Digital Citizenship

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How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform What It Means To Be Human

Are you curious about artificial intelligence (AI)? It is likely to become a big part of our children’s lives. Once artificial intelligence becomes virtually universal, human interactions, work and even morality will look different, says Alex Bates in an article from CIO. He even goes so far as to say “..we might not even have to speak anymore, instead exchanging thoughts and precepts with other humans or AI agents directly, using via neurotechnology like brain-computer interfaces.”

 

Influencers: Time to Be Realistic About Body Image on Social Media

Social media is skewing the way children view life, according to Damian Hinds, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Education, in an article in the Metro (UK). Hinds makes this statement following the Mental Health Foundation’s finding that 40 percent of teenagers reported being worried about their body image due to comments by friends. He is calling on influencers and others to help support body positivity, in part by being more transparent about how photos they post online are edited.

Google Adding a Media Literacy Component

TechCrunch reports Google is adding a media-literacy component to its digital citizenship and safety curriculum for children, called "Be Internet Awesome." The updated program will include six activities designed to help young Internet users identify fake URLs, interpret clickbait headlines and evaluate sources. Not a bad thing for parents to brush up on either!

A New Alliance of Media Giants to Fight Misinformation and Hate Speech

A new coalition, Global Alliance for Responsible Media, has been formed to address brand safety issues and combat online hate speech and fake content. The coalition includes numerous industry heavyweights and social media standouts such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Unilever, General Mills, Procter & Gamble and Adidas, plus various marketing agencies and other industry associations. “When industry challenges spill into society, creating division and putting our children at risk, it’s on all of us to act,” writes Luis Di Como, EVP of global media at the giant consumer brands company Unilever, in an article on the Reuters site. “Founding this alliance is a great step toward rebuilding trust in our industry and society.”

“Contract Cheating” Becoming a Serious Challenge

“Contract cheating,” the process by which students solicit and compensate others to do their work or take tests for them, is a serious threat to high school and college education, says University Business magazine online. Many schools have invested in content-tracking services, such as Turnitin, that can spot and prevent plagiarism in high school and college. Its tools reveal cheating by comparing one student’s writing with somebody else’s work. The company’s more recently released “Authorship Investigate” platform was also specially designed to identify contract cheating. Experts warn that increasing class sizes and going to more online personalized learning modules can make it difficult for teachers to find the time to give students the level of attention that counteracts academic dishonesty.

Chimpstagram?

A video of a chimpanzee scrolling through an Instagram feed on a smartphone has attracted more than 1.6 million views, but has also drawn criticism from animal welfare experts. Primatologist Jane Goodall said she was "very disappointed to see the inappropriate portrayal of a juvenile chimpanzee," and commented that such viral videos encourage illegal chimpanzee trading.

Six Steps to Promote Digital Citizenship

Strategies to help students be better digital citizens offered by Chief Technology Officer Dr. Audrey Hovannesian of the Victor Valley Union High School District in California include focusing on digital etiquette, respect and safety, and preparing students to leave digital footprints they can be proud of. She also reminds districts that you can’t put a price on the value of educating a student to be a good digital citizen. Safety needs to be the number one priority for all stakeholders – from parents and kids to teachers and administrators - in every district.

Colleges Unite for Technology in the Public Interest

From the The New York Times , twenty-one universities have formed the Public Interest Technology University Network to better teach students to develop, manage and utilize technology for the public good. Public interest technology meshes the academic fields of computer science, sociology and law. As technology becomes increasingly pervasive and intrusive in American life, this network seeks to devise ways to teach students how to grapple with the consequences on society.

A Free Speech Library for Social Media Troubles

According to National Public Radio/Michigan, Michigan State University has launched the McLellan Online Free Speech Library at https://mclellanlib.com to help support students who may be facing disciplinary action from schools for their online speech, including in social media posts and videos. Among other things, the online library will offer students resources, case studies and other documents that may help them better understand their rights. This is a good resource to know about if you find yourself in a situation, whether your child is the one accused or a victim of online abuse.

What is Digital Citizenship?

How do you or your children’s school define “digital citizenship”?  According to  Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education, speaking recently at the South by Southwest Conference, digital citizenship goes beyond the scope of online safety. He says that positive digital citizenship is about making better communities online that include proactive actions to affect public policy, increased civility and the skills need to ferret out valid information.

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