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Common Sense Partnership with Verizon Unveiled

Telecommunications company Verizon and nonprofit online safety group Common Sense Media announced a partnership on Monday that will give access to Common Sense's digital literacy curriculum through Verizon's popular Thinkfinity online educational platform.

Parents can already access advice and video tips from Common Sense Media at Verizon's online parental controls center. Content will be posted on Thinkfinity in early 2011, according to a press release. Both the Common Sense Media curriculum and Thinkfinity's resources are free.

It's by no means the first corporate partnership for Common Sense Media, which includes several cable companies, as well as Netflix, Best Buy, and Yahoo among its partners. But it is the first such agreement with a telecommunications partner, coming at a time when interest in mobile learning is exploding.

The parental controls center will host weekly Common Sense Media blog entries and video tips that hit subjects like preventing cyberbullying and protecting cell phone privacy. Meanwhile, Thinkfinity will offer 13 lessons and videos from "Digital Citizenship in a Connected Culture," a curriculum designed to support face-to-face teaching about digital literacy in grades 6-8.

While Thinkfinity is typically accessed through desktops, laptops, or netbooks, Verizon's nonprofit arm, the Verizon Foundation, has plans to fund pilot programs to explore mobile learning's potential in the near future, according to its officials. You can read more about those in our upcoming "Special Report: Crafting E-Curriculum That Inspires," due out in January.

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