2015 EPIK Report

Better late than never, here is the 2015 EPIK Deliberate Digital 2015 Report.

Executive Summary

Early-year Meetings

Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 community meeting plans were in direct alignment with goals set at the beginning of the year. Community members were brought together to pool knowledge of and information about access to data resources relevant to the issue of kids and technology. EPIK also attempted to bring together a core team of leaders to move into Phase II of collective impact.

Community meetings reflected both continued interest in collaborative work, and concern around the lack of scope. The April 1 meeting also brought some internal insight into the need to have a more expansive and balanced (in terms of sectors) core team.

Mid-year Shift in Strategy

Involvement with drafting the language and focus of HB213, the passing of HB213, and insight gained through attendance at an international Collective Impact conference in Calgary, Canada spurred some strategic changes in Quarters 3 and 4. The focus went from trying to scope and measure a broad issue to “go[ing] where the energy is” (insight from John Kania at the Collective Impact conference) and involving community partners in three short-term projects.

Two of the short-term projects, HB213 and a Utah County Hackathon, met with significant and specific successes. The third short-term win project, connecting and collaborating with technology companies, received very little specific attention during 2015, although our networking allowed us to connect with Google Fiber and to continue to strengthen relationships with others who are interfacing with technology companies. Follow-up with the assigned lead on that project could be worthwhile in 2016.

Key Learnings, Vision, and Questions for 2016

A key learning from 2015 is that collective impact cannot be forced. Even with the satisfaction we have with the insight, connections, and growing legitimacy that have been fruits of the collective impact efforts, there is still a pronounced perspective from community partners that EPIK is a peer, not a true backbone/supporting organization of an organized, self-sustaining collective effort.

Our intent for 2016 is to leverage progress that happened with the HB213 and Hackathon projects, and to seek to encourage and support community leaders toward more collective efforts that they feel driven to lead. A digital citizenship/leadership/inclusion summit could be a vehicle for bringing people together in a more collective way (see Las Vegas CI report: http://www.frbsf.org/community-development/files/wp2013-07.pdf )

It might also be worth carrying forward some thoughts about already-existing data stores in schools that we discussed mid-year. (See, for example, some reports from Wasatch School District relating to how and where Acceptable Use Policy violations happened.) We have a data scientist at the ready as well (Ryan Turner) who has agreed to help EPIK with data-related needs. The question remains if collective efforts are at a point where data-driven goals could be set in 2016.

With the energy around Digital Citizenship, as 2015 came to a close, it felt that perhaps a common agenda was finding us. There is a lot of energy around topics like Digital Citizenship and Digital Inclusion, and these concepts might continue to be topics of interest for collective work. 

 

Detailed Backbone Report

QUARTER 1

Initial Q1 Goal: Continue Data Pooling (who has access to what info)

Summary: When work started in 2015, EPIK anticipated that a key focus during the year would be data gathering. In the Collective Impact model, as in many other change models, data is essential to guiding the process. Data factors into the Phase II work of Collective Impact (see below).

Collective Impact Framework Color

[Figure note:  During 2015, EPIK started using its full name, EPIK Deliberate Digital, rather than using EPIK as an acronym as is shown above.]

The primary collaborative community meeting in Q1 (held on January 28, 2015) centered on the Q1 goal of moving toward more data-driven work.

Q1 work also included one-on-one meetings/interviews with CI participants to assess interest in helping with 2015 goals. Q1 also included an unexpected opportunity to contribute to the process of the drafting of HB213, a bill initially focused on internet filtering. Our input changed the tenor of the bill.

Data Resource Pooling Meeting, January 28, 2015

With the purpose of accomplishing our Q1 goal, EPIK hosted a Data Resource Pooling meeting on January 28, 2015. The desired outcome of this meeting was to have community partners involved in starting a database of data resources related to children and technology (especially resources known and accessible through our partners and their connections).

Following is the question that was posed to meeting participants.

What data resources/sources do you use, know about, and/or have access to that could help the Alliance gather data to more clearly define and assess the various facets of the complex issue of raising children in a tech-saturated world?

More specifically, in the meeting, participants answered the following questions through a participatory sharing process:

  • What topic(s) is/are the data resource(s) addressing? (e.g., technology use in children, media literacy, education, behavioral health concerns)
  • What type of data is being shared? (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, etc)
  • What kind of data resource is it (e.g., database, research report, scientific study, survey) and/or how were the data gathered? (e.g., observation, survey, research study, experience)

The outputs of the meeting can be found here. There is also an editable Google spreadsheet version of the meeting outputs, created so that people could add to the data resource list. Note that the resources were organized by issue “buckets” that were created by a small work group in 2014 (see a visual representation of the buckets that we made for meetings in 2015). Following is a list of the issue buckets and their definitions:

  • General Technology Environment and Accessibility: The access to and usability of technology has created open channels with no limits.)
  • Emotional and Mental (Behavioral) Health: Technology can strengthen or threaten a child’s emotional and mental [behavioral] health.
  • Social Relationships and Connection: Technology can be the connector or barrier to healthy relationships.
  • Education, Learning, Creativity & Media Literacy: Technology creates an ever expanding opportunity for education, knowledge, creativity and self determination.
  • Physical Health and Safety: Use of technology can promote or impair a child’s physical health and safety.
  • Productivity: Use of technology greatly impacts a child’s productive or nonproductive use of time.
  • Ability to Influence: The ability [of children] to influence others through technology leads to greater power — and also vulnerability.
  • Parenting: Parenting is a significant factor in a child’s choices with technology.

More details from the Data Resource meeting can be found in the Meeting Reports section on epik.org.

One-on-One Meetings/Interviews

With an eye toward our Q2 goal of creating a core team, EPIK used February and March as a time to have one-on-one meetings with community partners to determine individuals’ interest level in guiding strategy for the collective impact effort. (This document was created to help with the conversations.) Many people expressed interest, and we planned toward a Q2 meeting.

Unexpected Collaboration Opportunity: HB213

During the February/March timeframe in Q1, we also had an unexpected opportunity to contribute to the drafting of HB213, a bill sponsored by Representative Keven Stratton. Rep. Stratton’s initial concern was ramping up filtering efforts and accountability in the schools. Jan Garbett, founder of EPIK, was able to influence the language in the bill so that it included the concept of digital citizenship.

Utah’s bill was the first of its kind — the first legislation in the nation to include the concept of digital citizenship, according to Media Literacy Now, which tracks media literacy/digital citizenship legislation nationwide.

This ended up being a pivotal experience that altered the direction and reach of EPIK’s community efforts in 2015, as described later on in the report.

QUARTER 2

Initial Q2 Goal: Core Team Created 

Summary: From our one-on-one interviews during February-March, EPIK found a group of champions who were interested in helping move the process forward. They were invited to a 3-hour meeting that was held on April 1, 2015.

Relationships between EPIK’s internal team through attendance at a collective impact conference in Canada. Insights from the conference helped guide EPIK’s strategic direction as well. 

Phase I Report / Network Weaving meeting, April 1, 2015

The focus of this meeting was two-fold:

1 – To review the work from Phase 1, from July 2014 to March 2015, in the context of Collective Impact

2 – To engage in a network weaving activity. These partners were invited to think of themselves as community ‘hubs’ to help bring more people into the collective effort. Creating individual network weaving maps was the working part of the meeting. (For more information on network weaving, see June Holley’s book, Network Weaving Handbook, and her network weaving website and old network weaving blog.)

We’d had some great partners who were invested in the CI work, and yet we also saw the need to bring more diversity into the effort. “Similarity helps build trust, while diversity introduces new ideas and perspectives. Connect on your similarity, and profit from your diversity….[D]ense cohesion within the network, removes all possibility for new ideas and innovations.” (June Holley, Network Weaver Handbook)

The desired goal of bringing the core team together in this way was to start the work of scoping the initiative so that we would know what kind of data we would need and what kind of work we would want to do to “move the needle.”

