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Common Sense Media

In today’s digital age, guiding children’s use of the many flavors of media available to them can be a daunting task. Not only are there challenges knowing enough about the many apps, websites, movies, and books, but it can sometimes be a pretty large hurdle to simply find appropriate media to consider.

CommonSenseMedia.org can help. The first few sentences of the mission of Common Sense Media give site visitors an idea of what to expect on the site.

Common Sense is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. We empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, trusted advice, and innovative tools to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.

Application/audience

As the mission statement suggests, Common Sense Media is great for parents and teachers. In church and school settings, it would certainly be appropriate to share the site with anyone who has responsibilities involving children up to age 18. This includes Lutheran school teachers, but also may be helpful for those who lead after school care and Sunday school. The digital citizenship curriculum available from the site can be adopted by schools and has units for use in grades K-12.

Church and school communication can be used to encourage parents to explore the resources available on the site. For example, consider newsletter or bulletin blurbs pointing to Common Sense Media when movies of interest are released, reminding parents to consider the age recommendations and areas of concern identified in the posted movie review.

Watch this brief video tour of CommonSenseMedia.org to learn more about the resources available on the site.

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468 – Coding Literacy with Jason

Tune in for a coding in education discussion on this week’s WELSTech. Jason Schmidt guest hosts with Martin and Sallie as we look at the trends detailed in the NMC K-12 Horizon Report 2016, and how the adoption of computational thinking across the curriculum might look in our WELS classrooms.

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The discussion:

Coding as a Literacy – Jason Schmidt makes his 2016-17 season debut on WELSTech, bringing his own brand of sunshine to the edtech discussion space. Today we look at the New Media Consortium K-12 Horizon Report 2016 and specifically the short-term trend of coding as a literacy.

News in tech:

WELS now:

There’s still time to participate, but these events are ending this week:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Free Bible Images for Advent and Christmas

Featured video:

We celebrate the 499th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation with this week’s music video, A Mighty Fortress is Our God by Koine, from the WELSTech Music YouTube playlist.

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 469 – Staff Minister Dan Schoeffel joins the conversation to share information on Internet addictions. Release date: Wednesday, November 2.

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443 – Web Literacy

This week’s WELSTech features the return of edtech leader Gail Potratz and a discussion of the expected digital literacy skills students should possess and how tech giant Mozilla is answering the need. In addition, there are Google Chrome extensions, a snappy mobile image editor and online Bible study resources shared. All this, plus we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day!

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The discussion:

Web LiteracyTech skills – On Teacher Appreciation Day it’s fitting that Martin and Sallie welcome our semi-regular classroom technology correspondent, Gail Potratz, Technology Coordinator at Emanuel in New London, WI for a discussion of curriculum standards for technology education.

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Interactive Faith “Who Is Your God?” online Bible study archive – Videos | Study guides

Featured video:

Tune in to a Heart to Heart discussion on training children how to handle money with Kerry Ognenoff, saved on the WELSTech “Like’s” list on Vimeo

Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 444 – Martin and Sallie pop the cork to celebrate the conclusion of the WELSTech DIY book project, With All Your Heart, with a discussion of ways to wrap up a project. Release date: Wednesday, May 11

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