Changing conversations and culture around kids and technology to include more positives. We envision a movement where youth and adults work together to #UseTech4Good.
If we ever needed a village to raise our children it is now.
EPIK was created with one purpose in mind: to foster collaborative conversations and efforts involving parents and youth, non-profits, businesses, government entities, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, and others to help create a positive digital culture.
Children today are sometimes called digital natives -- they grow up using technology so much that they can know more than their parents, often from a very early age. Adults often have a fairly negative view of technology, which isn't unfounded, but which can leave children and youth without mentors for how to channel use of technology for deliberate, purposeful endeavors. A lot of energy is used to prevent negatives, but we need to balance that conversation with what it means to #UseTech4Good.
If used wisely, technology can provide opportunities to strengthen connection and relationships with family and friends. It can enhance educational experiences. It can expand the reach and impact of community service efforts and cultural awareness. It can be a springboard for innovation and creativity unheard of in past generations.
Adults need to collaborate together to rally around -- and involve -- youth to consider not just the risks of digital technologies (real as they are) but to also work to collectively create a culture where these tools are used deliberately to improve relationships, foster learning and growth, and make a positive difference in our spheres of influence.
EPIK has studied more formal processes for this kind of collective impact (see below), but at every step along the way, EPIK invites anyone concerned about kids and technology to talk to the young people in their spheres of influence, and to work with other adults to consider questions such as the following:
- How can adults AND youth learn and co-create ideas side-by-side about how to use technology in deliberate, healthy, and positive ways?
- How do we create conversations and a culture that recognize the risks of digital technologies AND celebrate, champion, and co-create Positive Digital Citizenship?
- Literacy, citizenship, and innovation demand an "AND mindset" (a willingness to move consider the complexity of issues we face and to consider other points of view). How can youth and adults alike build skills of listening and engaging multiple sides of an issue in this often divisive digital age?
- How can top-down (decision-makers) AND bottom-up (grassroots) forces work together toward cultural change that champions the positives AND educates and mentors youth through the risks and challenges of living in a digital age?
- How can content AND process work together in building DigCit skills? (Information/content alone is not enough! Kids need real-life experiences engaging with real people in safe digital spaces, and they need safe spaces to make mistakes (and do good!) with technology so they can learn from and possibly share their experiences.)
- How can we EXPAND DigCit so that all sectors are engaged in these AND conversations?
- For many digital natives, life is not real life vs. digital life. Rather, life = what happens in the face-to-face world AND what happens through digital media. How can technology be integrated without taking over a life, a family, a classroom, a friend group, a relationship?
Jan Garbett, Founder
Michelle Linford, Executive Director
Aubrey Lee, Director of Digital Media
273 N. East Capitol Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84103