EPIK Collective Impact Network Weaving

 

EPIK’s conclusion after the experience of the network weaving was that scoping was perhaps premature. In order to understand the scope of the issue, we needed to understand and map the landscape better.

Meeting Highlights

Before the Phase I review, participants were given some time to share their thoughts and concerns at this phase of the process. It was a spontaneous discussion that helped bring a sense of natural cohesion and trust to the meeting.

After the Phase I report, participants were asked to share their Insights and Impressions about the work that had been done to that point in time. (See images below.)

Participants chose to spend the bulk of the second half of the meeting working on their network weaving charts. (For photos and more details about the meeting, see the meeting reports: Phase 1 Report and Network Weaving activity.)

Calgary Collective Impact Summit, April 2015

Jan Garbett (Founder), Michelle Linford (Executive Director), Aubrey Lee (Back Office Manager) and Stephanie Hibbert (Board Member) attended a Collective Impact conference in Calgary, Canada, called Champions for Change. This conference was sponsored by two of the leading collective impact organizations, Tamarack and FSG.

We were honored to participate on a panel discussion with international representatives of backbone organizations at different stages of the collective impact process.

Besides the internal team cohesion that was built by attending the conference together, there were two content takeaways that influenced a shift in our strategic direction.

1 – “Go where the energy is.” (This was a concept shared by John Kania at the conference. You can read more similar Collective Impact insights, including this one from Kania.)

2 – Short-term wins can help build energy, legitimacy, and trust (concept shared in a book, Community Conversations, by Paul Born of Tamarack, given to us at the conference)

QUARTER 3

Initial Q3/4 Goals: Conduct Core Team Meetings on data work

Benchmark the “how” of the CI “what”

  • Determine needed data expertise
  • What will it take to get this work done & oversee it
    • Determine metrics/measures for 2015 Goals
    • Look at looking into different facets individually

Summary

Quarter 3 saw a more focused approach to EPIK’s goals and strategy for community impact work. Our original goals set at the beginning of the year assumed a continued focus on data and a successful scoping of our work.

In a sense, scoping did happen, but it came about in a different way than we had originally anticipated: by focusing on short-term wins.

Interestingly, though, one of the Q3/4 goals was accomplished in an unexpected way: by selecting some short-term win projects, we did end up “looking into different facets individually.”

Short-term wins were discussed and decided upon in a community meeting on June 26.

Report to Board, May 18, 2015

Here is the presentation shared with EPIK’s board summarizing the quick-wins focus and the notion of “holding the whole” for the community while short-term win projects were happening. See also notes from the meeting, with highlights below.

  • “Holding the Whole” is a key part of our role as the EPIK backbone. To our knowledge, no one in this tech space is doing such a thing. Holding the Whole includes the cross-sector perspective, and the ‘buckets’. [Jan also notes post-meeting that Holding the Whole also includes seeking to continually influence people we come in contact with re: CI principles, such as the cross-sector collaboration model and the importance of measuring impact.]
  • We discussed the potential for broader youth involvement through OneCounts.

Short-term Wins Meeting: June 26, 2015

We had a short-term wins brainstorming and selection meeting with cross-sector community leaders on June 26, 2015. The purposes of focusing on short-term wins were presented to meeting participants.

Following are the short-term win options and votes from the June 26 meeting. Each person was given three votes.

  • HB 213 [work with supporting implementation of HB213 was already in motion so it was not part of the vote]
  • Hack-a-thon; Mar/SLC County Waterford, Utah County–5 votes
  • Maker (low tech) Faire; Oct. 3rd/ West Valley Library, Waterford–1 vote
  • Summer – Software Program Utilization; Herman Elementary, can earn prizes
  • STEM Program – Herrman City Engineer
  • Multi Cultural Youth Summit – Oct. 13, Claudia Niccano
  • STEM Grant Opportunities – All ages —2 votes
  • SLCo Housing Authority – Refugees – Early Literacy – I-pads–2 votes
  • LIA Service groups
  • Youth Leadership–SLCo–1 vote
  • SHARP Surveys – Bill that evaluates this – this year–1 vote
  • USOE – Grants for alternative education (technology/foster care kids) —1 vote
  • Jordan School Dist. – Grants for gifted and talent
  • Private sector/partnership with Industry Leaders – Robyn’s Contact (SFA)–3 votes
  • Companies focused on Educational Technology
  • Togetherness Conference
  • UCAP Conference
  • STEM action Center expansion

Summaries of the three top short-term win projects can be found on the EPIK website:

HB213: Safe Technology Use and Digital Citizenship Education

Utah County Hackathon

Community Conversation and Connection with Tech Companies

Information about the three short-term wins can also be found in this newsletter that was sent to the ~130 people on our email distribution list.

Successes and outstanding to-dos with the short-term wins are discussed later in the report.

July-August 2015 — DigCitUtah website research

Most of our focus during the rest of the summer was on HB213 implementation support. We hired Lisa Shanklin (media literacy expert) to help research digital citizenship resources. Aubrey took the lead internally on this project. Approximately 200 resources were mined and organized into ten categories (definitions in parentheses), in preparation for creating DigCitUtah.com:

  • Digital Footprint (all the ways a personal trail is left when computers are used)
  • Media Literacy (smart consumption and ability to participate in online conversations)
  • Security (keeping technical devices free from malware and protecting self from data loss)
  • Ethics (following personal values and legal standards in the digital sphere)
  • Digital Literacy (knowing how to use digital tools to create content and more)
  • Harmful Content (identifying and avoiding harmful content)
  • Digital Safety (staying safe from physical harms like predators)
  • Etiquette (cultural rules for online interaction)
  • Cyberbullying (overt and covert intimidation using technical media)
  • Sexting (sending explicit photos or text through digital means)

DigCitUtah Website launches – Sept. 2015

  • Original purpose of the site was to support school community councils with HB213 implementation. Paula Plant has used it in her Community Council trainings.
      • Also had a plan to feature a few pilot products, and we did get some free materials that we can share with others, but the government was concerned about overwhelming councils with curricula implementation
  • DigCitUtah website also helped us gain more national legitimacy in the DigCit real

Short-term wins report/Digital Citizenship Positives Brainstorming Meeting, Sept 9, 2015

The purpose of this meeting was two-fold:

  • To report back to community partners about short-term win successes and progress. Updates were focused on the Hackathon and HB213. (It was thought at the time that the relationship-building with technology companies could piggyback off of other short-term win efforts; this didn’t play out as we had thought.)
  • To have a brainstorming session about potential Positive Pilot project ideas.

Paula Plant from the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) gave the update for HB213 and Shannon Babb (Utah County 4-H STEM Coordinator) gave the update for the Hackathon. More detail about their reports can be found in the meeting report.

The brainstorming session turned into more of a general discussion about digital citizenship that was very fruitful. See part 2 of the meeting report and images below for more details

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Media and Networking Opportunities

Carrie Rogers-Whitehead became a KSL writer this year, with the charge to write about STEM and technology issues in Utah. One of her first articles was on HB213 and digital citizenship. Jan Garbett, EPIK’s founder, was interviewed for this article. 

Jan also attended the first national Digital Citizenship Summit in Connecticut the first week of October 2015. Conversations and connections at that conference have created a continuing conversation about bringing a Digital Citizenship Summit to Utah, which is tentatively scheduled for 2017. (See hashtags #digcit, #digcitsummit, #stuvoice on Twitter to connect with the conversations.)

Bountiful Youth Council Digital Citizenship Brainstorming Meeting, Nov. 4, 2015

This is the second time EPIK has met with the Bountiful Youth Council. This time the focus was to engage them in a Digital Citizenship Positives Pilot brainstorming meeting. Youth were asked to share the following

1) Where/with whom positives uses of technology could have an impact (e.g., at home, at school, with seniors or veterans, with young children, in the classroom, in a work or church setting, etc.), and

2) How technology could be used in productive and service-oriented ways in these different contexts.

