For most young people today, engagement with new digital media is a routine aspect of life. Through computers, mobile phones, and other handheld devices, youth can blog, tweet, participate in social networks like Facebook, play massive multi-player games, use online information sources, and share videos, stories, music, and art they’ve created. Important skills and knowledge can be gained from such activities, but there are also risks. For example, young people may only rarely consider what it means to be an ethical, socially responsible “citizen” on the Internet.
Our Space is a set of curricular materials designed to encourage high school students to reflect on the ethical dimensions of their participation in new media environments. Through role-playing activities and reflective exercises, students are asked to consider the ethical responsibilities of other people, and whether and how they behave ethically themselves online. These issues are raised in relation to five core themes that are highly relevant online: identity, privacy, authorship and ownership, credibility, and participation. For more information, download the Introduction to Our Space, FAQ, and Road Map. All curricular units and lessons are free and available for download below. The full casebook can be downloaded using the link at the bottom of the page.