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Trust and the Digital Literacy Toolkit

Trust and the Digital Literacy Toolkit

For our learners and our community, trust means that youths, parents, educators, and school administrators share a strong belief in the reliability of their knowledge and their skills for participating, navigating, and learning in the digital world. Trust means being able to rely on skills that minimize risks online and understanding the positive uses of networked technologies across the main areas of digital life: privacy, safety, information quality, and creative expression.

Our Purpose and Mission

The purpose of the Digital Literacy Toolkit (DLT) is aligned with the goals of a community of learners that is centered on youth, but  also includes family members, K-12 teachers, informal educators, librarians, school administrators, and other trusted adults who support these children and teenagers. The DLT aims to provide access to digital literacy tools and educational resources that help diverse learners gain knowledge about the networked communication environment and digital technologies. Our mission is to empower young learners and the adults engaged in learning along with them with tools that encourage positive uses of networked technologies and that support successful strategies to minimize and manage online risks.

During the past months we have been working on the production of several outputs that are aligned with this mission. We have designed, piloted, and released a range of learning resources such as: a full curriculum for elementary school students on internet safety and privacy (developed and released with WGBH and the New York Public Library as partners), middle and high school curricular modules on privacy and digital safety (additional modules forthcoming), two analog games about privacy, an updated version of the guide to key federal student privacy laws from the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School and companion learning tools (scheduled release date: October 2016), fair use multimedia materials (guide for teachers, infographic, video, podcast), and a Minecraft family guide. We have also designed and developed the Digital Literacy Resource Platform (DLRP), a website prototype where we are hosting and sharing our tools and learning resources.

All of these resources share a core mission of empowering young learners and the trusted adults in their lives to acquire the information and skills necessary to cultivate positive and safe digital experiences. This mission is fundamentally about building trust in a variety of ways, including:

  1. helping young people develop trust in themselves when they interact with digital spaces;
  2. helping young people develop trust that the adults who teach and support them are guiding them toward positive and safe digital behaviors; and
  3. helping these adults develop trust both in their own abilities to provide such instruction and in the young people they teach to learn and use the lessons wisely and well.
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