As has been the case in the past, youth were very willing to share their perspectives and ideas, and as has been the case, youth brought up things that adults don’t necessarily see. “Not about them without them” continues to be an essential part of this collaborative process.

Outputs of the meeting can be found here. The youth’s thoughts were organized into categories for ease of use for the Positives Pilot Launch which was held on November 10.

Digital Citizenship Positives Pilot Launch, November 10, 2015

This was an exciting meeting with both adults and youth in attendance. We’ve done separate meetings with youth since EPIK’s launch, but this was the first time we had an integrated meeting with adults and youth working together.

The “grounding” part of the meeting was to bring Devorah Heitner (founder of Raising Digital Natives; see also her TEDx talk) in through video conference to share some of her perspectives on involving youth in the conversation about digital health.

The focus of the working part of the meeting was to model a couple of steps in the process of engaging youth. EPIK provided this handout as a guide as well.

The first activity in the working part of the meeting was a “fishbowl” kind of activity where EPIK’s facilitator asked youth to share their thoughts on positive digital citizenship — and asked the adults to just listen.

As with the Bountiful Youth Council meeting, youth were asked to share 1) where/with whom positives uses of technology could have an impact (e.g., at home, at school, with seniors or veterans, with young children, in the classroom, in a work or church setting, etc.), and 2)  how technology could be used in productive and service-oriented ways in these different contexts.

The purpose of this activity was not only to gather content from youth, but also to model a process that school community council leaders and others could use as they seek to engage youth in Positive Pilot projects.

The second activity in this meeting was engaging youth and adults together in a Positive Pilots brainstorming session. The purpose of this exercise was to model how a follow-up meeting with youth could unfold after a Fishbowl activity was conducted. Because we weren’t sure if youth would be in attendance, we came prepared with categorized outputs from the Bountiful Youth Council the week before. The challenge was to use youth ideas as a springboard for further discussion.

Several people asked about how to replicate this kind of process with elementary-aged children. EPIK offered to help anyone with school community council or youth engagement meetings.

More about the meeting can be found in the meeting report

The experience of one of the youth who participated in the meeting can be found on the DigCitUtah blog. His essay is entitled “Empowered.”

DigCit Utah blog launches, November 11, 2015

As part of the DigCitUtah website effort for HB213, and for community event and idea-sharing around Digital Citizenship, EPIK launched a blog on the DigCitUtah site. We are hopeful that in the future we will have more guest posts from cross-sector community leaders and youth. 

Utah County Hackathon, December 12, 2015

EPIK provided two of the nearly 2-hour workshops. EPIK, with leadership of intern Rachel Stone, engaged elementary-aged students (grades 3-7) and secondary-aged students (grades 8-12). The subject was, again, on Digital Citizenship and brainstorming positive ways technology could be used in and out of the classroom.

As would be expected, experiences and responses/approaches were different with the younger children and the older youth. The outputs from the younger children’s workshop included ideas, but also included more pictures and skits. The older youth were energized with sharing ideas about how to improve integration of technology into schools.

Shannon Babb, STEM Coordinator for Utah County 4-H said that the feedback from the workshops was positive, and desires to have EPIK work more with 4-H youth.

Raw outputs from the Hackathon (all the recorded ideas from the children/youth who participated in both workshops, not categorized or organized) can be found in the meeting report.

[As a note, outputs from the Hackathon and other youth meetings that have been held since EPIK’s launch in July 2014 were recently used as inputs for a Salt Lake County Hackathon. Report from that event is forthcoming.]

Conclusion

Collective impact theory talks a lot about emergence. “[T]he rules of interaction that govern collective impact lead to changes in individual and organizational behavior that create an ongoing progression of alignment, discovery, [and] learning….” For EPIK and its community partners, 2015 was definitely a year of discovery and learning, and included some realigning of strategic goals to adapt to that learning.

In addition, because the topic of children and technology is so broad and complex, focusing on short-term wins helped move collaborative community work forward in important ways. By going where the energy was this year, shared goals and passions in the community started to become more apparent, and those common interests are shaping goals and hopes for 2016.

2016 has already brought exciting opportunities, and will present its own set of challenges as EPIK continues to work with others in the community try to help facilitate the maximum amount of collaboration and positive impact as possible.

 

 

Digital Citizenship Positives Pilot Launch (11-10-15)

We had a great Positives Pilot Launch meeting, facilitated by EPIK (in collaboration with Paula Plant of USOE, and hosted by Carrie Rogers-Whitehead at the West Jordan Library). The intent of this meeting was continuing support of HB213 implementation.

This report will include a brief summary of the meeting, including links to meeting handouts and outputs.

As part of the report, we also want to draw your attention to the newly-launched DigCitUtah blog. The blog launch includes a post (“Not about them without them“) that features the TEDx talk given as “pre-work” for the launch meeting. And, in the spirit of “Not about them [the children] without them,” we especially encourage you to take a few minutes to read insights and takeaways from John, one of the six teens who participated in the meeting (see the post “Empowered“). John’s post captures so well what the Positives Pilot has the potential to do to bring adults and youth together in a cooperative effort.

Meeting Summary (Meeting Model/Training for Creating Positive Pilot Projects)

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Dinner and intros:

EPIK provided a light dinner, and we went around the room and did brief introductions. (For all of EPIK meeting agendas with attendee lists, see this shared Google folder.)

Grounding:

We were honored to have Devorah Heitner of Raising Digital Natives join us by video conference. She shared some thoughts about the opportunities of working with youth to make the most of our digital world. Michelle gave a brief overview of how the Positives Pilot project came to be, and what the objectives of the launch meeting were (to model pre-planning processes to help adults 1) practice listening to/working with youth and 2) focus deliberately on positive uses of technology).

Meeting attendees were given this handout, which outlined the two pre-planning steps EPIK recommends in a Positives Pilot project planning process. The handout also includes information for school community councils about HB213 implementation, as well as meeting facilitation guides for the following two activities.

Working: 

Activity 1: Modeling a “Fishbowl” meeting with youth: Kathy Gowans (consultant who helps EPIK with design and facilitation of meetings) gathered the six youth in attendance in a a half-circle at the front of the room. Adults were behind the youth as the “fishbowl” — encouraged to listen only to the youth as they shared ideas about positive uses of technology/positive digital citizenship. (Adults also wrote down ideas for positives uses of technology on sticky notes, but did not share with the group at this time. We did gather these ideas and they are part of the meeting notes document. There’s also another list of ideas from the Envisioning Digital Citizenship meeting in June.)
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Youth shared both where/with whom positives uses of technology could have an impact (e.g., at home, at school, with seniors or veterans, with young children, in the classroom, in a work or church setting, etc.), and also shared specific ideas of how technology could be used in productive and service-oriented ways in these different contexts.

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Purpose of this exercise: This fishbowl exercise was meant to model how an initial Positives Pilot meeting with youth could go.

Often adults are tempted to jump in too quickly when working with youth. It’s too easy to slip into the mode of doing things to/at/for youth instead of with them. But the digital citizenship conversation needs the input of youth! Because of the authority differential that exists, and because of adults’ natural tendencies,  adults need to be very deliberate about really listening in a spirit of curiosity.

Also, in general, when it comes to project planning (whether among adults or when working with youth), the tendency is almost always to jump in too quickly to planning and decision-making before truly gathering inputs from councils/committees/team members. In the spirit of “Not about them without them” EPIK is trying to encourage adults — in whatever capacity they may find themselves — to consider how to deliberately bring youth perspectives (and team member perspectives) into the digital citizenship conversation and pre-project planning process.

What would have happened had we had more time: We definitely would have lingered longer in the mode of gathering ideas from the youth. (The energy in the room was amazing!) We also then would have guided them to cluster their ideas into common “buckets” or categories, so that everyone in the room could see the similarities and differences between the ideas. Lastly, we would have let the adults share and cluster their ideas as well, and encouraged everyone to note similarities and differences between youth and adult ideas and perspectives.

