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Creating transparency and trust: Best Practices (Digital Literacy Toolkit)

Creating transparency and trust: Best Practices (Digital Literacy Toolkit)

Building a diverse network of collaborators composed by experts across disciplines has been key for creating transparency and trust. It has allowed us to access multiple levels of expertise and diverse viewpoints at different phases of our tool design process. Moreover, it has allowed us to learn from the previous experiences of  our collaborators, and to gain knowledge in specific domains. From the expertise of librarians to that of children media producers, from the knowledge of lawyers to that of media literacy teachers, we have been able to leverage the resources of our network of collaborators for creating transparency and trust.

We have worked hard in maintaining our communication channels open and active. We have maintained communication with our close collaborators as we engage in the tool design process through email, telephone, video hangouts, and in-person meetings to share information and stay updated with key contacts from different institutions, and to provide opportunities to test and review our tools in early stages of development. We have also joined working groups of experts in the field and participated in webinars, including those hosted by Educator Innovator, the Future of Privacy Forum, and the Mozilla Foundation. We have discussed piloting curricular modules with various organizations in-person and the hope of implementing a train-the-trainer model to introduce key stakeholders to the curriculum.

We are grateful for the thoughtful, sustained input, care, and collaboration that the DML community offers. The check-in sessions, as well as the webinars, serve as valuable trust points for us as we engage in our own process of iterative learning and development in carrying out our project.

Gathering feedback and engaging with your stakeholders.

We did and continue to pilot our various tools in different contexts, seeking feedback from both experts and from our target audiences. We have gather the feedback in-person as well as using online communication (emails and contact form), and have used it to iterate on the design of our tools. We have kept our stakeholders aware of our several design iterations, and tried to address all the suggestions they have made. Although this process has created delays in the release of the tools to the general public, it has been a dynamic learning process for all.

For example, the Companion Learning Tools to accompany the federal student privacy law Guide (developed in conjunction with the Berkman Klein Center’s Student Privacy Initiative) contains hypothetical educational technology and student privacy scenarios that we piloted with educators. The scenarios, designed to provide an accessible and relatable point of entry to using the Cyberlaw Clinic’s federal student privacy law guide, have been piloted and received with enthusiasm at several professional development workshops for educators in key California districts. In response to educators’ requests for additional scenarios, we have added two more to the Companion Learning Tools (final version scheduled for release on the DLRP in October 2016).

For the development of the middle and high school curricular modules we implemented a peer review process that involved several stakeholders, including I Keep Safe and area educators. When we set out to implement a peer review process, we were rather surprised to learn that there was not a single standard or set of standard open access peer review processes being used with respect to resources for teaching digital literacy and citizenship more broadly, although there are many organizations doing valuable work in this area. We are in the process of implementing the feedback we received on our curricula to create final versions of all curricular modules for DLRP release , as well as reflecting on how we can share more about the peer review and iteration process itself with other creators of curricula in this space for their future use and re-purposing.

We have relied in online and in-person feedback for iterating on the design of the Digital Literacy Resource Platform. Since the launch of this website prototype last January 25th, we have been able to conduct workshops in schools, a professional conference (SXSWedu - see photo avobe), and in our own headquarters, where we have demoed the platform and received feedback from different stakeholders. We were also able to collaborate with National Writing Project in the production of a Innovator Educator webinar in which we presented the DLRP to a broad audience and discussed its features with teachers who have tested the platform and the tools. Moreover, through the website contact form we have also been able to collect feedback from the different users.

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