Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Our 21st Century Challenge: Developing Responsible, Ethical and Resilient Digital Citizens by Robyn Treyvaud

These are my notes from Robyn Treyvaud’s keynote, “Our 21st Century Challenge: Developing Responsible, Ethical and Resilient Digital Citizens.” at the 21st Century Learning @ Hong Kong Conference on 18 September 2009. MY COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. Robyn is the author and owner of Her wiki on digital citizenship (created with WetPaint) is On delicious, Robyn is rtreyvaud.

A Place is NOT a THING

showing a graphic of MySpace contacts
– your friends
— your friends’ friends
— your friends’ friends’ friends

Story of a student using YouTube, after using the software “Guitarmaster Pro Net,” simply titled: Guitar

Quite a community has grown up around this video

From “Circuits of Cool / Digital Playground” study in 2007
– average person connected to digital technology has:
— 94 phone numbers
— 78 people on instant messenger list
— 86 people in his/her social networking community

Many students today observe those statistics and note

technology is an enabler

almost all young people are using technology to ENHANCE rather than replace face-to-face interaction

2007 DEMOS report “Their Space: Education for a Digital Generation”
– found use of digital technology has been completely normalized by this generation of young people
– majority of young people use new media to make their lives easier

This generation is capable of self-regulation when kept informed about issues


bedroom culture
– many methods in use by kids to keep their online activities shield from parent awareness and involvement

From study: Byron REview Children and New Technology – UK 2008
Kids always want to explore boundaries and take risks
From the executive summary:
– point 12:

Just like in the offline world, no amount of effort to reduce potential risks to children will eliminate those risks completely. We cannot make the internet completely safe. Because of this, we must also build children’s resilience to the material to which they may be exposed so that they have the confidence and skills to navigate these new media waters more safely.

– point 13:

Through the right combination of successes against these three objectives – reducing availability, restricting access and increasing resilience to harmful and inappropriate material online – we can adequately manage the risks to children online. A number of efforts are already being made in pursuit of these objectives, and the strengths and weaknesses of these are explored in Chapter 3. But we need a more strategic approach if industry, families, government and others in the public and third sectors are going to work effectively together to help keep children safe.

Gap between generations should be closed
– need to engage students in the educational process
– leverage youth’s knowledge about the online environment and safety

Australia in 2007 study: compared concerns of parents vs concerns of kids
Whose Myth? Whose Reality?
– many parents concerned about Internet addiction

Very effective strategy

Internet Safety Task Force study published in 2008: Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies
– from page 20 of the final report:

Contrary to popular assumptions, posting personally identifying information does not appear to increase risk in and of itself. Rather, risk is associated with interactive behavior. Further, youth who engage in a high number of different potentially risky online behaviors (e.g., having unknown people on a buddy list, seeking pornography online, using the Internet to harass others) are also more at risk (Wolak et al. 2008b; Ybarra et al. 2007c).

Dana Boyd was chair of the lit review committee of this study

Nancy Willard quotation from 2008, from her document “Essential Strategy” (MS WORD)

Help young people learn to do what is right, regardless of the potential of detection and punishment. To do this, we must enhance their reliance on their own internalized personal moral code. We must shift our focus away from rules and threats of punishments. Threats of punishment are simply an ineffective approach when the likelihood of detection and punishment is so remote. The message: “Don’t do this because it is against the rules” has limited impact if you believe that you are invisible and that your actions cannot and will not be detected and punished.

Instead, we must focus the attention of young people on the reasons for the rules. Rules are generally enacted because actions that violate the rules can cause harm to someone else. So our focus must be on the potential harm, not the rule. In a world where we are invisible, a much more powerful message is: “Don’t do this because if you do you will harm someone by (describe the possible harmful impact of the action) “

We used to believe before we had research, that the third level (friends of friends of friends) would be where most of the online offending takes place (strangers)
– now because of research we know it happens at the first level, FRIENDS

From study

Online bullying begins in year 2, it can be exclusion on Club Penguin

Sending and receiving of sexual content is experiencing by primary age students

Article “10 Things I Wish Adults Knew About the Online World” (MS WORDHTML)

1. Teens Are Doing The Same Things Teens Have Always Done—Just Digitally.
2. The Predator Issue Has Been Sensationalized By The Media
3. Teens Won’t Talk About Cyber-Bullying Out Of Fear That You’ll“Take The Internet Away
4. Preteens Will Lie About Their Age Inorder To Join A Social-Networking Site
5. Teens Have A Different Perception Of Privacy Than You Do
6. Multitasking Makes Concentrating Hard—Even For Teens.
7. They Spend More Time Online For School Than You Think.
8. Teens Are Creating Media.
9. Blocking, Filtering, And Monitoring May Work For Young Children, But Notfor Teens.
10. There Are No Easy Answers.


We have common naivete among youth that they are NOT publishing in “myspace” – it is a public space

research shows multi-tasking can lead to homework taking 2 or 3 times as long to complete

Advice for parents on home internet filtering: consider those filters just 1 level of protection, there must be communication about these issues regularly

Challenges of ethical behavior in these digital environments

new ethical considerations
– from D. Johnson “Teaching Students Right from Wrong” 2007 (PDF of PPT of Aug 2008 preso by Robyn)

– stats from Online survey of 300 13-19 year olds in Australia

There is no age verification, and there is no monitoring

July 2009 study from Australia: “Teens main producers of child pornography

Law in Australia: kids need to understand long term impacts and ramification
– in Victoria there is no statute of limitations
– kids lose control over the ownership of that image


Robyn recommends the website:

now discussing number of illegally downloaded songs on student mp3 players

What happens to your personal data?
– MySpace’s privacy policy indicates that their data/information is transmitted to the US where laws may be different than those in their country

Great online program: Triple J: Hack Half Hour. My Face

Definition of covert bullying works better than cyberbullying, have had a recent study published on this in Australia

2 in 5 students feel things stay the same or get worse after telling an adult about a bullying instance

we are working to empower students not only to protect themselves

Now watching a cyberbullying video from
“Let’s Fight it Together”

That video really resonates with kids, it is an excellent resource to use with them

At the heart of what we need to do to address these issues is student voice
– if students are not involved, none of these approaches are going to be effective and real

In your school, do AUPs reflect our current conditions?
– do you have incident response procedures
– what about your curriculum: how can you embed digital citizenship?
– wonderful opportunities for peer education and mentoring
– more….

Finding quality resources: Google results are overwhelming (showing examples of different queries)
– my wiki has some of these resources and more:

New Australian cybersmart site, includes units of work students and teachers can utilize:

I will continue to remain optimistic as long as we continue to involve young people in the decisions which affect their lives

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