Activity #2: Modeling a group discussion with youth Fishbowl ideas as inputs: Participants were divided around three tables (approximately nine people at each table, with a mixture of both adults and youth in each group). Each group focused on a different cluster of ideas gathered from a Fishbowl activity with the Bountiful Youth Council that was held the week before. (Many thanks to Kendalyn Harris and the Bountiful Youth Council for letting EPIK join their meeting!) Those idea clusters were used by the three groups as a springboard for a group brainstorming process, where the group worked together to list possible Positives Pilot project ideas. Each individual in the group had time to read through the youth inputs and then each member of the group had time to share his/her ideas. All the groups chose a recorder for their discussion, and each recorder then shared the list of ideas with the whole room.


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Purpose of this exercise: The intent of this second exercise was to model how a follow-up meeting with youth could unfold. Using the outputs from a Fishbowl experience (with ideas clustered/categorized), more brainstorming about possible project ideas can happen in ways that seek to take all the inputs into consideration. This collision and comparison and conglomeration of ideas can often spur thoughts and discussions that would not happen otherwise in a typical decision-making and planning processes that are often more concerned about managing time, fulfilling requirements, or other constraints. EPIK is encouraging a deliberate “front-loading” of the the process to flesh out ideas and insights before investing time and resources into projects.

It’s important to note that no decisions are made at this point in the process. It’s still a brainstorming, idea-clustering and comparison phase. Again, fighting instincts to hijack, control, or shorten the process is important. As Kathy often says, “Trust the process.”

What would have happened we had more time: There are no bad ideas in brainstorming, so ideas that were shared ranged from specific project possibilities to more general wishes and needs (some were almost like tech requirements). We would have helped the groups process such ideas further so as to start to get closer to actual projects that could be specifically by a classroom or other group of children or youth. We would have helped the groups consider questions such as, “Whom do we want to help?” “What matters to our group?” “What audience would we like to impact?” “What passions does our group have?” [And we probably could have more clearly folded such questions as guides into the instructions.] Getting to the “why” of ideas is as important, if not more so, than the “what”s. Still, the kind of brainstorming that took place could have easily been guided into more discussion, asking people to consider what might be spurring some of the more general ideas, and translating general wishes, goals, and desires into tangible project ideas.

We also would have helped people think about how something that seems technical on the outset (like ideas for app functionality) could actually reflect unmet human needs (e.g., “I wish there was an app that could shut my parents’ phone off). Discussions could have been mediated around what such thoughts can tell us about the opportunities and challenges of living in a digital world, as well as some of the “why”s that are on people’s minds.

Wrap-up:

We only had a few minutes to gather insights and impressions from the meeting. There were several questions about how this process could be applied to elementary-school aged children. We hope to help people engage with children of that age. In the meantime, Kathy reiterated the concept of “Trust the process.”

What we would have done had we had more time: We would have let both adults and youth decompress more from the whole process. We only had a few minutes at the end, and one of the teens noted after the meeting that he felt uncomfortable speaking up at that point. This was instructive. Even in a setting where we were deliberate about emphasizing that we wanted to hear youth perspectives (and we are professionally aware of the importance of creating a setting where children feel space to speak), the natural dynamic of adults speaking and youth stepping back appeared.

 

Envisioning Digital Citizenship (9-9-15, Part 2)

This is Part 2 of the report of the meeting held on September 9, 2015. (You can read Part 1, reports on the Hackathon and HB213 implementation here.)

 

9-9-15 meeting agenda

 

After the excellent updates from Shannon and Paula (see Part 1), the group engaged in the working portion of the meeting, focused on Envisioning Digital Citizenship. This meeting comes at a good time, because EPIK founder, Jan Garbett, will be attending a Digital Citizenship summit in Connecticut in a few weeks, and we are anxious to have as much input as possible about Envisioning Digital Citizenship so that she can take Utah’s best ideas to the summit. We are excited about what came out of the meeting on the 9th and would welcome any input from other community members who are reading these reports and/or who weren’t able to attend.

The bulk of the work in the meeting ended up being a great discussion about digital citizenship. We started first by talking about how good digital citizenship can mirror good citizenship. Just as good citizenship isn’t just about avoiding bad behavior or staying safe from harm, good digital citizenship can and should involve more than just protecting children from harm (like harmful content or people) or helping them avoid harmful behavior (like cyberbullying or sexting). However, as has been validated through curating over 200 resources for the DigCitUtah site (see the Part 1 report), much (if not most) of the traditional digital citizenship curriculum and education tends to focus heavily on prevention and protection. The media also often highlight the negatives without helping us tap into and consider all the potential good of technology.

So how can we bring more positive energy and ideas to the conversation and collaboration?

Following are the flipcharts from the discussion, with some highlights and commentary. This is just the beginning of a discussion, so we welcome comments, insights, and ideas. We hope this can be a continual community conversation, for we will never arrive at having set solutions. Technology means that our world is constantly changing and we need to work together to be adaptive and responsive and connective in our responses.

  • Good citizenship (and good digital citizenship) should be principle-based, not program-based.
  • Kids can be taught that anonymity can hinder good online behavior. De-individuation leaves kids and youth separating who they really are with how they behave online. Integrity and being real about who you are online can be a key element of good digital citizenship.
  • Adults can help mentor youth by helping them consider what they want tech to do for them. When technology is used deliberately and with specific goals in mind, it can be less of a passive tool where harmful or time-wasting behavior can happen.

 

A simple insight for us all to realize is that whether we realize it or not, if we use technology in any way, we are digital citizens! When we use technology for any purpose, we leave a footprint and data is gathered. Those of us before the Millenial Generation experienced a different internet. It was mostly used for research, for information gathering, for consumption. But “that internet is different from this internet.” (This can sometimes be frightening, but that fear is often what can get in the way of us being positive mentors for the youth in our lives. When we approach the internet with fear, we magnify the potential for problems, and risk driving wedges between the generations.) When we are informed digital users, we can be more deliberate digital users (and mentors). So often, though, stories we get through the media and elsewhere focus so much

One of the insights that the group kept coming back to is that technology magnifies both the good and the bad. Where there is bad for kids to find or engage in (pornography, bullying, unhealthy sexual behavior) technology can magnify and intensify the potential for harm. (Anonymity also increases that impact and decreases accountability.) On the flip side, the good that can be done in families, communities, and the world can often be magnified through technology. (Countless examples exist, but we also believe that the potential for good is still largely untapped — and this is a key purpose of what the EPIK collaborative effort is about.)

An example we like to share is this trailer from a documentary called Cyber Seniors. Teens use their knowledge of technology to help seniors learn how to connect with family on social media, learn skills like online banking, or even just listen to the Hallelujah Chorus on YouTube! Another simple example was given by Shannon Babb. In areas where snowfall is heavy, technology is allowing the community to coordinate efforts to help clear fire hydrants in their areas through an Adopt-a-Hydrant app. We also like to share the example (a story that went nationwide!) of a student who used Instagram to spotlight other students in positive ways.

(As an important side note, we believe that the best ideas of ways children and youth can use technology for good will need to be created with the children and youth — not about them without them! In fact, kids can probably do a lot to help us understand more about prevention and protection as well. One of the things that was mentioned by Shannon Babb (a tech expert) is that children as young as kindergarten can break through a firewall in minutes. It reinforces how limited the power of filters and firewalls really are. When kids want to break through them, they can and will.)

Another simple, tangible insight that people resonated with was the Boy Scout concept of leaving things better than you found them. What a great way to think about digital citizenship!

 

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The last few minutes of our meeting included a brainstorming activity, just scratching the surface of thoughts and ideas, both specific and general, about how more positive energy and approaches regarding kids and digital citizenship can be leveraged. It was amazing, though, how many ideas flowed in such a short period of time.

The ideal would have been to have time for the group to assimilate and cluster their thoughts, but for now, here is a running list of things that were shared. What ideas come to your mind as you read this list?

