Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in conversations about digital technologies for PBS Frontline’s new multi- platform project called Digital Nation. While the site just launched, it is informative, fascinating, current, and is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And this is just the beginning.
Digital Nation is an experimental, participatory web site seeking user generated content where content such as video reports from the production team, regular blog updates from the field, and live online forums with a variety of digital mavens, and roundtable discussions will contribute to a one-hour documentary that is scheduled to air Fall 2009. The project aims to capture life on the digital frontier and explore how the Web and digital media are changing the way we think, work, learn, and interact.
User generated content will be a major portion of the Digital Nation site. Everyone is invited to share stories about life in the digital age through Your Digital Nation. Video, photo collage, audio, or animation are forms of user generated content that Frontline is looking for.
Right now the Features section on Digital Nation includes footage from a trip to South Korea which is hailed as being one of the most advanced digital societies in the world. Frontline’s correspondent, Doug Rushkoff, and producer, Rachel Dretzin, traveled to Korea and captured stories about featuring a professional online video gamer, Korean 3rd graders singing a class song about netiquette, a mother who is concerned that her son spends too much time playing online games. There’s also a piece about an Internet Rescue Camp, a boot camp detox program designed for those afflicted with internet addiction. If you are curious to know what internet addiction counseling looks like, click here.
I also love the Extras section of the site that contains an interactive feature about digital natives. Digital who? Digital natives are defined as those born after 1980. Digital immigrants are anyone else. Digital native is a new term for those growing up in a world of fast emerging digital technologies. The interactive feature on the Digital Nation site deconstructs the body parts of the digital native (head, hand mouth, eyes, ears, etc.) and provides statistics to state how technology is changing them and their interactions with society for better and worse.
Regardless of how old your child is, your child is a digital native. And, like it or not, it’s just like learning to drive. (Thanks Sharon!) It’s coming so fasten your seat belt and be prepared. The best thing that parents can do is to become informed about all aspects of technology and ensure that your children are responsible digital citizens.
Frontline’s Digital Nation site helps raise the issues around an increasingly digital society and helps start a conversation about the effect of technology on our kids, where we are heading, and makes me wonder if our future won’t be too different from what things look like in South Korea.
I can’t wait to see how everything will come together for the hour long documentary that will air this fall!
Huge thanks to WGBH and PBS Frontline for inviting me to participate in today’s conversation and share my thoughts with you. It was truly an honor to be among opinion leaders, policymakers, writers, journalists, and fellow parents and teachers!
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama