Learning online | The kids are all right…

scared boyI recently presented a series of keynotes, developed with Dr John Fenaughty, on the topic of digital citizenship and how fear-based messages, curriculum add-ons and reliance of filters are not as likely to foster digital citizens as much as embedding  it in authentic curriculum-based learning.

I went phishing fishing on YouTube for positive messages and non-deficit videos that celebrated young people and the opportunity that being on the web can present for learning.

*The sound of tumbleweed.*

It’s easy to see why we show young people videos such as Bulletin Board or   Cyberbullying (Sam’s story)  – there is very little else to choose from that suggests that being online is anything less than a tightrope walk between threats, sexually explicit content and abuse.

There is also a bigger discussion to have here around what is ‘normal’. Are these cyberbullying videos depicting the reality of life online for young people? A recent report from the Pew Research Center pointed out that:

“The nature of teens’ internet use has transformed dramatically — from stationary connections tied to shared desktops in the home to always-on connections that move with them throughout the day,” said Mary Madden, Senior Researcher for the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and co-author of the report. “In many ways, teens represent the leading edge of mobile connectivity, and the patterns of their technology use often signal future changes in the adult population.” [‘Teens and Technology, 2013]

And if we consider that the ‘Bulletin Board’ video cited above has garnered 50,000+ views whereas videos like the PickUpChick’s video exploring how to present yourself when sexting texting bags 450,000+views. Go figure.

How to create positive, non-deficit conversations around young people’s relationships and the inevitable challenges they will face while staying focused on what’s real for them, and their learning vision for the future? Possibly a post for another time…

Anyhow, I did track down a couple of affirming videos which I’ve used and would recommend to help conversations focus on the positive aspects of life and learning online:

A two minute powerplay from Don Tapscott:

…and this from UNICEF on digital citizenship (part of a series they produced)

Are these the only two?! Or do you have other videos you can share in this vein?

[Image credit:LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by Capture Queen ™]

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