Citizenship Unconference: Some Participant ‘Position

In preparation for the workshop everyone who attended was invited to post a position statement as a ‘response’ to the topics. Here are some of those statements.

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Miles Berry Miles Berry Whilst I’m certainly one to welcome the move from the old ICT to the new computing in the English curriculum, I am a little concerned that the change in the name, as well as providing a welcome opportunity for rebranding, moves our focus away from developing information literacy towards the processes of ‘mere’ computation. I recognise that these are foundational, but the challenges facing us today are more likely to be about making the most of the repositories and streams of information, the connections between these that constitute knowledge, and the reflection and discernment that contribute to wisdom.
Ibrar Bhatt Ibrar Bhatt Digital wisdom, to me, involves a number of things including how people make sense of their world using digital media. Fundamentally, it is about how people appropriate and effectively utilise what is to hand to enhance themselves educationally, socially and professionally. In this respect, it is seldom about technology designers’ a priori plans for a technology, and more about users’ unexpected practices with it. That, to me, is the most fascinating and useful basis of research inquiry.
Gunilla Bradley See TEDx talk: Understanding the change of habits in the ICT society
Pete Bradshaw Pete Bradshaw [Independent educational researcher, member of ITTE and CAS, Mirandanet Fellow).

The digital citizen needs to have two fundamental characteristics in his or her use of technology – discernment and confidence. Through these might be said to come digital wisdom. Firstly a discerning user of technology is someone who knows when to use digital tools and what tools are available. In doing so they become more informed and are able to take a full part in society through online and mobile engagement, participation and interactivity. Secondly confidence is needed to allow growing autonomy and independence as the young adult moves towards becoming a full citizen of today’s society.Necessary conditions to allow discerning and confident users to become fully digital citizens include the need for wider society to understand the ways in which young people engage with the technological tools. These include a shift away from mainstream media, a preference for peer-to-peer communication and the power and danger of the anonymous presence.On the other hand the mere shift of societal functions to include, or to become embedded in, technology is not a guarantee for their adoption by young people. For example engagement with political debate is not guaranteed by moving it online, assessment is not made more relevant merely by making it available through digital means. There needs to be a relevance not just an availability.

Patricia Charlton The role of computational thinking and the 3Rs for fostering “blended wisdom”

This will be a brief discussion about ideas for going beyond ‘kids and coding’ towards computational thinking and 3Rs (robustness, retention and resilience) for fostering ‘blended wisdom’It is Greenfield’s (Mind Change, 2014) observation of potentially loss of identity and becoming a “one standardized cookie-cutter existence” that I will focus on here but within the context of computer science and ICT in schools. This observation illustrates the potential ‘risk’ for our students. I have classed this risk as Machinistic approach (e.g. coding, machine level control/instruction, silo-based learning etc.) versus humanistic approach (e.g. computational thinking and system thinking, lateral thinking, project-based learning etc.) to the teaching and learning of computer science and ICT. In 2012 the ICT curriculum came under reforms, while on the one hand reform was needed to provide students with a humanistic learning experience developing interdisciplinary thinking on the other hand a national and potentially international mass hysteria around ‘kids and coding’ emerged. The development of ad hoc ‘kids and coding’ initiatives emerged in many cases without a framework of reflection about learning, pedagogy, education and the bigger picture. Digital wisdomDigital/blended wisdom comes from a
humanistic perspective and that of understanding the broader impact of change, decisions, leadership, drive and motivation in developing education change towards the improvement of lives of others. And in doing so position the role of technology and computer science within this context. If wisdom is bringing experience and critical thinking to making better decisions then digital wisdom would be applying these experience and critical thinking to the online decision making and blended would take account of both experiences.

