Global Kids’ recently featured interview in the RezEd podcast series on education and virtual worlds, focused on the results of the most significant study to date on youth and online safety. The results of the study, and how they were rejected by the very players who called for the study, provided me with some valuable insights regarding the challenges to using online communities for education and civic engagement.
First, some background from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, who directed the Task Force:
“The Internet Safety Technical Task Force (ISTTF) is a group of Internet businesses, non-profit organizations, academics, and technology companies that have joined together to identify effective tools and technologies to create a safer environment on the Internet for youth. It was created in February 2008 in accordance with the Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Safety announced by the Attorneys General Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking and MySpace in January 2008.”