Frontline: Growing Up Online

Growing Up Online, a FRONTLINE special, is an outstanding look into digital culture, providing important information about safety, ethics, and morality in the digital world. Anyone interested in better understanding the youth culture online would benefit from watching it, but be prepared for some heart wrenching accounts. While it was on PBS tonight, you can view the entire show at the web site. In addition, they have put together a myriad of sources: interviews with the producers, an online discussion, a live chat session this Wednesday, tips for parents to keep kids safe, a downloadable transcript of the show, opportunity to purchase a DVD of it, and even a teacher’s guide.

While the show was/is an outstanding resource, potentially opening eyes to important issues in digital culture, the resources on the following site is equally impressive. Five years ago this would have been a show with a few commercials, made a short-term impression, and then disappeared. Today it is a show, but that is just the start. It also comes rich with learning resources and even seeks to build a learning community around the theme of the show. This is a great example of how digital culture is transforming more traditional technologies like television.

The timing could not have been better. I just started teaching a graduate class on critical issues in educational technology on Monday. So, with a little last minute planning, this video and the related resources will be part of an upcoming unit in the course.