  • Article about nature and STEM (Celina Milner mentioned there is some focus assimilating STEM education and nature)
  • Renaissance of principle-based teaching/learning
  • Politicians can be responsive to constituents and even engage in discussion (using tools like asychronous video?)
  • Anti-bullying online initiatives
  • Do for someone who can’t
  • What do you use tech for? (research, tool, entertain, distraction, creation?)
  • Create an app (like a science project)
  • Digital integrity; own who you are
  • Like the analogy of a good citizen
    • Not locked behind doors
    • Beautifies his/her space
    • Fixes problems
    • Serves
  • Tech as a way to see their creations (e.g., Deviant Art and Etsy)
  • Tech as a means to assist those with special needs
  • Example of a 3rd grader taught to do PowerPoint presentation so she could share with another classroom
  • Environment where student and teacher can provide feedback online
  • Teens teaching youth cyber skills
  • Teach teachers how to hack firewalls so they know when to be worried [as mentioned above, very young children can hack!]
  • Bring adults (teachers/parents) up to speed or they can’t lead [emphasis in original!]
  • Bring parents and kids into the same room
    • Parents share concerns (what they think is going on)
    • Students share fears/frustrations (what they are dealing with, what is really going on)
    • Students share solutions/ideas
    • Parents use students’ info to create an ongoing plan with students that includes regular communication
  • Tech Patriot Awards — honor, integrity, service, courage, being a citizen
  • Tech science fair
  • Learning how to earn and spend your social capital
  • Bring example of digital bread crumbs to the class in an understandable way
  • Listen. What is the need?
  • Paying students to present on topics (this is something already happening in library tech club)
  • Pay it Forward (the book)
  • Active participation; Authentic participation
  • Technology as a path out of poverty
  • Global tech (good citizens)
  • Encourage kids to make memes — small digital projects [and someone mentioned competitions around simple skills like this]
  • Apps, sites to organize and mobilize youth
  • Tech a way to connect with youth in other countries
  • Provide ways for kids and industry to interact
  • [Creating] something that creates a smile
  • Make your digital avatar your best self
  • Adopt-a-hydrant [mentioned above]
  • Need to teach citizenship before digital citizenship
  • Dual immersion changed to tech immersion in schools; Foreign Language [including] coding, html, Java, etc.
  • School culture = life culture
  • Does this problem go away when “digital natives” raise kids? Is it only a transitional problem? (No.)
  • Audience [for addressing the problem] — parents and youth — everybody
  • Train the trainer — the problem is too large to solve on our own
  • Partnerships
    • STEM
    • Education Policy
    • Entire tech industry and web consortiums
    • Faiths
    • (Everybody)
  • Help students understand the benefit of “productive” internet use / costs of “unproductive” use (NetSmartz / Cyber Civics)
  • Website to help youth set, track, share, and celebrate accomplishment of goals
  • Filters decreasing as child ages [progressive increase in responsibility and internal management rather than external control by adults]
  • Tech as a key way to find scholarships and money for college
  • Digital Shark Tank
  • App for scholarships and grants
  • Create safe digital playgrounds for both parents and children to play together
  • Public-private partnerships (schools can’t do it all)

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Short-term Wins Report (9-9-15, Part 1)

We are excited to give you a report of our recent EPIK Alliance meeting, which was held on September 9, 2015 at the West Jordan Library. Many thanks to Carrie Rogers-Whitehead for hosting.

 

This update will come in two parts, via two separate posts. In this post, we will share highlights from the reports that were given on the short-term projects we have been working on (see this post or our most recent newsletter for background). The second post, Envisioning Digital Citizenship, captures the working part of the meeting. We welcome anyone who is interested you join that conversation. Our intent with this visioning process is to invite people to think beyond just preventative/protective concerns when it comes to kids and tech to consider proactive, positive ways that adults can encourage and engage youth in using tech for good. (To get your creative brain juices going, we invite you to watch this short documentary trailer, which captures an example of how youth can use their tech skills in positive ways.)
As an important note, EPIK founder, Jan Garbett, will be attending a Digital Citizenship summit in Connecticut in a few weeks, and we would love to have as much input as possible about Envisioning Digital Citizenship so that she can take Utah’s best ideas to the summit.

 

9-9-15 meeting agenda

 

Our meeting began with reports from Shannon Babb, Utah County 4H STEM Coordinator, and Paula Plant, Utah School Land Trust Program Manager. Shannon reported on the Utah County Hackathon scheduled for December 12, and Paula reported on the collaborative efforts around the implementation of HB213. For each project below, I will include a summary of the project report, and then list the needs for each project that we hope those of you receiving this email might be able to help fill.
Utah County Hackathon
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Report Summary
 
The Hackathon has a primary purpose to help underprivileged children and youth in Utah County have more access to STEM skill-building and networking opportunities. However, the event will be open to any youth in the area who are interested in attending. Shannon anticipates that anywhere from 900-2000 students could attend over the course of the day. Even without specific marketing efforts, there are already a couple hundred students who are interested!
The Hackathon will have different tracks designed for various age groups, including younger children. Track topics will include coding options, career exploration (with participation and support from tech community representatives), and Groupthink brainstorming sessions. There will also be classes for parents/adults.
Hackathon Needs
 
– The primary need is to locate and finalize a location for the event. Ideally, such a space would have a large meeting area (like a gym or auditorium), at least one (but preferably two) computer labs, and space for breakout sessions/classes. The hope is that space could be donated so as to not have to charge families for the event.
– We are also looking for more teachers for classes for kids.
– Lastly, we would appreciate any corporate sponsorships to help offset any potential venue costs (which could provide exposure for your organization as well).
If you know of a venue that could be used for the Hackathon, and/or you or your organization are interested in teaching a class or helping sponsor the event, please contact Shannon at shannon.babb@usu.edu
 
HB213 Implementation
 
Report Summary
Paula first gave a brief summary of HB213, Safe Technology Use and Digital Citizenship. (For more information on HB213, see the School Land Trust site and this EPIK blog post.) She also then explained about the two main elements of the collaborative work being done with EPIK’s support.
1) EPIK is providing a digital citizenship resources website (when launched, it will be available at digcitutah.com). This website is intended to provide a curated, categorized list of some of the digital citizenship resources that are available. School community councils will both be able to access general digital citizenship resources, and look for resources based on certain topics that might be of concern, such as cyberbullying or sexting (two common concerns).
2) In addition, school community councils will also have an opportunity to “do something more” through what we are calling a positives pilot. Typically, if schools think about digital citizenship at all, the focus is often heavily focused on preventing negative outcomes of children using technology, such as mentioned above. Although prevention and protection are important elements of digital citizenship education, just as with regular citizenship, there is much more that being a good citizen can and should entail.
Although this is not a requirement in the law, school community councils have the opportunity to select or create a “positive” project (see this list for sample ideas). We will provide a training/brainstorming meeting for interested council representatives to help support them in working with their councils and engaging children/youth in their schools to plan, execute, and share results from a positives project.
The hope is that school administrators and teachers, parents, and children alike will be able to work together to harness more of the positive potential of technology, and help create more positive energy around the topic of kids and tech. Again, even as there are concerns that deserve attention, the reality is that technology is here to stay. We all can learn together how to integrate it more deliberately and with more focus on using tech to serve and contribute in positive ways to family and community life.
HB213 Needs
– When digcitutah.com launches, we would appreciate having parents, school community council members, and professionals in the digital citizenship realm help give feedback on the site.
– If you know of someone on a school community council who might be interested in the positives pilot, please email Michelle at michelle@epik.org or Paula at Paula.Plant@schools.utah.gov 
We are thrilled with the progress of these two projects and thank all who are helping make the work possible. Be sure to read Part 2 of the September 9 meeting report, Envisioning Digital Citizenship.

Issue Mapping – Kearns Youth Council

One of the principles we at EPIK try to stress as we talk with community members about raising children in a digital world is “Not about them without them.” We don’t want to just unite community leaders to do something for or about children and youth, but to do something with children and youth. Youth should be involved in the community conversations and in the process of creating a vision for the future. They are the future!

