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Digital Disruption

At SxSWedu, I went to a session by Jac de Haan (TechWithIntent.com) and Ted Kalmus (Head of School, Billings Middle School) called TheirSpace: Educating Digitally Ethical Teens. The session opened my eyes to the issue of digital citizenship and put words to what I had been thinking for a long time…kids need to be taught how to navigate the Internet responsibly and how to develop a dital identity that is age-appropriate.

What is Digital Disruption All About?

Recently, someone pointed me in the direction of a great resource that is being developed to target this issue. The project is called Digital Disruption and it is presented by Bold Creative, a digital agency based in London. This team working on this project takes our youth seriously, and as an educator I really appreciate that. The voice of our youth is underrepresented in many of the conversations we are having in education today, but for Digital Disruption, the voices of our youth are at the core of the conversation. Teachers are also very much a part of the development of digital disruption and they are always looking for more teacher feedback. (If you are using Digital Disruption curriculum in your classroom, offer feedback by emailing educators@digitaldistruption.co.uk.)

Young people are at the core of the Digital Disruption project

What Does Digital Disruption Offer?

  • Free lesson plans and materials that can help us teach pre-teens and teens how to critically evaluate the information they find on the Internet
  • Short, animated videos that can help us teach about propaganda. The videos include the following propaganda techniques: Bandwagon, Scapegoating, Lesser of Two Evils, Down With the Kids, Assertion, Transfer, Omission.
  • Click and Share, an activity where students can watch two opposing videos and go through the process of discussing whether they would share each video, whether one video changed their mind about the topic, and what impact that might have on others.
  • The Propaganda Machine is an interesting way to watch and dissect online videos.
  • Source Check is an engaging way to teach the purpose behind fact-checking in research. Students watch a video and do research to learn more about it before developing their opinion of the material.
  • BookFace is a fictitious Facebook account created through workshops with young people. It provides a platform for teachers to explore online identity and start group discussions about social media in a classroom environment.” (Taken directly from the Digital Disruption website.)

The Propaganda Machine

The Future of Digital Disruption:

Digital Disruption has done something truly unique with this project – they have asked young people to help us understand how to leverage their interests so that we can better teach them the lessons that are important for our youth today. Digital Disruption is in its early stage and has great plans for the future including (but not limited to):

  • Creating a “Teacher Support” section
  • Creating a tool that helps young people understand how Wikipedia works
  • Creating a tool that helps young people understand Search Engine Optimization
  • Working with teachers to make existing tools more accessible to use in the classroom
  • Developing a wider collection of age-specific materials

I’m looking forward to following this project. I wish I was still in the classroom, this would definitely make the top of my list for advisory! If you are a teacher in the U.S. who is interested in getting involved, contact me as I’d love to hear about how this project is making waves in the classroom.

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