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iKeepSafe Expands Digital Literacy Initiative with New Curriculum for Middle School Students

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Washington D.C., October 21, 2015 – The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), a nonprofit alliance committed to helping children thrive in the digital space, announced today the launch of its new middle school curriculum—the latest installment in a series of lessons designed to help educators teach digital literacy. The lessons for grades 7-9 build on the elementary school curriculum launched in 2014, Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens. The online materials are part of iKeepSafe’s BEaPRO™ initiative, which aims to help parents and educators prepare students to create, collaborate, and share responsibly in the 21st century.

“We developed this curriculum in response to conversations with educators who are looking for effective ways to prepare their students for the digital era,” said iKeepSafe CEO Marsali Hancock. “We’ve received amazingly positive feedback from teachers and librarians for our elementary school curriculum, and saw a need to expand the curriculum for older students. Middle schoolers are already active digital users, making this an important time to help them value and appreciate the creativity of others.”

The new curriculum—designed for grades 7-9 teachers and librarians—includes lessons with videos that focus on students’ roles as creators and consumers online, as well as the role and importance of copyright. The lessons also provide practical tips for how to acquire online media legally and ethically; how to share content with others; and how to create new content using others’ work. Through project-based learning, the curriculum helps to ensure that the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom transfer to the real world outside the classroom, and in the workplace.

“As a digital literacy educator, I am excited about having these practical, useful tools to teach a complex topic,” said Diana Graber, Digital Literacy Educator at Journey School in Aliso Viejo, Calif. “Finally someone has made copyright, fair use, and creative commons understandable for young people.”

“The digital environment is creating so many new possibilities for enjoying, sharing, and producing creative work,” said David Sohn, copyright expert and principal contributor to the iKeepSafe middle school curriculum. “However, students need to be aware of the ground rules. The iKeepSafe curriculum aims to provide both a practical sense of how copyright affects students as consumers and creators, and an understanding of the rationale behind it–the reasons why it may make sense for society to protect creative work in this way.”download film Jurassic World

The middle school lessons were developed with input from respected leaders from education organizations, such as Dana Greenspan, Educational Technology Specialist of Ventura County Office of Education, as well as internet and technology law experts, Annemarie Bridy, Affiliate Scholar at Stanford University Center for Internet and Society, and David Sohn and Jerry Berman, of the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Internet Education Foundation.

“We are all both consumers and creators of content on the internet, and therefore it is critical to understand the rules that govern the intersection of technology and free expression,” said Jerry Berman, founder of Center for Democracy and Technology and president of the Internet Education Foundation. “This curriculum walks you through what copyright protects, and what it doesn’t protect. It also takes a balanced approach to teaching fair use and the other limitations of copyright, so students understand their rights as digital citizens.”

The free curriculum was developed by iKeepSafe, and made possible through funding from nonprofits such as the Center for Copyright Information.

Categories: Digital Citizenship, Educational Issues, Press Releases

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