Children and young people are increasingly reliant on the Internet for their everyday lives. They communicate, share and collaborate online. They use it to learn and play. They recognise its importance for their adult working lives. Considering their increasing access, agency and autonomy in using content and services, their protection as a vulnerable group needs to be coupled with their education as emerging citizens to ensure they develop a healthy and positive relationship regarding the Internet. Their general well-being, participation in society, and prospects of employment greatly depend on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) as the new set of basic skills for the 21st century, where computational thinking interfaces with the rich and diverse ‘cultures of information’ (news, data, documents, codes, etc.).
This pre-event examines education and its digital transition, mindful of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. It opens a series of perspectives and alerts on certain trends to ensure that the future of education is part of the global debate on Internet Governance. It posits that Internet Governance (IG) offers a new form of legitimacy for children and young people to go beyond their current “protected” status. Active participation in Internet Governance can empower them to become actors in policy deliberations. This can be achieved by developing a ‘frontier’ field integrating the existing Internet studies with Media and Information Literacy (MIL), redefined to comprise Internet Governance principles, protocols and processes. This new field can be integrated in the school curriculum as a key educational discipline. Such a digital transition from education 2.0 (where ICTs are support tools) to education 3.0 (where MIL and IG are the new basics) can provide children with competences for cooperation, creativity and social innovation. It can also nurture their human rights and understanding of shared values, which, in turn, will help to build more inclusive societies.
This pre-event also considers the risks of inaction in the transition to education 3.0. It draws attention to a crucial element for effective change: the need to raise awareness and to support teachers, students and public authorities alike to embrace the notion of education 3.0, to consider the tools and resources needed (e-learning, data analytics, MOOCS, etc.), and to engage in the phased adjustments needed at all levels of its governance. Incremental, scalable, step-by-step change is key to success in the education sector that has already experienced many ‘computer-in-the-school’ plans with mixed results. Education 3.0, based on “co-design” as collaborative problem-solving, buttressed on human rights and shared values, provides a comprehensive vision that can engage all actors at their level of interaction.
Discussions will be based on the paper on “Children and young people’s sustainable digital development: Education 3.0 and Internet Governance as a new global alliance for dynamic learning, greater employability and general well-being”, prepared by Divina Frau-Meigs and Lee Hibbard , for the Global Commission on Internet Governance.