Digital Footprint New Media literacies Privacy

Privacy Settings – So boring?!

Have you ever wondered about what is behind “Yes, I agree” when you sign up for a new application or website? Let’s be honest, how often have you read the Terms of Use, the Privacy Settings or Data Collection and Copyright Policy of e.g. social media applications? I have never been a big fan of long legal documents. At the same time

How does that make me able to proactively manage my digital identity and property? The New Digital Citizenship – Empower Proactive Digital Learner

Recently I was encouraged by Sarah Hill @lumoslearningAU who said “I’ve found the privacy policies to be very enlightening!” to look into those setting options. I asked myself what I’m using more or less on a daily basis and started to read. Indeed – I felt enlightened. I checked TikTok (age 13) , Instagram (age 13), Snapchat (age 13), and Whatsapp (age 16) which is my main to communicate and also the app which recently caused discussions between parents – teachers – students in upper elementary and led to additional needs to address that topic in class. My main findings are:

  • All those documents are still very long but way easier to read. Often there is a summary which gives you a great overview. 
  • All four companies are very clear about what data they are collecting, how they are going to use the data and with whom they are going to share the data. 
  • All four companies are very clear about what privacy settings are possible.
  • TikTok and Instagram have community guidelines. Interestingly, TikTok phrased it in a very negative way – DO NOT – and Instagram formulated agreements positively.
  • The minimum age to use the app is in all four cases higher than the age of the students in grade 5.

How can we as teachers and/or school support the students, the teachers and the parents to know that we have choices?

Students – Following a lesson which I’m planning to do in Grade 5 after the break:

Lesson Whatsapp
– independently managing the digital identity
– respecting the digital privacy and rights of others.
Grade 5 students
Lesson Context: 
During the last academic year digital citizenship was one of the main focus in our school. Based on commonsense media the edtech coaches created a scope and sequence and mapped it with the curriculum from Preschool to Grade 5. This year it’s mandatory to integrate all topics into the teaching and learning experiences. 
Even though many social media have the age restriction at 13 (whatsapp 16), many students are using it. Additionally, in one particular class whatsapp caused some bullying. Therefore it is necessary to start a conversation with them.
Learning objectives/learning targets:
– Know the privacy account settings of whatsapp
– Manage their privacy settings independently
– Respect the digital privacy and rights of others

Follow up lesson:
– Reflect about positive and negative effects of using whatsapp for all of us
– Communicate with empathy 
TPACK (note content, pedagogy, technology goal):

Whatsapp Account Privacy Settings

Group discussion about the “profile” they create offline
Individual inquire into their own whatsapp profile
Documenting their choices in a digital form
Group discussion about the results and respecting the choices
Reflection about the choices I have regarding privacy (I used to think … now I Know)
Small group work (2/3), explore more settings – Video 

Students use their own phones
Digital survey
The integration of technology in this lesson falls on augmentation when students document their findings digitally. The automatic visualisations underlines the message of the results. 
ISTE Standards for Educators:
3d Model and promote the management of personal data and digital identity and protect student data privacy.
ISTE Standards for Students:
2a Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
2b Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behaviour when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
UDL Principles:
Multiple means of representation:
Students use their own phones to explore the privacy settings of whatsapp.
Students watch videos and/or read a guideline about additional settings to make knowledgeable choices and to balance their life with whatsapp.
Multiple means of action and expression:
Students interact with their own information on their phone. 
Students show their learning through an open visible thinking routine. 
Students have the chance to make further choices. 
Multiple means of engagement:
Digital Tool(s) you’ll use and how it/they will contribute to your lesson:
Students use their phones as source of information.
Students fill their privacy settings into a forms in order to make their choices visible.

Teachers – Filming the lesson and share

I’m thinking to film the lesson(s), share it as a whole or a compilation. My own experience with digital citizenship lessons (or better moments) is that I sometimes have difficulties to find the right words. In conversations with teachers I heard similar concerns. I’m hoping that we can start the conversation about digital citizenship in a positive and integrated way.

Parents: Curating resources on Flipboard

#GESSlearns – Parenting in the Digital Age curates a variety of articles which we as edtech coaches find worth to read and to share. It’s a offer for parents to be knowledgeable and then supportive with their children.

It isn’t about whether privacy settings are boring or not. It’s about being knowledgeable in order to make the right decisions. And this is valid for all stakeholders.

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