Don Gotterbarn I believe and encourage computing professionals to modify the kinds of systems they develop and how they develop them in the light of the system’s potential ethical and social impacts. Occasionally this gets reduced to treating computing and computer sciences merely as a technically complex discipline whose task it is to facilitate the broad based development of digital artifacts that can be used and exploited byanyone. I believe this reduction to be a  highly dangerous view of the responsibility of those developing computing systems. Facilitating Rampant Digital Literacy (RDL); the ability of everyone to find, share, create content using information technology is dangerous. The creation of digital citizen requires a way to focus their work (the users of computing artifacts) on a consideration of the impacts their work will have on a broad range of stakeholders. A portion of the responsibility for education Digital citizens falls on the computer scientist and some of that work has begun.
Diana Laurillard The premise for this talk is that to develop our students as tomorrow’s digital citizens there is an urgent need today to support our teachers in developing their own digital teaching  practice. Courses, workshops, and conferences will play their part, but teachers are teaching every day, finding ways of using digital technology, discovering what works and what does not. They are in the crucible of innovation learning from and with their students. Digital technology could also help them learn from each other. The talk will describe our experiments with digital tools for teacher collaboration on digital innovation, and will focus on using these for developing students’ digital practice. It will end with an ambitious future scenario towards developing tomorrow’s digital citizens.
David Longman Looked at from an international point of view the idea of ‘digital citizenship’ is not simple. While the ‘Global Internet’ enables faster, wider, more direct and unfiltered interactions with people, information and ideas, we must take care to avoid a superficial universalism, i.e. everyone’s digital practices are the same. Instead they reflect diverse cultural and national outlooks that are constrained and framed by different political systems and institutions.
Avril Loveless Avril Loveless How can we ensure the development of successful digital citizens?

We can focus on being citizens. For example, citizens can be alongside those who are not citizens. Unlimited immigration detention and the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in recent years is ‘probably one of the biggest human rights scandals in the country’.[1] Networks of advocates, visitors, lawyers, and doctors use digital tools to help them to connect, debate and enact their ethics, expertise, capacity to care and political resistance through commitment to human rights and collective generosity.

[1] Shami Chakrabati – Oral evidence to APPG on Refugees and APPG on Migration Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into the Use of Immigration Detention

Ian Lynch Ian Lynch Digital wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, and insight related to digital technologies. Wisdom is more than knowledge yet depends on it both in terms of breadth and depth. Social informatics is the study of information and communication tools in cultural or institutional contexts. Computer science is the development of theories of computation that then translate into design and development of computational systems. Becoming digitally wise is therefore dependent on both social informatics and computer science. The big question is in matching resources to effective delivery.
Bern Martens Bern Martens Recently, the realisation has dawned that the school teaching of ICT tool use, as done widely over the past twenty years, falls short of preparing children for successful digital citizenship. In my opinion, three important components have mostly been lacking from such ICT education:

  • a correct teaching methodology aimed at computational thinking and integrated learning in meaningful contexts
  • a focus on insights in and personal experience with the concepts and methods of the underlying
    computer science to enhance the self-confidence of learners
  • and frequent explicit connections to analysis of and reflection on personal, professional and societal ICT use.

We need well educated CS teachers as well as “digitally wise” teachers in other subjects to remedy this.

Denise Oram Why do I need to know about this stuff?

What answers do we give to students who ask this question; are they the right answers? Students coming into Higher Education are not always willing to engage with anything other than the technical side of computing; having a disregard for social and ethical considerations. This is increasingly causing concern with more and more complex digital technologies being developed with the uncertainty of knowing what impact they might have on society.It is of critical importance to improve the student’s perspective regarding these issues, as with any system we should be building in these values as quality processes; not additions as an afterthought. It is important to investigate and improve current educational models to enable these quality values to be built into the student’s learning experience. Education has to be the driver for change.

Mike Sharples Mike Sharples “Empowering Digital Citizens.”