Every time we meet with youth, our commitment to this principle increases, and its value becomes more evident.

We were thrilled to be able to meet with the Kearns Youth Council on May 8, 2015. We’d met some of the council members and their advisor, Kathy Larrabee, at a Salt Lake County Commission on Youth (COY) meeting that we were invited to attend. Many thanks to Kathy for arranging this opportunity.

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As we have done with other youth groups in the past, we invited each individual to write the positives and negatives that come to mind as they think about kids and technology.

As has been true in the past, the youth brought valuable insights to our larger community discussion. What we notice in meeting with the youth is that they will reflect many of the same thoughts that adults have, but they always bring up ideas and perspective that are different.

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Had we had more time in this meeting, we would have invited the youth to help “cluster” their ideas into common themes or patterns. This PDF is an attempt at grouping their input by topic/theme, and comparing and contrasting the positives and negatives that the youth council members shared. To see past youth meeting outputs, see Meeting Outputs in our shared EPIK Google Drive folder.

As we held the discussion in the last few minutes of the meeting, one of the key points that was discussed was a very specific experience that many students had had in one of their classes. The teacher of this class had been a favorite…until he started using Google Chromebooks in his class. Students commented on how now he doesn’t engage students or help them like he did before.

This was not something we would have anticipated hearing, and we think it is something that deserves closer attention and more discussion among educators and administrators (and providers of technology education products).

This simple yet important discussion also illustrates the value of asking youth for their input. We should not be creating or implementing products or policies or programs without involving those who will be using them. The youth have so much to offer!

 

kearns youth insights and impressions

Network Weaving {Phase II: EPIK Alliance Meeting Report}

You can read Part 1 of the Meeting Report here, which includes a report of the discussion at the beginning of the meeting, and a summary of Phase I in the EPIK Alliance Collective Impact effort.

The work of this meeting was network mapping, with the intent to do what is called Network Weaving. Some background on Network Weaving follows, as well as a summary of the network mapping work done in the April meeting.

What is Network Weaving?

Tamarack, a leading Collective Impact organization, addresses the importance of Network Weaving on their site, with an article by Arti Freeman.

[T]he ability to map, understand and weave networks strategically enhances collective impact initiatives, making them more likely to succeed.

According to June Holley, author of the ‘Network Weaver Handbook’, transformational change happens when new networks supersede or replace the old ones.

If a diverse set of actors want to coordinate their efforts in order to achieve collective impact, then it is critical that those that are already thinking about or engaging in activities to bring about the change are connected to each other.

As a backbone organization for the collective impact effort addressing the complex, multifaceted nature of what it means to raise children in a tech-driven world, EPIK has, to this point, been the primary hub for the collective network. In April’s meeting, Scoping Committee members were invited to also act as hubs in their networks and begin to think more deliberately with a network mindset. We want a network of multiple hubs connected together.

Another name for a hub that is used by one of the Alliance members is a Center of Influence or COIs. As hubs or COIs engage deliberately with their networks, and then connect into the larger whole, there is more potential for impact, information flow, and collective, community learning. There is also more potential for innovation. Especially because we are dealing with technology — a fast-paced, ever-changing world — building a responsive, connected community system will be imperative to getting us in front of the eight ball, as it were.

Network Weaving for Collective Impact

Even as Collective Impact focuses on long-term, large-scale change, Network Weaving encourages smaller, self-organized, short-term projects that are “critical building blocks” to collective impact. These simpler efforts allow for trust- and relationship-building, experimenting to learn “more about what works and what doesn’t,” and building collaborative skills. They also should be “focused on opportunities and leverage points that have the greatest chance of making a difference.” And then, if the larger network is adequately connected, “patterns of success” can be noted and discussed, and effects of successes and key learnings can ripple throughout the community. (See Network Weaver Handbook, p. 21.)

One of the best ways to identify potential leverage points is to spend the time creating a visual map of the community network/system. There are two simple steps to Network Weaving: 1) Know your network and 2) Knit your Network (again see June Holley’s work).

In our meeting, we started the process of knowing our network by inviting each attendee to draw their own network map. (The work done in November and January were preliminary steps to the network mapping process.)

Each person was given a foam board and instructions (see presentation for instructions, or simple examples of Network Mapping). (Participants were engaged enough in the process that they opted to use the remainder of the meeting time to work on their network maps!) Below are some photos from the activity.

In future meetings, we’ll work on expanding network maps to include those outside of our committee, and knitting/weaving the networks together. We’re also already looking for leverage points within and across networks, sectors, and Issue Buckets.

For more information about Network Weaving, a concept pioneered by June Holley, see www.networkweaver.com. An excellent article on Network Weaving can be found here. In the nonprofit world, there is also the concept of Networked Nonprofits. Read more in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and see also the work of Beth Kanter.

EPIK network mapping meeting April 2015

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Network mapping activity EPIK Alliance

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Phase I Summary {EPIK Alliance Meeting Report}

We had a productive and exciting meeting on April 1, 2015. Our meeting was hosted by Celina Milner, Community Relations Specialist & Special Projects Manager for the Salt Lake County Mayor’s office. Thanks to Tanya Harmon, as well, who helped prepare meeting materials. (To see the full presentation that was used as a guide for the meeting, see this link.)

EPIK 4.1.15 agenda box

This meeting marks an important transition for the EPIK Alliance, as we are transitioning from Phase I to Phase II in the collective impact process. The purpose of this meeting was to review what the Alliance did in Phase I, and to talk about next steps as we move into Phase II.

Collective Impact Framework Color

The meeting began with a spontaneous discussion about why we are doing what we are doing. A lot of focus in that discussion was about how parents, grandparents, community leaders, and others are concerned about children/youth and technology. It was noted that the topic comes up often in formal meetings and informal gatherings of parents. Personal experiences with youth and technology were shared, and hopes and desires for what could happen with this collective impact effort were also expressed.

Thankfully, we had a young adult in attendance (a 19-year-old university student passionate about the potential of using technology in creative ways in the civic process). As is often the case when we have a youth or young adult perspective, she urged the group to not focus just on concerns and potential negatives, and to think outside of wanting to control the behavior of youth.

EPIK Scoping Committee discussion

This is a pattern we have seen throughout our work as we have been holding dialogue about the complex issue of raising children in (or living in) a digital world. The generation of adults who are now raising children and youth very often express concerns about preventing negatives, while youth and young adults often have more optimistic perspectives.

Once again, we see the value of having various perspectives in this work. We are reminded specifically how important it is to have digital natives involved in this process — youth and young adults who are comfortable with technology and anxious to see it used in productive ways. (See also “Not About Them Without Them,” the report from the meeting in December, and this TEDx talk from Devorah Heitner that was recently posted on our site).

Review of Phase I

After this lively discussion, we launched into a review of Phase I work. You can see below how the meetings (see meeting reports) fit into the Collective Impact framework pictured above.

EPIK Phase 1.1-2

 

Meeting reports from the above meetings can also be found below:

An EPIK Launch (convening cross-sector community stakeholders)

August 2014 Meeting: Issue Mapping

“Not About Them without Them” (issue mapping meetings with youth)

12-4-14 Meeting: Integrating Adult/Youth Issue Maps

 

EPIK Alliance Phase 1.2-3

Meeting reports from these meetings can be found at the following links:

11-4-14 EPIK Alliance Meeting: Landscape Mapping

1-28-15 EPIK Alliance Meeting: Data Resource Pooling

Participants in the meeting were asked to share their insights from Phase I.

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Outputs of the various meetings can be found in our Google Drive folder. There wasn’t time in our meeting to go over all of those outputs, but we did choose to highlight one output that will be of particular importance moving forward. The draft result of the issue mapping and issue clustering meetings was what we are calling Issue Buckets, which help reflect some of the many facets of the complex situation we are addressing. These buckets were created by a small work group who spent hours pouring over the issue maps and the initial issue clustering outputs.

