Apr 072015
 

We live in a constantly evolving set of digital landscapes. This is why it is so important to meet often to debate those landscapes and their futures.
Over fifty people gathered together at a policy think tank to help educationalists and policy-makers move beyond the current focus on digital literacy and coding.


The debate was about how to introduce young people to the kind of digital wisdom that will enable them to become tomorrow’s successful citizens. It focused on possible strategies to develop digital wisdom/citizenship. Ideas circulated on how to introduce the emerging discipline of social informatics both to 14–19 year-olds and to students in higher education. Concentrating on these domains was intended to complement the growth in the teaching of programming that is currently taking place internationally.

The think tank was hosted on Tuesday 24th February 2015 by the London Knowledge Lab at London’s Institute of Education. The day was extremely lively, with plenty of discussion and debate. It involved short presentations, brief but intense discussions and plenary report-backs. Some of the attendees joined online or through a previously recorded TEDx talk. All the attendees had provided their own position paper on the workshop’s topics.

International Baccalaureate leader, Richard Taylor, introduces the day.

International Baccalaureate leader, Richard Taylor, introduces the day.

Four organising associations worked on putting the event together: IFIP, the International Baccalaureate, the Association for Information Technology in Teacher Education (ITTE), and the MirandaNet Fellowship. The associations share a common interest in how to develop successful digital citizens. Some 20 of the participants were individual IFIP members and friends. Raymond Morel of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, and Ramon Puigjaner, who heads up IFIP’s digital equity project, both attended.

Ramon Puigjaner (right), IFIP’s WITFOR leader, and colleagues working hard during the day.

Ramon Puigjaner (right), IFIP’s WITFOR leader, and colleagues working hard during the day.

Various results emerged from the day. A collaborative joint report – a blog-style white paper – will be published towards the end of April 2015 on the MirandaNet Fellowship website http://www.mirandanet.ac.uk. There is also the possibility of a publication appearing in a special issue of an ethics and societal challenges-related journal.

On the UK side, the think tank’s views will be presented to the Department for Education policy unit and to the British Education Suppliers Association. Internationally, the resulting report will be used as a starting point for thinking about possible future curriculum development in International Baccalaureate schools. IFIP could consider the meaning of the discussions for its global approach to ICT education.