Many of today’s kids are born digital — born into a media-rich, networked world of infinite possibilities. But their digital lifestyle is about more than just cool gadgets; it’s about engagement, self-directed learning, creativity, and empowerment. The Digital Generation Project tells their stories so that educators and parents can understand how kids learn, communicate, and socialize in very different ways than any previous generation.
Facebook’s Digital Citizenship Research Grants
Facebook’s Digital Citizenship Research Grants support world-class research to improve our understanding of how social media can impact the next generation. In August 2011, we invited academic and non-profit institutions to apply for the $200,000 in grants funding research that highlights trends associated with digital citizenship. Nearly 100 researchers from more than 10 countries submitted outstanding applications. Based on in-depth evaluation from a team of Facebook employees and our Safety Advisory Board, we are awarding the inaugural Digital Citizenship Research Grants to these four researchers who will advance our global understanding of digital citizenship.
Dr. Shaheen Shariff, McGill University
Professor Shaheen Shariff, undertakes research focused on youth and digital media. She guides schools, parents, teens and policy-makers to navigate a balance between online free expression, privacy and safety. Her recent bilingual website, Define the Line helps develop resources, workshops and interactive online forums to reduce cyberbullying and enhance responsible digital citizenship. The DFL team will survey how school kids define the lines between friendly online joking or teasing, and hurtful cyberbullying. They will also examine how teens define the lines between public and private online spaces.
Dr. Michael Searson, SITE
Dr. Searson is President of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE) and heads the School for Global Education and Innovation program at Kean University. SITE represents approximately 1500 educators, from about 500 institutions of higher education throughout the world. In these roles, Dr. Searson works with educators across the globe to explore issues related to information technologies, informal learning, mobile devices and social media.The SITE project will bring together a coalition of international scholars, researchers and practitioners who will develop an open source course and course modules for the preparation of future teachers to teach digital citizenship.
Shari Kessel Schneider, Education Development Center (EDC)
Shari Kessel Schneider is a researcher with the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), a global nonprofit dedicated to designing and evaluating programs that address challenges in health and education. Schneider has done extensive work in the fields of bullying and suicide prevention and has been conducting research on cyberbullying trends since 2006. Working with a large group of school districts, the EDC will engage school leaders, parents, and teens to examine existing programs and policies but also to uncover ideas for new strategies and linkages to encourage positive use of social media. Schools across the country are being mandated to take steps to address cyberbullying and protect the health and safety of youth both at school and online. This research will look at the roles of educators, parents and social networking sites to determine how they can work together.
Janice Richardson, European Schoolnet (EUN)
Janice Richardson is a senior adviser at European Schoolnet (EUN), an umbrella organization that works with 33 Ministries of Education across Europe to raise internet safety awareness and to transform teaching and learning through the integration of innovative technology. EUN’s grant will be used for their Social Media in Learning and Education (SMILE) Action Research project to investigate the issues of how much teachers are benefitting from the full potential of social media tools. In addition, the SMILE project will create an online learning course and mentoring techniques for educators.