I will propose that we need to move from an emphasis
on digital literacy towards digital empowerment, where people of all ages, individually and collectively, are able to harness digital tools to enhance their lives and the lives of others. This necessarily embraces digital literacy, citizenship and wisdom – yet transcends these to create a culture in which people routinely use digital technology to explore their environment, engage in debate, design online artefacts and curate media. The ethics and values of such a culture are not absolute, but must be continually negotiated through open conversation that includes people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Sandra Stark Sandra Stark I believe that all pre-university students need digital wisdom, but that it needs to be approached in different ways for different types of students. The ideal would be for all pre-university students to study either Social Informatics or Computer Science. These two subjects afford two very different, but complementary, ways to enable very different groups of students to understand and apply principles of digital wisdom to the understanding of the effects of intended and unintended consequences of implementing digital solutions to real-world problems.
Diane Whitehouse Diane Whitehouse The International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) has several technical committees that focus on such topics as education, and ICT and society Many members are interested in digital wisdom, and the social accountability and ethics of ICT. Specifically, in terms of digital wisdom, there are – in my personal opinion – three key challenges which face society today:

  • the inter-generational challenge of how to teach/train the very young, and the very old, to access and use technologies responsibly.
  • building suitable bridges across educational stages (from pre-school, to postgraduate education and training, to continuous learning).
  • handling such questions within an international setting.
Peter Twining Peter Twining Computer Science matters – as much as any discipline – because it gives you a way of understanding (and impacting upon) the world. Digital literacy matters – because it enables you to make sense of, manage and utilise digital technology. Wisdom – and other characteristics such as optimism and resilience – matter – because they enable you to imagine better futures and strive to implement them.
Penny Duquenoy Digital wisdom is about understanding the technical capability of the devices and supporting systems  including Internet). Understanding this would reveal that:

Digital communications devices are recording devices (photos, voice, text).

  • Recordings are stored (not necessarily on the device but elsewhere and safety of the content is out of the user’s control)· Because there is no guarantee of user control regarding the safe storage, all communications and content (e.g. photos) can potentially become public at any time.
  • One user may be implicated in another user’s, or several other users, content (photos, text, etc.) – this means one person is also recorded on other people’s devices
  • The communications and content put online although generated by the user may not belong to them – it may belong to the organisation supplying the service.
  • New developments will include recognition of emotions (across the full range of emotions)
  • Digital communications devices are also listening devices and can be taken over by someone else (known or unknown to the user).
Olli Hemo Olli Hemo Yesterday we were taught to be individuals. We had privacy – at least in the sense that our guardians did not hover around us like Apache gunships. Yet, due to the digital revolution this has been changed: it is possible that our kindergarten supervisors, our primary school teachers and so on can – and will – write our behaviour to information systems for our guardians to read. This is not only dystopia, but a state of affairs in the modern society which – eventually – might cause our younglings to grow up not to be autonomous citizens but mere subjects governed by their superiors and the society. My humble future does not lie within the “slave moral” of the slaves of panopticon, but with the critical citizens free of fear to take their place on the shoulders of  giants.
Sheelagh Keddie Sheelagh Keddie Many businesses and, I suspect, most people do not gasp the full implications of new technology. Citizens who exploit the latest offerings overlook the ways in which they are also being exploited. The IOT creates portals into our daily lives and habits. Car manufacturers overlook security and privacy in their digitisation of vehicles. When people buy a ‘listening’ television which comes with a warning not to talk about personal matters when the voice command is activated – then are surprised that their privacy is at risk I do wonder whether we are deeply physiologically flawed, dumb or naive. Without knowledge we cannot make informed choices regarding the trade-off of our privacy and safety.
Kai Kimppa Kai Kimppa Today’s diginatives are like the older generation is ‘carnatives’. We know how to drive a car, how to change the tires (although some have never done even that, the author included), how to change the oil (if we must) etc. Only some of us could actually repair, let alone build a car if we had to. The same is true of the diginative youngster generation. Most of them know how to find things (that they care of) in the Internet, how to upload a picture, how to use SMS, maybe even a bit of Wikipedia. Not that many know how to repair a non-functioning web-page, let alone how to build an application. Nor do they need to; no more than the carnatives need to know how to repair or build a car. What they do need is the same as anyone needs with any media – namely be able to find the information when they need it, the help when they want to do what is not readily available and most of all, how to critically analyse what they run into when wondering about in the digital world; simply put (although hardly simple): critical thinking skills.
Andrew Mayes Andrew Mayes The IB is at an interesting junction where it is determining the future of IT, Computer Science and Digital based education within the Diploma Programme. There are many questions to be asked and many different answers and perspectives to be considered. Over the next 6 months, my role is to listen and consider all of these questions and answers in order to determine the main direction of the curriculum review. Questions I need to answer as part of the review include “Is the concept of digital wisdom inclusive enough to include as a core element of an IB DP education?
Norberto Patrignani Norberto Patrignani Digital wisdom means to be able of questioning information technology and be aware of its social and ethical implications. A successful and socially responsible digital citizen should be able to: learn (up to programming software and easily playing with hardware); select and use the devices and services needed for daily life; know applications and open
standards and formats; properly manage her online identity and reputation; find the right blending between online and offline life; ensure that information technology are developed with a human-centred approach, by minimizing the environmental impact, and verifying the fairness of the manufacturing supply-chain.The development of digital wisdom implies the introduction of digital literacy and computer ethics into educational contexts.
Malcolm Payton Some thoughts on moving beyond digital literacy.