 

EPIK Alliance Issue Buckets draft

 

EPIK Alliance Issue Buckets draft descriptions

 

Note: These issue buckets and descriptions are starting points and will need some refining. For example, in the first bucket, “Technology Environment and Accessibility,” the description doesn’t currently capture the fact that while accessibility to technology is more widespread than ever, there are still divides (often based on socioeconomic factors) that leave some children and families without access to valuable technology resources.

Moving Into Phase II

The past couple of months have been spent in one-on-one meetings to determine whether there was enough interest to continue the collective impact work, and to start to form a committee who can help move the work forward. Because there has been a clear felt need to determine a scope for the collective impact work, we have called this group (who attended April’s meeting) the Scoping Committee.

EPIK Alliance Phase 1 and Phase 2 transition

 

As has been noted, throughout Phase I, there has been a consistent felt need for more clarity around scope and focus. The Insights and Impressions from January’s meeting are a reflection of that felt need. Collectively, there has also always been the recognition of the need to look at both positives and negatives related to children and technology.

Collective Impact Phase 2 Mapping the landscape

In order to scope the initiative, we need to first have a clear understanding of who is doing what and why in our geographical area. Coincidentally, the Scoping Committee happens to include people from various counties, so this helped us create a starting point for our geographical boundaries.

EPIK Alliance mapping the landscape - geographical boundaries

In Part 2 of this report, we’ll share the Network Mapping work that was done by the group in this meeting.

Data Resource Pooling {Phase I + II: EPIK Alliance Meeting Report}

(Note: This post has been updated from the original to include updated “next steps” information that was emailed to Alliance members and interested community members after the report was created. We’ve also included the agenda image and headings which were missing in the original.)

The latest EPIK Alliance community collaboration meeting was held at the West Jordan library on January 28, 2015 from 11:30-1:00. Many thanks to Carrie Rogers-Whitehead for hosting the meeting. Following is the agenda from the meeting:

EPIK 1.28.15 agenda image2

Grounding:

The year 2015 will be an exciting year for the EPIK Alliance initiative. Phase 1 has been focused on bringing cross-sector stakeholders together to hold dialogue about the complex issue of raising children in a tech-saturated world. For collective impact to be successful, dialogue must transition to more focused work around data. January’s meeting was designed to start bringing data into the discussions and begin to create a shared pool of potential data resources/sources that could be used by the collective as we move into Phases 2 and 3.

Phase 2 will involve more specific work using data to start to scope the issue, map the landscape, make a case for the Alliance’s work, and engage in community outreach. Data will also be the foundation of Phase 3, where the Alliance will create a collective strategy, a common agenda, shared goals, and shared measures and continue to expand community involvement and investment.

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Working:

At the meeting on January 28, Alliance members were invited to answer the following question:

What data resources/sources do you use, know about, and/or have access to that could help the Alliance gather data to more clearly define and assess the various facets of the complex issue of raising children in a tech-saturated world?

More specifically, in the meeting, participants answered the following questions:

  • What topic(s) is/are the data resource(s) addressing? (e.g., technology use in children, media literacy, education, behavioral health concerns)
  • What type of data (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, etc)
  • What kind of data resource is it and/or who is gathering the information? (e.g., database, research report, observation & experience)

Participants in the meeting organized their contributions based on what facet of the complex issue the data resource addresses.

Some snapshots of the work done in the meeting are below.

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The following eight categories (“issue buckets”) were created by a small work group last fall. The work group was assigned the task of processing outputs from the Issue Mapping and Issue Clustering meetings. (Working descriptions of the categories as created by a small work group in the Alliance are in parentheses.) The categories used in the January meeting varied slightly, but it was decided to use the work group’s categories to create the final meeting output document for the Data Pooling meeting.

  • General Technology Environment and Accessibility (The access to and usability of technology has created open channels with no limits.)
  • Emotional and Mental (Behavioral) Health (Technology can strengthen or threaten a child’s emotional and mental [behavioral] health.)
  • Social Relationships and Connection (Technology can be the connector or barrier to healthy relationships.)
  • Education, Learning, Creativity & Media Literacy (Technology creates an ever expanding opportunity for education, knowledge, creativity and self determination.)
  • Physical Health and Safety (Use of technology can promote or impair a child’s physical health and safety.)
  • Productivity (Use of technology greatly impacts a child’s productive or nonproductive use of time.)
  • Ability to Influence (The ability [of children] to influence others through technology leads to greater power — and also vulnerability.)
  • Parenting (Parenting is a significant factor in a child’s choices with technology.)

We’ve also compiled contributions from Alliance members who sent in information via email before the meeting, both as input for the meeting and to help an Alliance member with a bill he was working on (hence the heavy focus on media literacy).

Insights and Impressions

As is always the case, our time was limited for the Insights and Impressions discussion at the end of the working portion of the meeting, but important thoughts came out of the discussion. In fact, the discussion is a great segue into the work that will be happening in the next few months as the Alliance will be preparing to move into Phase 2.

  • The future is tech. Opportunities need to be considered, balancing risk
  • There is a gap in data with regard to positive use of tech–we need more data
    • e.g. Roland Hall, Waterford & Preschool Pioneer, UEN
  • When we work with data, it needs to be replicable & valid/generalizable
  • We need to use caution because data can be skewed based on whom you sample
  • We need to define data carefully
  • We need to be careful with definitions e.g. “harmful.” Definitions need to be set. [This is one reason why using data as a foundation will be important.]
    • Can we get a baseline for what is “harmful” with regard to technology?
    • Research can contradict itself. e.g., some research would claim porn is not harmful/can be beneficial [this kind of contradiction may also guide the group to create some value statements or assumptions, which will be part of the process as things continue to unfold]
  • Restate/Identify goals and scope
  • Define “our” population
  • There is overlap & crossover between issue categories/buckets
    • How can we represent relationships between them?

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Next Steps:

In the meeting, potential meeting dates were presented to attendees for March and April. In post-meeting analysis, the following things were considered in refining next-step plans.

  • Input from Alliance members through patterns in meeting Insights and Impressions
  • One-on-one conversations with Alliance and community members
  • The progress in the past six months around “holding dialogue around the issue”
  • Careful assessment of the Alliance’s work in the context of the collective impact process
  • Meeting design/planning work
  • Discussions among the EPIK board, director and consultant/facilitator

It was determined that the Alliance is ready for Phase 2.1, where a consistent  group of “champions” will be needed to help scope the initiative. This means that the next meetings will transition to “hands-on” data work meetings vs. “all hands” brainstorming/sharing meetings.  The larger group of stakeholders will still have opportunity to contribute to and/or participate in the initiative.

Next steps will include one-on-one conversations with those who have been involved thus far to see how they would like to be involved as the Alliance moves into Phase 2.

Integrating Adult/Youth Issue Maps {Phase I: EPIK Alliance Meeting Report}

Many thanks to Tanya Harmon and the BYU Romney Institute of Public Management for hosting this month’s meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to get people into some data — the outputs of the multiple meetings we have had with adults and with youth (“Not about them without them”) gathering input about what they see as the positives and negatives of technology in the lives of children and youth.

12 4 14 meeting room

Over 24 people were in attendance at our December 4 meeting. In addition to several cross-sector partners, some professors, as well as several MPA and other students attended. One of our board members also joined. Having the students involved in this data comparison activity proved to be very meaningful; they brought a perspective that was informed by their experience as digital immigrants, their passion for learning and data analysis, and their lack of inhibitions in sharing ideas and input. We are excited to involve them as we move forward. Alliance partners are encouraged to consider involving students through potential internships, and students may be able to help with data gathering and analysis. (More info to come on those opportunities.)

12 4 14 agenda

To prepare for this meeting, invitees were asked to familiarize themselves with this document which contains outputs from meetings both with adults and with youth, drawing out their perspectives on the positives and negatives of technology for children/youth.

