Our children are the first generation to grow up in a digital world. It’s exciting and scary, and it will define their lives’ courses in ways older people can only begin to imagine. Awareness of how it works, how to live a secure, private and successful digital life, is hard to teach when they’re the pioneers.
Civic Digits is a digital theatre company devoted to exploring the use of technology, drama and interaction to explain and even more importantly to experience what it is to be human in that digital world.
The course in cyber-resilience and digital citizenship came out of a live performance, The Big Data Show, which tells the real-life stories of British teenage hackers in the 1980s. Alongside the story on stage, the audience of S1 and S2 pupils plays along with an app on their phones to interact with the actors and the storyline, using gaming and a variety of surprises to demonstrate how everything you do on line, just like in everyday life, has consequences. Data can’t be destroyed only changed!
We toured an early version of the show around Scottish schools in 2019, and realised that by involving the students before and after the show, we could build a solid foundation of awareness of what data is and how to be responsible with it. So, we developed in-school workshops that begin by relating the pupils’ personal experiences to data and showing by hands-on experimenting how even the most personal aspects of life - like how your face reflects your emotions - can be turned into data, and how data can be turned into emotion.
After the show, the second workshop covers explicit issues in how data is created and consumed in ways that affect our privacy and our life choices, with a focus on understanding what data breaches are, how they happen, and the areas where consent and awareness guard against abuse of our data by organisations.
The course was credit rated by SQA Credit Rating Service at SCQF Level 3 with 1 credit point in October 2019, so any pupils participating in the course receive formal recognition of their achievement.
We’re very excited to be doing this, as it addresses a lot of fascinating and important societal issues.
- How do you start teaching younger pupils the very basics of data and cyber resilience?
- How do we use the same tools the big companies use to capture our data to educate about and guard against the many potential problems that digital life throws up?
- How do we bring the age-old cultural techniques of story-telling and dramatic involvement into the world of smartphones and online communities?
It’s a privilege to build the course within the discipline and structure of the SCQF, and to feel we’re helping our pioneering children in ways that work and ways that matter. Schools are the crucible for creative engagement between generations, and partnership is everything in making things happen.
For more information on Civic Digits and the Big Data Show visit CivicDigits.com