YOUNG DIGITAL LEADERS
Social media has rapidly become the vital part of the everyday lives of young people. Due to the fact that a lot of young people embrace technology every day without examining the consequence of implementation, it is of great importance to bring the concept of digital citizenship in education systems because education systems across the developed world have been slow to react to the challenges of the online space and raising online extremism. Critical thinking skills and media literacy, social and emotional skills and meaningful digital citizenship capacities are a strong defense against raising extremism. Therefore, addressing the 21st century skill of digital citizenship is important for young people to learn, communicate and socialize safely, make their voices heard and play a positive role as citizens in the online space. It is important to equip young people with the necessary skills so that they can be empowered to make the right choices online. This means learning how to be a digital leader, not just citizen — to know how to respond to trolls online, and when and where to go for help.
Within a partnership between ISD and A Rocca, financed and promoted by Google(Brussels), A Rocca as a project partner conducted pilot testing in Italy of Young Digital Leaders – Europe-wide pilot project that aims to empower young people through digital citizenship and critical thinking and media literacy skills, beyond the classroom, so that they can grow up safe, responsible digital leaders.
Three countries have been selected for the pilot phase – Italy, Romania and Sweden – under the coordination of Google (Brussels) and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue – ISD (UK). In Italy, the activities will be delivered by “A Rocca” Artistic and Cultural Organization, in partnership with Istituto Istruzione Superiore Giuseppe Luigi Lagrange in Milan.
YOUNG DIGITAL LEADERS CURRICULUM
The curriculum consists of four 1 hour sessions, to be taught in their entirety as part of the Young Digital Leaders programme. They can be adapted as needed by practitioners and are a fun, innovative and engaging way to help young people learn about digital citizenship.
- Session 1: Digital Literacy. This session explores how to recognise fake news, distinguish between fact and opinion, and understand online echo chambers, as well as how young people can respond appropriately to contentious content online;
- Session 2: Online Behaviours, Part 1. This session demonstrates to students how to recognise emotional manipulation techniques in news and social media, and how and why content creators try to take advantage of your emotional rather than logical responses to online material;
- Session 3: Online Behaviours, Part 2. This session considers how to recognise ‘Us and Them’ thinking online and in communities and wider society, why it is used, and demonstrates how individuals and societies can flourish through collaboration;
- Session 4: Your Role. This last session is intended to help students understand what hate speech and free speech are, how and why hate speech is used, and how to respond to hateful content online.
PILOT PHASE ACTIVITIES
- Friday 13th April 2018: Facilitators training led by ISD (UK), hosted by A Rocca in Milan;
- 8th and 9th May 2018: School and parent workshops led by A Rocca and hosted by Istituto Istruzione Superiore Giuseppe Luigi Lagrange in Milan;
- April – June 2018: Impact assessment activities, led by ISD;
- Wednesday 20th June 2018: Pilot project launch event hosted at Google in Brussels.