“The breaking of new ground rather than the treading of safe ground has become the task of all education…;

“We cannot now, as in ages of less rapid change, equip our young with a stock of ideas, conventions and sentiments adequate to life’s situations…;

“There must be less store set by knowledge, often irrelevant and quickly antiquated, and more concern to create in the young certain attitudes of mind…”;
FROM the Advisory Council on Education in Scotland Report 1947.

I believe that technology now gives us a way of addressing issues which have been recognised for many years, and an obligation to address these issues less, through neglect, we create a society lacking the wisdom to deal with a rapidly changing world.

Alison Pearce Alison Pearce My personal opinion is that the rapid changes in technology are incredibly exciting for everyone with wider communication, exposure to clearer information sources and lifestyle improvements. I embrace the use and repurposing of technology but have deep concerns as to the lack of questioning users have for the it, the application of the technology and what sits behind it. Younger users who are digital natives accept what they see and do not see risks, dangers, bias or potential for the technology as many are apathetic. We don’t challenge learners with digital technologies, many think the only application of the technology is to create an App for a tablet or smartphone.
John Pearson John Pearson What is important today with regard to policy on
digital literacy, digital wisdom, and digital citizenship?

The European Commission has supported a number of projects addressing ethical and societal aspects of new technologies. At the core of these projects is a concern to develop more dynamic, responsive structures for addressing ethical issues. These structures aim to include a broader range of stakeholders in addressing ethical issues.

2) What will be important in the future?A priority is to develop and apply methodological approaches such as Constructive Technology Assessment, Value Sensitive Design and other iterative, multi-stakeholder approaches so that they can be used in practice at a wider range of levels (e.g. at Secondary and post-Secondary level as well as at post-graduate level).

3) How to get to that future?A number of interesting projects such as the Science and Society programme at the University of Lyon and the ‘My Thesis in 180 Seconds’ already exist. It would be worthwhile to consider how to enable younger citizens to participate more actively in such programmes (beyond simply being an audience).

