Digi Notes - April 2018

Digi Notes is a monthly digital learning newsletter put together by our Director of Digital Learning, Hillary Kolos. Each Digi Notes offers examples of digital learning-focused program examples, articles, and resources.

Good Stories

Social inequity will not be solved by an app - Wired  

 Cover of Safiya Umoja Noble's book Algorithms of Oppression

Cover of Safiya Umoja Noble's book Algorithms of Oppression

I've mentioned Safiya Noble before in Digi Notes and I couldn't pass up sharing another piece from her this month. Her book - Algorithms of Oppression - has been getting lots of buzz for the way it's debunking myths about technology. 

In this article, she shares how practices like "digital redlining" are connected to small digital interactions and big data projects we all encounter in our daily lives: 

We need more intense attention on how these types of artificial intelligence, under the auspices of individual freedom to make choices, forestall the ability to see what kinds of choices we are making and the collective impact of these choices in reversing decades of struggle for social, political, and economic equality. Digital technologies are implicated in these struggles.

Noble asks that all of us from Silicon Valley to DC to DreamYard think critically about how the digital tools we use might be exacerbating existing inequities and organize to do something about it. 


Resources

STEM from Dance

 Stem from Dance program, Photo: Damon Plant, Glamour.com

Stem from Dance program, Photo: Damon Plant, Glamour.com

I recently heard about an organization in Brooklyn called STEM from Dance who is connecting dance and technology.

Check out this great profile piece on the founder, Yamilée Toussaint. I'm a 100% believer in introducing people to tech through their other interests - and this is a wonderful example of that approach.

Also, I love the idea of dancing with tech so much here's two more pieces about it!!


Dance + Tech bonus stories:

Dancers Movements Control a Piano

 Still from YouTube video of dance performance

Still from YouTube video of dance performance


 E-traces ballet shoes, Photo: Makezine.com

E-traces ballet shoes, Photo: Makezine.com


New Scratch 3.0 - Creative Computing Guide

 Scratch coding blocks

Scratch coding blocks

Scratch is a tool for teaching coding created by some smart folks at MIT. Instead of having to type out the code - users can drag blocks to make projects like animations, games, and interactive stories. Scratch just launched its third version along with a new guide to teach Creative Computing.

This guide takes you from 0-60 in 150 pages and offers a range of activities tied to dance, music, theater and many more topics our young people love! If you have little ones at home, it's also a great way to introduce them to coding - all you need is a laptop with internet access.
 


Mozilla Web Literacy Curriculum

online-tracking.png

Our friends at Mozilla (makers of the Firefox web browser and defenders of Internet freedom) have pulled together a fabulous batch of web literacy tools for all ages. Activities range from understanding digital privacy to building your first website. They even have offline/analog activities that help explain the web without using technology.

 

These activities are quite flexible and can be integrated into most classes to help all our young people build more agency when they use the web.


Youth in Front - MIT/Harvard

 Youth In Front website

Youth In Front website

Given the rise in youth activism and awareness around gun violence this year, some folks at MIT and Harvard came together to create a digital collection of interviews with activists to help young people (and parents and educators) know what to expect when getting involved with activism. Youth in Front is a good example of an easy-to-use and interactive website that helps both youth and adults navigate complicated times and ways of taking action.