The world wide web goes on trial

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
A digital covenant: The 5Rights form the basis of the Youth Juries resource and are described in a film on the campaign website

Teachers are being invited to “put the internet on trial” in their classrooms with the help of a new open access resource developed by academics.

The Youth Juries Open Educational Resource aims to foster discussion about online rights and safety with young people.

It has come about after a series of Youth Juries events were commissioned by the digital rights campaign group 5Rights to bring together young people to share their views.

This led to a national report – entitled Internet on Our Own Terms – and the results have now been used by academics at the University of Nottingham’s Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute to produce the new resource.

Teachers are asked to use the resource to provide an open space for young people to “put the internet on trial”. They can use dramatised scenarios of the five rights, from the 5Rights campaign as a stimulus for the discussions. The 5Rights are:

  1. The right to remove. Everyone under-18 has the right to easily edit or delete content they have created, and access to simple and effective ways to dispute online content about them.
  2. The right to know. Everyone under-18 has the right to know who holds and profits from their information, what their information is being used for, and whether it is being copied, sold or traded.
  3. The right to safety and support. Everyone under-18 can be confident they will be protected from illegal practices, and supported if confronted by troubling and upsetting scenarios online.
  4. The right to make informed and conscious choices. Everyone under-18 is free to engage online but also to disengage at will and not have their attention held unknowingly.
  5. The right to digital literacy. Everyone under-18 is taught the skills to use and critique digital technologies and to be confident in managing new social norms.

Kate Green, a PhD researcher at Horizon who led the development of the resource, said: “When we began sharing the results from the 5Rights Youth Juries events via the report it quickly became apparent that teachers saw a need and benefit in being able to facilitate their own youth juries in the classroom.

“We worked with them to develop the resource to ensure it features all the elements that the young people specified as being important.

“It puts young people at the heart of shaping their online experience so we hope it will really make a positive impact on how they use the internet and their ability to take control of their online activity.”


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