talk

Which Me Should I Be?

A Creator’s Responsibilities

Digital Compass (Interactive for grades 6-8)



Trillion Dollar Footprint

Cyberbullying: Crossing The Line

Rework, Reuse, ReMix



Oops! I Broadcast It On The Internet

Feeling on Display

Turn Down The Dial on Cyberbullying and Online Cruelty

Digital Bytes (project based learning modules): Our Generation 2 modules



My Online Code

Building Community Online

Overexposed: Sexting and Relationships


Digital Bytes (project based learning modules): Interpretation- 2 modules



Risky Online Relationships

Taking Perspectives on Cyberbullying

College Bound


Digital Bytes (project based learning modules): Activism- 2 modules



Private Today, Public Tomorrow

Breaking Down Hate Speech

Does it Matter Who Has Your Data?


Digital Bytes (project based learning modules): Innovation- 2 modules

Additional Resources for Administrators and Non-Teachers


Connecting Families (parent programs)

Certification (for schools and teachers)