human implications of digital media

The World Economic Forum’s website has published two great articles by Yuhyun Park, Chair, infollution, ZERO Foundation. The first is about the 8 digital skills we must teach our children. Then a  a follow up entitled 8 digital skills children now need and a plan on how to teach them.

In the first article, Park encourages DQ – digital intelligence [rather than IQ].  DQ is a set of social, emotional and cognitive abilities that enable individuals to face the challenges and adapt to the demands of digital life. These abilities can broadly be broken down into eight interconnected areas:


Digital identity: The ability to create and manage one’s online identity and reputation. This includes an awareness of one’s online persona and management of the short-term and long-term impact of one’s online presence.

Digital use: The ability to use digital devices and media, including the mastery of control in order to achieve a healthy balance between life online and offline.

Digital safety: The ability to manage risks online (e.g. cyberbullying, grooming, radicalization) as well as problematic content (e.g. violence and obscenity), and to avoid and limit these risks.

Digital security: The ability to detect cyber threats (e.g. hacking, scams, malware), to understand best practices and to use suitable security tools for data protection.

Digital emotional intelligence: The ability to be empathetic and build good relationships with others online.

Digital communication: The ability to communicate and collaborate with others using digital technologies and media.

Digital literacy: The ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share and create content as well as competency in computational thinking.

Digital rights: The ability to understand and uphold personal and legal rights, including the rights to privacy, intellectual property, freedom of speech and protection from hate speech.

Without them, the digital divide will continue to be exacerbated. They call it the

The challenge for educators is to move beyond thinking of IT as a tool, or “IT-enabled education platforms”. Instead, they need to think about how to nurture students’ ability and confidence to excel both online and offline in a world where digital media is ubiquitous.

These skills are:


Digital citizen identity: the ability to build and manage a healthy identity online and offline with integrity

Screen time management: the ability to manage one’s screen time, multitasking, and one’s engagement in online games and social media with self-control

Cyberbullying management: the ability to detect situations of cyberbullying and handle them wisely

Cybersecurity management: the ability to protect one’s data by creating strong passwords and to manage various cyberattacks

Privacy management: the ability to handle with discretion all personal information shared online to protect one’s and others’ privacy

Critical thinking: the ability to distinguish between true and false information, good and harmful content, and trustworthy and questionable contacts online

Digital footprints: The ability to understand the nature of digital footprints and their real-life consequences and to manage them responsibly

Digital empathy: the ability to show empathy towards one’s own and others’ needs and feelings online

are we sterilizing student minds?

Do you know these terms: microaggressions, trigger warnings, emotional reasoning, fortune-telling, catastrophization, mental filtering? Read The Coddling of the American Mind.It is an essay in the Atlantic written by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, September 2015 Issue. It is about the sterilization of the student mind before leaving college in favor of an absurd level of political correctness that even affects how and what you teach. I cannot imagine it in teaching literature for example – or the humanities in general [political science, anthropology, sociology, history.]

The essay tackles the following questions: What exactly are the effects of this new protectiveness on the students themselves? Does it benefit the people it is supposed to help?

Of course in the Trump-winning world where political correctness is derided, the essay might seem like yet another attack on PC. However the authors are quick to note the difference between PC on the one hand and VP or vindictive protectiveness on the other: Read More …

a thought on education

Focusing on skills and skill sets rather than focusing on the humanities is in great part the reason for the downfall of education. Graduating students as cogs in a wheel means they will never get out of being cogs and will preserve the status quo. Innovation requires other tools – including critical thinking and thinking outside the – well – wheel. Skills ensured my place in the wheel in this brave new world. The humanities – especially literature and history – ensured my place as a human being in a world that sees people as cogs.

jquery, css3 and html5 tips

Here are some helpful tips, tools and code for jquery, css3 and html5:

  1. – a new design tool
  2. Supersized background slideshow jquery plugin
  3. animated background headers
  4. Tooltip Styles Inspiration
  5. Alerts… but awesome. 🙂
  6. Freebie photography, tools, and other stuff
  7. CSS3 pre fix tool
  8. CSS3 Icons
  9. interactive infographics
  10. Make the most of your design with hero headers
  11. cheat sheets for design
  12. 10 basic tips about responsive design [really good]
  13. Toolbar.js
  14. html5 use responsibly
  15. 44 Free Responsive website templates