Today at 12PM Eastern I'm joining Ethan Zuckerman for a free, open conversation on Teaching New Civics in A Digital World. Zuckerman is a Berkman Fellow and professor in MIT's Center for Civic Media lab. He's also keynoting this year's Digital Media and Learning conference.
Zuckerman recently posted a piece on his blog "Is Civics in Crisis or Just Changing It's Shape" which I think is a great introduction to some of the most interesting debates in the field of civics and social studies. The post starts with an anecdote about "Lunch Scholars," a student-generated piece in a long history of screeds decrying the pitiful state of student's historical and civic knowledge. Zuckerman then reviews highlights from the research base on teaching civics (tl;dr: traditional classroom civics doesn't work; service and experience does). He ends by examining the rise of digitally-mediated youth groups like the Harry Potter Alliance as an example of how a narrow definition of civics might not capture the full variety of was that young people participate in society. In a short post, it provides a great summary of both some of the seminal research in civics over the past few decades and important emerging lines of inquiry.
Should be an interesting discussion, which people can participate in through watching, live-chatting, tweeting, etc.