TheirSpace: Educating Digitally Ethical Teens

Presented at SxSWedu 2012 by Jac de Haan ( & Ted Kalmus (Head of School, Billings Middle School).


  1. The most significant goal of this presentation is to provide frameworks for schools, teachers and parents to use in developing a Digital Ethics curriculum alongside other elements of technology integration. By layering common data about use on top of current work on brain science, and adolescent media, we'll offer access points for meaningful engagement of complex teen issues in a quickly evolving digital geography. In particular we are presenting ways to link "non-native users" with digital natives through an exploration and application of ethics. We'll use storytelling, data models, and examples of lesson series, which empower students to engage adults knowledgeably, and equitably in the learning curve that characterizes conversations about behavior online and within social media contexts. At our school, we have seen the incidence of online harassment decline well below national norms while students are increasingly utilizing the tools of informed citizenship, caring for each other online, and resolving conflict in sophisticated ways.
  2. Media for initiating conversations about ethics

  3. What were you thinking?

  4. Ted:  Story about sexting 
  5. Ted:  "There's a tension between individuality and what's right"