Digital Citizenship Learning Playlists

The Youth and Media team, in collaboration with youth from the Boston area (ranging in age from 12 to 18), co-designed four digital citizenship learning playlists: Building and Protecting Your Online Presence, The Power of Resumes, Licensing for Digital Creators, and Change the World.

Each “learning playlist” is made up of a collection of educational activities, or “learning experiences” (XPs). An XP is a semi-structured activity that a learner completes to develop a certain skill. Each learning experience is organized around a measurable goal, leverages multimedia resources that are available on the Internet, and incorporates a challenge that encourages the production of an artifact (e.g., a written text, a photo, a video, a game, an infographic, etc.). Much like a music playlist with songs, the XPs in a learning playlist can either be arranged sequentially, in which each activity builds directly off of the previous lesson, or broadly cumulatively, in which the XPs do not directly build off of each other but still teach about the overarching topic.

The four playlists work to foster digital citizenship by helping youth understand and apply digital literacy skills. Each playlist combines a series of learning experiences and multimedia content related to privacy, safety, creative expression, and information quality, and emphasizes particular learning outcomes. Below, you can find an overview of each playlist.

  • Building and Protecting Your Online Presence (6 XPs)

This playlist, co-designed with students from Phillips Academy Andover, teaches youth how an online presence is built and protected. Learners move from reflecting on their digital presence to thinking critically about privacy and surveillance, to proactively managing their sharing settings. Finally, to more effectively manage their digital reputation, they start building the persona they will use on social media platforms. This playlist and its XPs are largely based on a privacy and safety high school/middle school curriculum developed by the Berkman Klein Center’s Youth and Media team.

  • The Power of Resumes (6 XPs)

This playlist, co-designed with students from Zumix in Boston, introduces youth to resume writing. Learners move from reflecting about the relationship between personal experiences and skills, to identifying jobs that match their interests, to preparing a resume they can use for a job application. As they learn about resume writing, they also have the opportunity to critically think about the importance of social connections and mentors in the job application process. This playlist and the majority of its XPs are based on career preparation and resume writing materials developed by higher education institutions, government organizations, and career development experts.

  • Licensing for Digital Creators (6 XPs)

This Playlist, co-designed with students from the NuVu Studio in Cambridge and with the support of the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School, introduces youth to community organizing and advocacy. Learners move from understanding the basics of Copyright and Fair Use, to exploring alternative licenses and experimenting with parody as a form of Fair Use. As they complete the playlist XPs, they learn to think critically about the licenses they want to use when 1) publishing the creative works they make and 2) reusing and sharing works made by others. The playlist and its XPs are primarily based on educational materials from Berkman Klein Center’s Youth and Media team and the Cyberlaw Clinic.

  • Change the World (6 XPs)

This playlist, co-designed with students from the Transformative Culture Project in Boston, introduces youth to community organizing and advocacy. Learners move from identifying a problem that affects their community and critically thinking about the change they would like to see, to understanding the importance of building a network of support for a cause they care about, to exploring how different media channels can contribute to activism, and the potential of using pop culture to raise awareness for their cause. Finally, learners will have the opportunity to plan and outline an advocacy campaign for their community. This Playlist and its XPs are inspired by the research and educational resources developed by the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network, University of Southern California’s By Any Media Necessary project, and the Global Voices Advocacy program.

The four playlists can be accessed on the LRNG platform under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC by 4.0). In the future, they will also be available on the Digital Literacy Resource Platform (DLRP).

 

Co-Design

This project utilizes co-design, a participatory methodology, to empower young people by involving them in the creation of learning resources. Youth and Media team members work alongside young learners  to curate collections of resources designed to teach of interest to youth, in the form of educational materials called “playlists.”  Building upon current research, the playlists translate academic findings into practice to promote learning opportunities, inclusion, and youth empowerment.

The Berkman Klein Center’s YaM team hosted a series of workshops at four local youth-serving organizations in the Boston metropolitan area (NuVu Studio, Philips Academy Andover, Transformative Culture Project, and Zumix Radio) and worked with diverse youth to co-design playlists and learning experiences.

Additionally, the YaM team collaborated with the Cyberlaw Clinic in the production of several resources (guides) that are included in the playlist on creative expression. We have recently released the final versions of the playlists on the LRNG platform (the playlists will also become available on the Digital Literacy Resource Platform (DLRP))  under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC by 4.0).

 

Acknowledgements

Urs Gasser (PI) and Fellows Andres Lombana-Bermudez and Sandra Cortesi led the project with the support of several Youth and Media team members, including Briggs DeLoach, Alexa Hasse, Amanda Kraley, Leah Plunkett, Paulina Haduong and Chalene Riser.

These four playlists are the result of a sustained and concerted effort of a wonderful network of people. First and foremost, we would like to thank the diverse group of young co-designers from local organizations who graciously shared their time and expertise with the YaM team and made this project possible. We worked with eight students from the Transformative Culture Project, eight youth from Zumix Radio, eleven students from Phillip Academy Andover, and eight learners from NuVu studio. Further, we wish to express our deep gratitude to those who helped implement the co-design workshops, including Caroline Nolan, Saba Ghole, Brittany Thomas, Cara Berg Powers.

Special thanks are also due to Sam Daitzman, for supporting the evolution and production of these playlists and providing design, playtesting, research, and editorial support. We would also like to thank Cecilia Florimont, Liv , Max Kreppein, and Tim Koay for their support in playtesting our content. Also thanks to Reuben Loewy, who helped with the playtesting at Princeton International School.

This project was one of the winners of the 6th Digital Media and Learning Competition and was funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Local youth organizations that supported this project: