we have been talking in several threads about taking action online to create awareness about the harms of technology but I was wondering if anyone here had experience with offline campaigns in schools and companies.
I believe it could be very beneficial to kids and parents to have someone intervene either at their school or work to either explain or better make them experience the harms of tech through some games.
I know some association such as Zero Waste are offering such “classes” for free in schools to create awareness for kids. I live in Vietnam and most people here have no idea about how tech can be harmful to their brains, create addiction, etc.
Is this something you already thought about or tried to setup? Any feedback is more than welcome!
Yes, this is a great idea, and I would love to see our community take this further.
The Education program is brand new part after the community reorganization we finished this week. We still have lotsa restructuring to do, but we can discuss format and ideas in this topic. Your idea fits with prior discussion that was part of the Awareness Program. See: Tech Wise Campaign Theme: Promoting prudent technology use in child education.
Thanks for posting this, @JipDK
I am also working on The Saraswati Project , in which I am trying to develop a club that schools can implement to teach about digital citizenship and wellness. Is that along the lines of what you are thinking?
#1 - Please look at “common sense media” for a large movement that engages millions of families. (But is not a tech-leaning organization).
#2 - Yes, the Center for Humane Tech is releasing something for business people.
Thanks @sidnya. This is indeed similar to what I have in mind although I am not sure the “teaching way” would be the best. What I am thinking about is more to create an experience with kids so they can realize by themselves how some tech can impact them.
For example, I loved the example given by Yuval Harari in his talk with Tristan Harris about how some tech by doing A/B test could be aware he is gay before him.
The other thing I had in mind would be testimonies of other kids who were addicted, polarized because of their use of tech and got back from it. Something similar to AA in order for kids to hear the information from other kids and not from another adult telling them what to do.
@chris_davies_sanjose I’ll check common sense media. Good to know CHT is working on this!
I agree with your point! The best way is to let them feel for themselves (actually, they are constantly experiencing it but situations specifically created to raise their awareness will be more effective). One example I can think of is holding exhibitions in schools that allow participants to interact with the objects/etc so that they think as they behave. Just like a painting can invoke certain feelings and emotions.
Also support this idea. It could be documentaries, interviews, podcasts etc that are easily accessible and circulated to a wider audience.
Thanks for your feedback @Saiyu. I have met psychoanalyst here in Vietnam who are willing to help in order to define a methodology to create this awareness. I will dig this further with them and bring back here what they say.
That’s awesome! Looking forward to it!
@JipDK Your idea to introduce awareness through humanetech intervention in schools and companies in your country is a great idea. You are right that awareness of the harms of tech is generally lacking as well as solution but I add not only in your country but generally throughout Southeast Asian countries where we belong as well as many parts of Asia. I hope you can create something with unique local insights which could serve as a template or provide some good methodology or ideas or blueprint to copy by other Southeast Asian countries as well.
The Carly Ryan Foundation has been operating for almost ten years in Australia: our main work is delivering online safety education sessions to students within a school setting, and additionally, providing parent sessions in the evening. We have a team of four presenters and reach over 18,000 participants a year.
Schools are naturally set up to be a great vehicle for this type of education. And depending on how you create a presentation, face-to-face engagement is an effective means of delivery. Using a personal story like you mentioned (ie. of other kids being addicted), would be a very useful strategy. There is a genuine generation gap between adults and children when it comes to technology, and kids know it! They will switch off really quickly if a presentation is condescending, irrelevant to their own experience, or scare-mongering without reason.
We also undertake a lot of advocacy work with government officials to change teaching curriculums so they better reflect the real life experiences of students in the online space. In particular, we want online safety to be taught in all schools; and also, changes to sex education to include the harmful effects of online pornography.
As I research the issues that CHT raises, I am trying to figure out how these could be included in our presentations to broaden the idea of ‘online safety’. It is not just safety against predators, or hackers; but safety against the technology that seeks to maintain our attention and as is so often said, downgrades our humanity.
I’d be interested to see what comes from your idea, and if there is anything I can assist with I’m happy to help.
I am interested in how education has become more and more technocratic—driven by metrics derived from mass standardised testing that is ultimately for-profit. Things like screen time are almost a moot point if the whole framework of education keeps relentlessly reducing teaching and learning into a depersonalised exercise of data-generation.
I think it’s a deep, systemic issue that ultimately feeds the crisis points we see manifesting in non-critical consumption of social media, vulnerability to propaganda, and ultimately polarisation and risk to democracy.
(& I should add that it therefore requires deep, systemic change to address—at the policy & funding level…)