Sunday, April 11, 2010

Common Sensible

"Teaching About Web Includes Troublesome Parts" from the New York Times includes commentary from my fellow Digital Media and Learning Central blogger Constance Yowell, who serves as Director of Education for the MacArthur Foundation. The piece includes analysis of materials on Common Sense Media, which is one of a number of organizations posting ratings and parent guides for movies, videogames, and web-based entertainment. I've written about Common Sense media before here, here, and here. According to the website, the group is creating a Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum

Our curriculum includes five distinct units. Each unit is mapped to ISTE Digital Citizenship standards and can be used as an integrated digital citizenship curriculum or as standalone units.

* Digital Life. How the anytime-anywhere-everywhere nature of digital media requires responsible choices.
* Privacy and Digital Footprints. How to manage privacy online.
* Connected Culture. How to build respectful one-on-one, group, and community relationships online and protect against cyberbullying.
* Self-Expression and Reputation. Who we are in various online contexts and how to protect your reputation in the process.
* Respecting Creative Work. How to get credit for original creations and respect other’s creative property.

As the article points out, some are unhappy with Common Sense's lack of corporate criticism or societal critique. As the last bullet point indicates, like many "Internet education" sites, the language of "respect" is used in connections with copyright issues rather than challenge.

But some media experts say that in focusing on social issues, Common Sense misses some of the larger, structural problems facing children online.

“We can’t make the awareness of Web issues solely person- and relationship-centered,” said Joseph Turow, a professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Children should learn things like what a cookie or a Web virus is, and how corporations profit from tracking consumers online, he said.



Blogger bob c said...

The EFF website has a link to one of it's pages that gives 6 ways to increase online privacy and security. Good reading for all, especially parents.

1:15 PM  

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