Looking Back: Teen Workshops & the Educators’ Workshop

This blog post contains contributions from Karen Louise Smith and Doug Belshaw, team members on the “Co-Designing Open Privacy Badges for Privacy Education with Canadian Youth” project.

The privacy badges project began workshops with teens in October 2014, our group of eager teen peer researchers worked hard to learn about privacy issues while crafting and testing out activities for future Open Badges. The forthcoming badges can be earned through Webmaker or in settings like public libraries and after-school program. In this blog post we share information about the typical workshop format for teens, as well as our knowledge mobilization workshop for educators, held in February 2015.

Teen workshops

What makes the privacy Badges project unique has been the structure of a typical workshop. We held 7 teen workshops between October and February.

Workshop dates and locations

  • Sat. Oct. 4th, 2014 @ Mozilla  (11am – 5pm)
  • Sat. Oct. 18th, 2014 @ U of T (11am – 5pm)
  • Fri. Nov. 14th @ Mozilla (11am – 5pm) (PA Day for many Toronto schools)
  • Sat. Nov. 29th @ U of T (11am – 5pm)
  • Saturday Dec. 13th @ U of T (11am – 5pm)
  • Sat. Jan. 10th @ Mozilla (11am – 5pm)
  • Sat. Feb. 7th @ U of T (11am – 5pm)

The Privacy Badges workshops typically started at 11am on a Saturday, which is a late start compared to a typical school day.

Each session began with an icebreaker, recap of key learnings from the previous workshop, or sharing of any great makes from the assigned homework. For example, one week the teen peer researchers shared out privacy memes that they created, using the Webmaker meme remix template.

After the icebreaker or morning recap, the group ate lunch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the afternoon, a major component of the workshop was dedicated to a production centered learning or “making” activity using a variety of tools. Great examples of these making activities include storyboarding, mind mapping, and creating webpage remixes.

Anchoring the making activity, we often brought in experts and leaders in the privacy world to hear about the emerging trends and design project involving privacy.  One week, we were visited by experts from The Citizen Lab.  For another session, we were able to tour the Semaphore Lab at the University of Toronto. The teens not only got to learn about the challenges and opportunities of drone technology, the teen researchers were able to get hands on with 3D printers and create their own spinning glider. The teen peer researchers wrote responses on their making activities and production centered learning which were captured in a blog post.

Built into the work plan for the peer researchers was a series of assigned homework tasks to allow the teens to dive further into the issues of protecting privacy while exercising their skills of synthesizing research collected from various mediums – video clips, articles, newspapers and reports.

Educators’ workshop for knowledge mobilization

On February 21st, 2015 the privacy badges project held a knowledge mobilization workshop for educators. The idea, was to provide a space for the teen peer researchers to train librarians, after-school program educators, and other interested adults, seeking to learn about the privacy badges curriculum. There were 37 registrants for the workshop. Most attended in person, at the Mozilla office in Toronto, but some participants logged in via video conferencing software.  The main activities at the workshop were:

  • Welcome, lunch and networking
  • A privacy icebreaker to explore privacy interests
  • A curriculum overview presentation (delivered by Karen Smith and the teen peer researchers)
  • Teen-led learning stations to share the IP Address Tracer, Data Trail Timeline, and Privacy Coach badge concepts
    • The Anonymizer and Drones badges were also shared as learning activities at the Privacy Coach station

Badges as buttonsAll participants who attended the educators’ workshop were provided with prototype-level versions of the privacy badges in button format.  If you’re interested in the educators’ workshop you can also view a video remix on the day’s activities.