MirandaNet White Paper:

“Towards tomorrow’s successful digital citizens”

Report compiled from the responses of a gathering of experts at the London Knowledge Lab

24th February 2015




Thanks to all those who attended the MirandaMod on 24th February 2015 and, in particular, to those who prepared presentations to stimulate thinking. As with any exploration of this nature, it is inevitable that some valuable comments will have been omitted, and the emphasis may not reflect the particular interests of each individual. Apologies in advance for any omissions or inaccuracies.

The day was organised on the principles of a MirandaMod, a knowledge creation process that has been developed by MirandaNet Fellows over several years. The professional organisation of educators works on the principle that knowledge is often built and owned by teams in the world of work. This process has been given new diameters by the social media and is an important focus of digital citizenship. Students need to be helped in schools to make the most of the richness of collaborative social opinion and understand the dangers. This kind of event could be reproduced in classrooms and in approved on line communication in order to promote more understanding of how collaborative knowledge is formed. The members would like also to see more acknowledgement and reward for this process in education as well.

The aim was to reach a collaborative answer to a question that embraces different perspectives. For this reason the participants were invited to contribute a summary about their views on the topic to the website before the event so that everyone involved could read the variety of views. The some key experts were invited to represent their views in five minutes leading each of the sessions, each of which consisted of presentations and position papers followed by discussion. The focus was on the four questions:

  • What is important today with regard to digital literacy, digital citizenship and digital wisdom?
  • What do we mean by a digital society?
  • What will be important in the future?
  • How do we get to that future?

The conference explored three key themes – the concept of Digital Citizenship; the interplay between Computer Science, Social Informatics and Digital Wisdom, and the implications these questions have for professional development.


Members from several professional organisations gathered at the London Knowledge Lab on 24th February 2015 in order to debate an area of the new UK Computing Curriculum that they believed was being overlooked: the importance of ethics and values in relation to digital technologies.

Five terms  that related to Digital Citizenship were provided as a starting point for discussion at the workshop and continued to provide a point of reference during the ongoing development of the themes:

Digital literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet. (http://digitalliteracy.cornell.edu/ )

Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible behaviour with regard to technology use. (http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html)

Digital wisdom is the ability of individuals and/or societies to make informed decisions in relation to the appropriate use and exploitation of information technology in all its forms.

Digital society is characterised by three cultures:

  • Digital tools which allow humans to maintain social life in the digital society;
  • Digital values that provide meaning and purpose for digital social activities;
  • Digital norms (procedures and rules) that are a socially acknowledged element of digital social activities.

Digital Equity is the social justice goal of ensuring that everyone in our society has equal access to technology tools, computers and the Internet. It is when all individuals have the knowledge and skills to access and use technology tools, computers and the Internet.

The unconference explored three key themes – the concept of Digital Citizenship; the interplay between Computer Science, Social Informatics and Digital Wisdom, and the implications these questions have for professional development.

A significant outcome of the discussions was a series of key questions that should be considered if we aspire to ensure the technology revolution can deliver better outcomes for all. These questions include:

  • Do we need the term Digital Citizenship, or is it just Citizenship?
  • Do different countries, cultures and institutions play a part in influencing in how Digital Citizenship is evolving or in people’s perception or their role as a Digital Citizen?
  • Must a computer scientist be literate in social informatics and digital wisdom?
  • Is it possible to infuse “soft” technological systems into very “hard” educational systems?


Second draft of the White Paper produced by the group


MirandaNet has archived previous material on this topic.
For example see this list for ‘citizenship’ on mirandanet.org.uk 

Individuals were asked to provide keynote presentations under each theme. Following the presentations, three larger groups were organised to discuss and make notes on each of the themes.


Names may be linked to accompanying visual aids or notes if available.

What makes a successful Digital Citizen? An international feel. What is the relationship between Computer Science, Social Informatics and Digital Wisdom? How can we ensure the development of successful Digital Citizens?
Gunilla Bradley* Sandra Stark* Avril Loveless
Pilar Quezzaire/Andy Mayes Ian Lynch Patricia Charlton
Allison Allen Miles Berry Mike Sharples
Peter Twining Don Gotterbarn Diana Laurillard
David Longman Denise Oram Bern Martens

Participant list and some ‘Position Statements’

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.

Forename Surname Institution
Allison Allen Outstream
Miles Berry Roehampton University
Ibrar Bhatt Lancaster University
Helen Boulton Nottingham Trent University
Gunilla Bradley Linnaeus University
Pete Bradshaw Open University
Patricia Charlton Institute of Education
Mark Dorling Computers at Schools (CAS)
Penny Duquenoy Middlesex University
Don Gotterbarn De Montfort University
Olli Hemo University of Turku
Wayne Holmes Bristol University
Sheelagh Keddie Common Sense Privacy
Kai Kimppa University of Turku, Finland
Diana Laurillard Institute of Education
Mairlyn Leask MirandaNet
Robert Leeman OCR
Jan Lepeltak Learning Focus
David Longman Independent
Avril Loveless Brighton University
Ian Lynch The Ingots
Bern Martens Leuven University
Andrew Mayes International Baccalaureate
Niel McLean E-skills UK
Bill Mitchell British Computer Society (BCS)
Raymond Morel Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences
Denise Oram Glyndwr University
Norberto Patrignani Politechnico Torino, Italy
Malcolm Payton e3net
Alison Pearce OCR
John Pearson University of Namur, Belgium
Alan Perkins ACS School, Egham
Malgoratza Plotka De Montfort University
Christina Preston MirandaNet
Ramon Puigjanar University of the Balearic Isles, Spain
Pilar Quezzaire International Baccalaureate
John Reeves De-velopment.com
Juana M. Sancho Gil University of Barcelona, Spain
Mike Sharples Open University
Sandra Stark International Baccalaureate
Richard Taylor International Baccalaureate
Vinay Thawait OCR
Roger Turner LightSpeed
Peter Twining Open University
Anna Vartapatience Surrey University
Danielle Emma Vass De-velopment.com
Diane Whitehouse The Castlegate Consultancy
Sarah Younie De Monfort University