After the welcome and the usual grounding in the collective impact process (see past meeting notes for diagrams), participants (who were assigned to four different tables, with four different combinations of data sets to assess) were given the following instructions:

Working Activity Instructions
Discussing the Adult/Youth Issues

1 minute: Identify Roles – Each team selects someone to fill the following roles:

  • Facilitator–lead discussion at table
  • Timekeeper–keep focused
  • Recorder–capture discussion comments
  • Reporter–report on discussion to large group

10 minutes: Individual Review of “Data”

  • Read/highlight
  • Record thoughts (key issues/patterns/contrasts/surprises)

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20 minutes: Small Group/Table Discussion

  • Share/record perspectives

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30 minutes: Large Group Reporting

  • Report on small group discussion insights
  • Capture large group Insights/Impressions

 

Following are the outputs of the four groups’ reports. Each group took a little different approach in processing and presenting their summaries of the data they were given.

Discussion/Dialogue Outputs

Table 1 – Processing adult perspectives on positives and negatives of technology for children/youth

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  • Both the “+” & “-” are accessible
  • Addiction vs. Passion
  • What feelings and actions are produced from their technology?
  • What do they become?
  • Get what they go for
  • Show them the good

Table 2 – Processing youth input on positive and negative impacts of technology

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  • Huge theme on social interaction/time-wasting
  • Time filler as “+” & “-“
  • Addiction to technology recognized & porn
  • Safety’s a big deal-not very emphasized
  • Issues regarding porn/safety looked as passive/invincible mindset
  • High access to info
  • Losing out on reality
  • Staying connected “+”/”-“?
  • The great connector/great divider
  • Balance overexposure vs. Digital illiteracy
  • Inaccurate info

Table 3 – Processing adult and youth input on negative impacts of technology

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Differences

Adults Youth
  • ALL gaming bad
  • Black & white
  • Adults can’t keep up
  • Parents have fears because they don’t understand tech
  • Porn large concern
  • Focused on brain development concerns
  • Too much information too soon
  • Tech should be a tool for communication
  • Kids
  • Bad language
  • Violence
  • Bullying
  • Right tech = cool
  • Tech creates self-centeredness
  • Some gaming bad = violence
  • Gray areas
  • Porn mentioned once
  • Personal safety
  • Tech is for entertainment
  • Tech has potential to create physical harm

Similarities

  • Time wasted (youth-social media, waste when used unwisely
  • Creates distance between people
  • False info appearing real
  • Reality vs. Virtual/Cool vs. Not Cool/Parents vs. Kids
  • Is progress in tech good or bad?
  • Addiction
  • Internet predators

 

Table 4 – Processing adult and youth input on positive impacts of technology

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Key Issues
  • How do we address good and emphasize it, bring out best, manage bad
  • Are the adults taking good enough into account?
  • What can we do vs. What we shouldn’t do
  • Are we fully utilizing the positive resource the internet is?
  • The bad is happening; how do we manage it?
Patterns Contrast
Experts

  • Who are the TRUE experts? Is the info accurate?

Connection

  • Permanent, lasts longer
  • People we wouldn’t have
  • Continued influence-not “stranger danger”

Education

  • Huge benefit to “do it yourself”
  • Correct facts
  • Kids brought out significantly more good
  • Adults; closed access, don’t recognize tech as permanent and here forever (see it as a fleeting issue)
  • Kids; see it as part of everyday life, “everyone uses it”, the norm
Surprises/Unexpected
  • A lot of really great is happening we are not looking at
    • How can we help them choose properly by seeing the good
    • “Don’t” does not help like “What to do”
  • Is focusing on negative creating negative? Piquing interest?

 

Participants then engaged in a large group discussion about insights and impressions they had during the activity.

Insights & Impressions

– Value of youth perspective
– Important to get broad perspective
– Importance of educating parents on good
– Real skills include & involve technology
– Help them to get to point to make decisions on own–don’t just tell them, show them
– How to help youth make connections
– Teach them how to use it
– Factual vs. Biased? Fear based? Fear one of the worst things
– Are we giving them all options & facts on both sides
– Be aware of our lenses & judgments & assumptions
– Tech is an experiment on battleground
– Tech is “different” vs “good” or “bad”
– Help parents not to be fearful, to be familiar
– Protect “them” –we need it too –protect us
– At some point we will need to trust them

Parking Lot

At each meeting, we also have a Parking Lot section on the wall where people can record ideas that have come during the meeting but were not able to be discussed at any length.

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  • Scott Church: involve a person that has a “clean movie” company
  • Technology as a Tool; youth clearly recognize that technology can be a waste of time.
    But they’re still going to use is because the apparent benefits outweigh the costs (at least
    in their eyes).

    • So instead of discouraging the use of technology, we should encourage its use AS A TOOL rather
      than merely a source of entertainment.
  • A tech-savvy adult/parent can more effectively accentuate the positive, relate to youth,
    and have a voice of authority as it relates to using tech safely & successfully
  • Stephanie Hibbert: diversify the faith-based participants needed
  • Some relevant literature
    • Digital Enclaves (Cass Sunstein, “Enclave Extension”) summary: rather than bringing us all together
      (i.e., a great deliberative democracy), internet technology actually splinters us into specialized
      enclaves
    • 2012 (?) Amy Petersen Jensen “Some Hopeful Words on Media & Agency” BYU Devotional
      summary: It’s not that media is removing our agency (i.e., technological determinism), it’s giving us
      more opportunities to make choices
  • What research have you seen on cognitive development?
  • Qtr. 1 2015 Meeting Dates Jan 28th & Mar 10th (in response to UCAP week 1 conflict)

Landscape Mapping {Phase I: EPIK Alliance Meeting Report}

This month’s meeting was held in the West Jordan Library building (adjacent to the Veridian Event Center). Many thanks to Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, Senior Librarian for Teen Services (Salt Lake County Library system), who was our host.

11-5-14 welcome from Carrie

As has been the pattern thus far, the meeting started with lunch and a welcome from our host, followed by a brief summary of how collective impact is different from the way work is typically done in meetings. We reviewed the following two graphics for those who are new to the community impact effort:

isolated vs collective impact

collective impact framework color

In past meetings, all as part of Phase 1, cross-sector community partners have done initial sector maps, issue mapping, and issue clustering. They visually captured participants’ perspectives and experiences related to the issue of raising children in a tech-saturated world.

In the meeting on November 5th, the group continued Phase 1 work through the creation of a landscape/context map. Although the output of this meeting was only a preliminary landscape map, it will help with continuous community outreach and convening, facilitate continued discussions about the issue, and lay the foundation for preliminary data-gathering and issue analysis in Phase 2.

Each person was given 10 minutes to write down “who does what and why.”

Who: Which organizations/individuals are doing something to address opportunities and challenges (“positives” and “negatives”) of raising children in a tech-saturated world. (Please be sure to include the work you do, and don’t hesitate to include anyone who is already “at the table” with the alliance.)

What: What are those organizations doing? Identify any and all relevant programs, activities, initiatives, curricula, products, etc.

Why: What facet(s) of the issue are being addressed by the what? e.g., educating parents, educating children about potential harm(s) of technology, helping children/youth build tech skills, using social media for good, providing technological solutions to parents/children/educators, etc.

 

11-5-14 landscape map instructions

11-5-14 Collective Impact Meeting

Each person was then given a few minutes to share what they had written, including sharing about what they do and why. Pink sticky notes represent the people they think should be involved, or at least be on the group’s radar screen.

11-5-14 Collective Impact Meeting

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11-5-14 landscape map panoramic

As always, we wish we’d had more time for the Insights and Impressions discussion at the end of the meeting, but the group was able to talk about a few things in the last few minutes of the meeting. Most of the comments centered around pornography prevention.

  • The importance of focusing on brain science and the public health facet of pornography prevention (rather than a moral or religious or sex ed focus) was mentioned.
  • It was noted that in a pilot implementation of Fight the New Drug’s program there was resistance from community members to having pornography talked about in the schools.
  • A clear takeaway was that there are many resources that are available, but not a lot of knowledge within the community about what is available.
  • Unique challenges of living in a community where there is a predominant religion’s influence were also discussed.