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The Trust Challenge invites applicants to form “laboratories” that identify existing challenges to trust in connected learning environments. Below are some sample scenarios of possible challenges to trust. Please note that these are offered only to impart possible scenarios or labs facing trust challenges. This is not an exhaustive list, nor is it intended to be prescriptive.
Example challenge #1:
Trusted access, interoperability, and controlling data across different learning networks
A school district has transitioned to competency-based learning. Many of the students are involved in after school and online activities that issue digital badges for participation and achievement. Educators would like to recognize learning happening beyond the classroom but have no easy way to know which students are earning the badges. Also, students who have email addresses are able to claim their badges, while other students who lack access to email cannot. The school district does not want to recognize the badges unless all students have equal access to a trusted way to claim, share, and display these badges.
Example challenge #2:
Transparent control of information, privacy, safety, and digital literacy education
A group of teens are learning to create, record, and publish multimedia stories online through their participation in a community program that runs workshops at the local library. One of the teens publishes a story that includes pictures of a student who becomes upset that her image was used, and two others realize too late that the free service they were using to store their video clips makes content public by default. Parents of one teen discover that a file-sharing site mixes adult content side-by-side. Librarians, educators, and parents want to make sure that the teens are informed about knowing how to create, upload, display, and share content that respects their own privacy as well as the privacy of others.
Example challenge #3:
Facilitating a culture of inclusivity, civility, and respect to protect all learners from bullying
Educators at a youth-serving organization discover that one of the teens in their program is being cyber-bullied by students at school. The bullying is mainly taking place on a popular social media platform that many students access from their devices during the school day, but the abuse is relentless even after school at home. The educators approach the local school district to address the incident, and discover that their anti-bullying program is outdated and their only cyberbullying policy is to restrict access to Facebook, which is only one of the social network platforms used by the teens. Together with policy makers, youth leaders and organizations, technologists, researchers, and administrators from the school district, they form a coalition to develop anti-bullying digital learning content, multi-media projects, digital tools, and a mobile campaign to address the issue from a community perspective, with input from parents, educators, and other youth mentors.
Example challenge #4:
Access to online resources and platforms that enable learners to connect safely and easily with others
A series of youth-serving organizations have developed learning pathways around STEM content in their state. A group of colleges and employers were involved in the creation of these pathways early in the process, have endorsed much of the content, and made a commitment to recognize the learning offered by these programs. Schools would like to be able to access the STEM content, but there are no standards, policies, or protocols in place to access and share these resources. Science teachers in many of the schools want their students involved, but only youth enrolled in after-school programs have access to the intern privileges and other benefits associated with the STEM pathways. In consultation with administrators and users, developers are brought in to design an interoperable platform that will allow all learners to connect and collaborate with each other seamlessly. Finally, transparent and easy to understand Terms of Service are established that set clear protocols and policies around access, protecting user’s data, and privacy.
Example challenge #5:
Understanding data creation, storage, and usage; having confidence that data are secure, protected, and used appropriately and as intended
A school purchased a platform that allows parents to see grades uploaded by teachers, but the user design is onerous and the program is difficult to use. Most of the teachers do not use all of the features available. Even though teachers can send emails through the program, they find the text editor is too laborious to use. Meanwhile, the whole school is moving to a separate online platform that allows students to do more collaborative work on computers and tablets, which is separate from the grading platform. Administrators wonder if there is a platform with excellent privacy measures that allows students and teachers to make choices about what work to share with different audiences, including parents, friends, and other caring adults or mentors in the community.
Example challenge #6 :
Privacy, control over one’s data and intellectual property
College learners are taking an online course from an elite professor as part of a popular MOOC. The site can be accessed from anywhere around the world with a stable internet connection. However, by using these resources the learners are sharing personally identifiable information (PII), and losing rights to their own intellectual property. Learners want to explore ways they can secure both their private data and their intellectual property while taking advantage of these freely available learning resources. They develop a protocol that allows them to both participate in these courses while remaining anonymous and export their data after the course is over.
Example challenge #7:
Control over one’s data and intellectual property, identity online, and privacy
A professor requires students to connect online to do portions of projects across several social media platforms. The students, who wish to keep their private and educational lives separate, are finding themselves unsure if they should use their real names or an alias, which violates the site’s terms of service. Additionally, they are worried about the persistence and visibility of their data online and how the work they do now will be associated with them in the future. Now that they are using a proprietary owned platforms, in addition to FERPA rules, there is a question of compliance with Terms of Service and ownership of data on the site and how their information will be used by others now and in the future. They elect to develop a platform designed to give students the utmost control over their data without compromising their user experience and learning goals.
Example challenge #8:
Transparent communication about data, privacy, and security of information
A group of students participating in a co-located class in Mali and France are working on an assignment in a collaborative learning platform. While sensitive information such as grades, feedback, and confidential notes are posted in these environments, it is not clear to students what information is being publicly displayed and to whom. Nor are students aware that all of their activity on the site is visible to the instructor and being tracked. Additionally, numerous security breaches have been found that allow for people to easily access all of the information in these environments. The students want to know how to make these platforms more secure or less vulnerable from external people viewing the material. An app is developed to address both students’ and teachers’ desire for a way to streamline communication so it is clearer who is seeing what information.