Mar 29, 2019

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Merve Lapus of Common Sense Education

As Senior Director of Education and Outreach, Merve leads Common Sense Education's efforts to improve digital citizenship for students in the tens of thousands of schools they serve. He describes the resources that Common Sense provides to support educators in this area and others, including a robust set of edtech reviews. On a personal note, Merve shares the story of this father's entrepreneurial journey which inspired him while also developing his work ethic. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:27 Introduction
  • 1:27~2:17 Merve’s role at Common Sense Media
  • 2:17~7:14 Early money lessons
  • 7:14~10:34 What Common Sense Education does
  • 10:34~15:56 Approach to teaching digital citizenship
  • 15:56~18:00 Who uses the curriculum?
  • 18:00~21:30 Algorithms behind what we see online
  • 21:30~24:03 Media and the brain
  • 24:03~24:26 A word from NGPF
  • 24:26~26:43 The feeling of “FOMO”
  • 26:43~30:22 What is Digital Bytes?
  • 30:22~36:15 EdTech reviews and resources
  • 36:15~43:51 How Common Sense Education helps teachers
  • 43:51~46:14 Why digital citizenship matters
  • 46:14~47:31 Conclusion  


  • “Media and technology are not going anywhere so demonizing it is not going to reach the ears of our kids because our kids are growing up with it. So we take a very balanced approach at the way that we look at media and technology. We are really about sanity not censorship and it’s not about making a ban but making a plan.”
  • “Digital citizenship might not be core content but it is core to content especially in this day in age where media and technology are playing a huge role in not just the lives of our kids but in the way we are instructing and the way kids are learning.”

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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