Wednesday 10 October 2012

A first - webinar for LASA on e-Safety on the 10th of October 2012

Following a survey of CYP organisations in Spring 2012, LASA were commissioned by Children England to deliver a series of 6 webinars on Managing ICT, Data Protection, Social Media, Websites, Cloud tools, and e-safety.

On the 10th of October, I delivered the e-Safety webinar for LASA (my first ever!), which aimed to explore the following points/questions:
  • Rethinking e-safety – a different approach
  • Digital Citizenship - what is it and why is it important to the CYP sector? 
  • Current guidance and best practice. 
  • Are CYP managers too risk averse with new technologies and what’s the right balance? 
  • Getting it right and taking advantage of new technologies to deliver services to young people. 
  • Key examples? Signposting to e-safety resources and guidance. 
The link to the webinar will be available soon. In the meantime, the following are the slides from my presentation:

Friday 28 September 2012

21st Century Digital Citizen – Opportunities and Challenges

In September 2012, I was invited to deliver a Keynote Session at the 'Volunteering in a Digital World' conference which was organised by the WCVA and Communities 2.0 and held in Swansea on the 26th and 27th of September 2012. The presentation, entitled: 21st Century Digital Citizen – Opportunities and Challenges provided an overview of new web developments, and explored what was needed by individuals and organisations to engage effectively in the digital space. Click on the image belowSangeet Bhullar delivering a keynote address to get taken to the video webcast of the presentation.

For a copy of the slides from my presentation which you can download, see below:

I also delivered 2 workshops: New Technologies to Inspire and Engage Volunteers. The link to the blog created at the workshop is available here - it also has the link to a list of useful resources.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Developing a culture of digital citizenship with young people

With thanks to David Wilcox for prompting me to contribute some thoughts to the project he and colleagues Tim Davies and Alex Farrow have been undertaking for the Nominet Trust exploring how digital technologies can support young people to engage socially and economically with their communities. (Twitter hashtag #DTYE).

From my experience over the years of working with young people and the adults who work with or care for them, to help them use the Internet more effectively, innovatively and safely, the following are some of the key issues I think those seeking to engage youth with digital technologies need to consider:

As has been mentioned before youth are not a homogenous group, and therefore, one of the first things I would say is we need to understand where young people are at – listening to them, understanding their motivations and behaviour, their particular ‘youth culture’. This varies according to many factors including age, regions, socio-economic status etc.

We also need to be able to assess their digital competency and knowledge, skills and confidence, and work with them to co-create programmes which help them develop their interests – and which also develop their digital literacy skills (as defined by the Knight Commission):

Digital literacy means learning how to work the information and communication technologies in a networked environment, as well as understanding the social, cultural and ethical issues that go along with the use of these technologies. Media literacy is the ability to access, analyse, evaluate, create, reflect upon, and act with the information products that media disseminate.

The Knight Commission have identified digital and media literacy as essential for democracy and civic engagement and believe that successful participation in the digital age entails two kinds of skills sets – digital literacy and media literacy.

Those seeking to engage youth with digital technologies would also do well to help young people develop a culture of digital citizenship as defined by the ISTE (and the social, emotional, leadership and digital competencies associated with these). From my own work in this area, I feel that digital literacy skills, which should focus on the creative and effective use of digital technologies, also need to explore the topics of ethics, responsible use, appropriate boundaries, privacy and legal issues. Whilst many people think that young people are fairly competent in their use of digital technologies, there are still gaps in this knowledge, which if addressed, could help them use them more effectively.

In the broader sense of digital literacy, we should also be helping young people explore the way changing digital and web technologies are affecting society, culture, politics and more, and mediating the development of skills and competencies to help them develop their own sense of this digital space, and their place in it.

This means that those who seek to engage youth with digital technologies need to develop their own digital literacy skills and develop a good understanding of how businesses and individuals are using digital and web technologies for benefit (or not). It would also be good if they could showcase examples of where youth are already using the web and digital technologies for advocacy, personal and community benefit and developing a positive online presence.

Thursday 29 March 2012

ICTLT Pre-conference Workshop: Digital Literacy and the 21st Century Learner

I am in Singapore at the invitation of the organising committee of the ICTLT conference. Yesterday, I delivered a pre-conference workshop open to delegates attending the ICTLT Conference exploring the themes of digital literacy and 21st century learning. The following blog is the output from that workshop:

I was also invited to deliver a 'spotlight presentation' at the ICTLT conference, as well as a workshop for parents at the ExCL Fest event the following week.