’21st-century statecraft’ at home & school

Live on the Web, I was just listening to Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s call for 21st-century statecraft (as well as the need to protect free expression online) and couldn’t help but think about how much we need to respect, teach, and model good citizenship at home and school (here and in every country) – using the media kids use and love – in order to realize Secretary Clinton’s vision for Internet freedom. She spoke of the need to “create norms of behavior among states.” Absolutely, but we need to start here at home, promoting and modeling norms of good behavior online and in homes and classrooms using the social (behavioral) media and technologies where so much kid behavior occurs now. I just reviewed a major study, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s, about how much youth are using media, and while some are appalled at the time spent with media, are they thinking about how so much of that usage is outside of school, because we block social media and cellphones from school – leaving young people completely on their own to work out social norms? What a missed opportunity! Secretary Clinton also called on us to focus on the needs of youth. Doing so must include understanding how they use media, not just how much. Let’s begin now consciously to model and teach the good digital as well as real-world citizenship and “statecraft” that will be protections to free speech, our countries, and most especially our children – at school, in virtual worlds, and all the other places where they spend time. [See also “Digital risk, digital citizenship” and “From users to citizens.”]

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