iKeepSafe has focused on helping youth thrive in the digital environment since we launched in 2005. Research shows that kids won’t learn to be ethical, responsible or resilient online on their own. It is our goal at IKS to increase critical thinking skills of youth and families around media and digital literacy. We do this by working with respected thought leaders and by providing quality content to organizations and partners with capacity and reach. Our goal is to meet the real needs of children, not perceived needs by media or political activists. We know there is a need to help youth master 21st century information and media literacy skills.
I recently received a note from a friend who was at her daughter’s Back to School Night. She was “hearing stories of kids who have been expelled for plagiarism and copyright violations, simply because no one had ever bothered to take the time to talk to them about these issues.” Children need to know how to create and how to build on the ideas of others—legally and ethically.
CCI sponsored iKeepSafe to create a curriculum that will teach K-12 students important concepts of creativity, ownership, attribution, sharing, copyright, and fair use. iKeepSafe reached out to education thought-leaders on these topics, in particular the California School Library Association as Teacher-Librarians are the leaders in helping students and educators understand media and information literacy.
We appreciate the California School Library Association for the supportive role they have played in our ongoing development of this curriculum. To be clear: CSLA did not write the curriculum—it is an iKeepSafe product. We reached out to CSLA, because CSLA teachers are already active in teaching in copyright and information literacy K-12. CSLA is consulting with iKeepSafe to give its perspective and advocacy to ensure that the lessons:
- Align with the California Model School Library Standards for copyright and fair use.
- Advance the value of teacher librarians in teaching Information Literacy
- Encourage divergent stakeholder groups to work together for the benefit of children,
- Encourage students to be creative without using fear-based education techniques.
One of the reasons CSLA was interested in this project was it provided an opportunity for a broad base of stakeholders to work together: ISPs, content industry, and Advisory Board Members: Jules Polonetsky (Director and Co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum), Jerry Berman (founder of the Center for Democracy and Technology and President and Chairman of the Internet Education Foundation), and Gigi Sohn, (President and CEO, Public Knowledge).
The Advisory Board—along with a other education leaders—will provide feedback to the current K-6 draft as well as the forthcoming 7-12 lesson.
These lessons will provide children and teens essential digital literacy skills that are no longer optional for success in the digital age. All of us need this knowledge. We look forward to receiving input from many education stakeholders to help us provide a balanced, credible learning experience for our students.
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: Educational Issues