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Announcing Our New Digital Literacy Initiative

Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of the first set of K-6 lessons in our new digital literacy curriculum initiative, which aims to prepare students for digital citizenship in the 21st century. This first set of lessons make it easier for teachers to help students learn how to create, collaborate, and share responsibly.

Digital literacy is foundational to our children’s future, and iKeepSafe’s mission to develop parent and educator resources that help adults prepare students for success in a digital world. Over the next year, we will be developing curriculum that helps parents and educators prepare students to live ethically, protect privacy, guard security, and engage with others appropriately—the key pillars of digital literacy, which we call BEaPRO™:

Balance: Maintaining a healthy balance between work and play, online and offline activities.

Ethics: Helping kids understand their rights, responsibilities and consequences of their actions online

Privacy: Protecting personal information and maintaining privacy

Relationships: Engaging safe and healthy relationship with technology as a tool

Reputation: Building a positive online reputation that will contribute to future success

Online Security: Observing good habits for securing hardware and software

The lessons released today, Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens, are the first piece of this work, which help students understand copyright, fair use, and creativity. We pulled together educators, copyright experts, and open information advocates to ensure that these lessons were developed in a clear, straightforward and legally sound manner. It’s something that no one else has been able to do, and we are proud of our work.

Perhaps even more telling is the feedback we’ve be receiving from educators and internet technology experts. We’ll let them speak for themselves!

“These lessons are incredible. They help me teach the importance of copyright and fair use as my class does weekly research and inquiry. They hook the students by activating their schema of famous writers like Shakespeare, Dickens, Twain, etc. while connecting this to each student’s individual experience and how copyright and fair use affect them. The lessons are age appropriate for all students ranging from the gifted to the special ed. These lessons are useful in integrating topics of the Common Core. I am thrilled they are available to us!” –Jennifer Asay, M.Ed., Fourth Grade Teacher

“Understanding Copyright and Fair Use is difficult, at best.  Ask ten K-12 educators what copyrighted materials can legally be used or remixed in an educational setting, and you’ll likely get ten different answers.  With more creators of media than ever before, it’s critical that students learn at an early age to respect intellectual property and creators’ rights. Trying to locate relevant, yet interesting Copyright and Fair Use resources for students is challenging, and there were virtually no resources that explained intellectual property to elementary students.  To respond to this need, iKeepSafe has created engaging, age-appropriate lessons that enable K-6 students to understand the importance of acknowledging the creator, and using works legally, and more importantly, respectfully.”  –Dana Greenspan, CTAP Region 8 Technology Specialist, Ventura County Office of Education

“Digital citizens need to learn their rights as well as their responsibilities as members of the digital community. This new educational curriculum is a real step in that direction and owes its success in large measure to the open and collaborative way it was developed.” –Jerry Berman, founder of Center for Democracy and Technology and president of the Internet Education Foundation

The National Educational Technology Standards (ISTE’s NETS) list digital citizenship as one of six standards students, teachers and administrators should learn and many schools are now weaving digital citizenship into their curricula. Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens offers one way to bring to life the often confusing topics of copyright and fair use. The lessons take a balanced approach to understanding copyright and fair use.  Short activities and helpful videos can be integrated into a variety of subjects over the course of the school year, particularly as students produce and share their own creative work.  And that’s important knowledge to have as today’s kids become the artists, inventors and innovators driving tomorrow’s economy.” Frank Gallagher, Media Literacy Expert and Vice President, Education, Cable Impacts Foundation.

Stay tuned over the next year as we begin to roll out engaging, age-appropriate lessons to help prepare students for all pillars of digital literacy, and as we expand Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens to include junior high and high school lessons.

Marsali Hancock is president of the Internet Keep Safe Coalition. She speaks nationally and internationally on digital citizenship issues, including safety, security and ethics, and is the recipient of the 2009 Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Award for Outstanding Achievement.


Categories: Digital Citizenship, Educational Issues, iKeepSafe News

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