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Digital Citizenship Basics: how to raise interest in people?http://mfioretti.com/node/129
Our world is not digital, but it is ruled or heavily influenced every year more at all levels (culture, education, environment, civil rights, job opportunities…) by digital technologies. Technology, especially digital, is legislation. That’s why our rights and the quality of our life depends every year more by how software is used AROUND us.
Having a really widespread digital culture and preparedness, that is making as many people as possible, as soon as possible, aware of how this actually happens and how it should work to everybody’s advantage, is a must in order to achieve a really open, just and fair society.
The real problem is not that not enough people use digital tools and services yet. It is the fact that even (or especially!) those who do already have access to them very, very often use them in a very limited, and totally passive and unaware way. In such a landscape, the digital sphere can turn into another wasted opportunity, if not into a too powerful, omnipresent control tool.
How to fix this problem? We need everybody to become a digital citizen (which has nothing to do with “having broadband access”, being “good with computers” or anything like that). But many people today simply aren’t interested, if they are even aware there’s such a possibility. How to help all citizens to WANT to become empowered digital citizens, that really know how those technologies work and how they influence their lives?
My answer, whose presentation and open discussion is the topic of this proposal, is to provide both very short and simple online courses, and short live edutainment shows/performances, that start from the real-world topics that directly interest EVERYBODY (education, money, identity, environment…) and shows them, without any technicism, how the arrival of digital technologies can greatly improve or worsen each of them.
The common principle of the course and the performances is to always start from human beings, their needs and their rights, and never from technology, or from specialist issues (like software licenses, for example) which have proven too many times to be uncapable of raising interest in the masses, and as such should be mentioned as little as possible (without being ignored), when promoting digital citizenship.
For more info about this approach, please read this interview “Of Citizenship and Software” http://poynder.blogspot.com/2011/03/of-citizenship-and-software.html