Alan Perkins A position on digital wisdom and how we can move students towards tomorrow’s successful digital citizens needs careful thought but must go beyond the black and white assumptions that seem to haunt this debate such as digital nativism. Areas such as the social and ethical issues that surround technology and its use in all areas of our lives needs careful guidance, discussion and pulling apart for students to make informed choices and be able to control their future within a technological world. Privacy vs Surveillance, Equality of Access as a Human Right, Control vs Open Rights within a globalised technologically driven world need to be understood and challenged. The changing world of employment which is now well documented needs students not to be content devourers but creative problem solvers and technology should and can be an important part of their toolbox to success in which big data, coding and digital design need to be approached as integral parts of their learning that will impact all students in all disciplines that they enter past their formal education.
Malgoratza Plotka ICT incessant and unprecedented development is allowing Internet massification; although, poses a serious societal challenge: public awareness on Internet “dark-side”. The reason is simple: the obliviousness of a vast majority of users (e.g., parents, children, etc.), makes such access even more
‘tricky’. As a lecturer in software engineering and social aspects of computing with some IT background I am continuously asking myself: how to prepare computer scientists to the work with and for society? How to make people aware about the online dangerous?
Ramon Puigjanar What is digital equity?

Digital equity is the social-justice goal of ensuring that everyone in our society has equal access to technology tools, computers and the Internet. Even more, it is when all individuals have the knowledge and skills to access and use technology tools, computers and the Internet. A definition of digital equity can be a state in which both the digital divide and the participation gap are bridged. Digital equity ensures that everyone has equal opportunities to use the tools and resources needed to fully participate as a citizen in today’s digitally-powered world.

Pilar Quezzaire Pizar Quezzaire The term “digital wisdom” suggests a divide exists between ourselves and the Web. Research suggests a “digital vs real-world” perspective is generational: younger users do not particularly distinguish between life on- and offline. The Web and the Cloud are extensions of their lives, as “real” and “normal” to their experience as pens and paper. Defining a separate “wisdom” to navigate life online may not help to capture their experiences. As Internet access become more common, then, “digital wisdom” simply becomes “wisdom.”
John Reeves John Reeves Whenever I think of the phrase ‘digital wisdom’ I think of a good software developer and how she behaves with technology. Certainly expert digital proficiency is part of her profession as a mobile developer but equally digital technology is part of her life and her life planning: continuous exploration provides a very clear path for her life’s objectives, and digital tools are pulled in and evaluated for ease of use and benefit in achieving those ambitions. The lessons learned are passed onto others as a beneficial gift, in a way that is relevant and usable at their current level of technical proficiency.
Juana M. Sancho Gil Juana Sancho Gil It is attributed to Antonio Gramsci, the Italian philosopher and activist of the early twentieth century, the idea that the main role of education is to contribute to development of men and women at the height of their time. This is for me the notion of wisdom and now-a-days it seems difficult to be wise without understanding the digital dimensions of our societies; the available and emerging information and communication tools in cultural or institutional contexts and the basic principles of computer science. However, are educational institutions ready to undertake the challenge of promoting digital wisdom?
Vinay Thawait Vinay Thawait In my opinion, study of Computer science includes theory and practical learning using computational thinking and algorithms that requires thinking both in abstract terms and in concrete terms. You must be able to design solutions and verify that they are correct using problem solving approach that requires precision, creativity, and careful reasoning. If you want computers to do something then you require intensive hands-on experience. On higher level, computer science is seen as a science of problem solving.I am working at OCR as the Subject Specialist for Computer Science & ICT A-Level and GCSE.
Anna Vartapatience Anna Vartapatience With computers being an inseparable part of our everyday life, it is necessary that the systems they employ should be constrained by ethical and legal standards. However, these conditions cannot be met if those consigned with the task of designing and developing these systems are unaware of the necessity of these constraints. I believe this issue can be addressed by educating computer scientists and IT professionals on the importance of evaluating the ethical and legal consequences of their systems. Moreover, as most systems require more than a computational knowledge, the communication and collaboration between computer professionals, experts from other disciplines and end users is
imperative for such systems to comply with the stated standards.
Danielle Emma Vass I run code clubs teaching girls aged 11 to 20 digital life skills for social participation and employment. While it’s really easy to discuss all the bad things people can do on the Internet people often neglect the sheer awesomeness that can happen when people collaborate over long distances and specialisms to accomplish something amazing. For example, many of my students are actively contributing towards open source libraries, which helps them evaluate others work, improve their own work, and potentially even land them paid jobs.

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