The Internet Keep Safe Coalition this week launched the first installment in a series of lessons designed to help teachers and librarians across the country encourage digital literacy, and the healthy and responsible use of the Internet, among students.
Once complete, the K-12 curriculum will consist of vetted academic content in the form of videos and online activities covering a range of topics pertaining to digital literacy, including privacy, healthy relationships, balance and reputation, and online security. It will also include professional development resources for teachers on how best to engage students with these concepts.
The first set of online materials, entitled "Copyright & Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens," focuses specifically on creating and collaborating responsibly in the digital age.
Knowing one's rights and responsibilities surrounding the development and sharing of content is a critical 21st century skill that all children should be comfortable with, said Marsali Hancock, CEO of iKeepSafe, an Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit, in an interview with Education Week.
"But it won't happen by accident," Hancock added, pointing to what she sees as an alarming lack of reputable, vetted resources that support the teaching of copyright and fair use in schools.
iKeepSafe's latest initiative is an attempt to fill that gap with a supplemental digital literacy curriculum that aligns with existing standards, including the Common Core State Standards as well as digital literacy standards through the American Association of School Librarians and the International Society for Technology in Education, or ISTE.
"But when you look at existing curriculum," Hancock added, "what makes iKeepSafe unique is that we work with experts from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences." The "Copyright & Creativity" curriculum was a collaborative effort between education experts, media and digital literacy experts, and attorneys with significant courtroom experience.
As a part of the digital literacy initiative, iKeepSafe will continue to roll out curriculum for K-6 students over the next 18 months, and will ultimately build it out to include middle and high school curriculum.