Online course, Digital Citizens Basics

Online course: Digital Citizens Basics, NEW 2015 EDITION

Today, our rights and the overall quality of our life heavily depend on how software is used around us. This is true also for people (including children) who don’t care much about computers, or don’t even have one. For this reason, starting in April 2011 I will teach online the same things I wrote in the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, but interactively and always using the latest practical examples straight from the Internet. This page contains the course outline, while the Frequently Answered Questions are in a separate page. Another excellent resource to know more about the course is this interview about the course by R. Poynder.

Content of the Digital Citizens Basics Course, NEW 2015 EDITION

The course consists of the seven sessions below. Please note that, while the structure is the same since the beginning, the content of each session has been completely updated on the basis of my work in the last two years, including, but not limited to, my participation to the Digital DIY project:

  • Foundations of the digital and real world: File formats, computer protocols, intellectual property, software source code: are you sure that you know what these things are, and how they directly impact your life even if you don’t use them?
  • Me and my digital me: Does a digital me exist? Can I control him or her? How can he or she help me? Topics covered: Online identity and reputation, Privacy, Safety, Data Ownership
  • Education and culture: How can schools and personal learning benefit from new technologies? How can I live a culturally and spiritually richer life in these days where everything is digital?
  • Environment: The digital world is a very material one, that pollutes and consumes lots of physical resources. However, it can also help, if used wisely, to greatly reduce pollution and save much more of those same resources.
  • Work and money: what are the real, not-so-hidden costs of the current digital world? How much do you pay for it in taxes, more expensive education or less affordable work opportunities?
  • Politics: How can I use the digital world and all these things I’ve learned to make my world a better place? What are the real meaning and opportunities of things like digital activism, Open Data and Open Government?
  • Citizens corner: In this last session everybody can suggest another argument related to the themes of the course

As you can see, the first session introduces some basic concepts, and the five central ones explain the impact of software and digital technologies on five crucial themes of our lives. The last session of each course is devoted to cover specific aspects that most interest the participants to each edition.

Other information

Each edition of the course has a total duration of three weeks and the cost is one Euro per lesson, that is seven Euros per student. For more informations, please read the Frequently Answered Questions of the Digital Citizens Basics Course or visit the Digital Citizens Basics Facebook page.