I literally got off the plane, took the BART to my accommodation at 1906 Mission, jumped in the shower and went around the corner to Four Barrell Coffee (hooray decent coffee!) to meet Amy Jussel from Shaping Youth (we chatted for over 3 hours!).
Amy does really great work with developing media literacy and digital citizenship with young people and much of her philosophy has overlap with Digital Nutrition - promoting key critical thinking and problem solving skills, and calling out issues in digital media that have negative impacts on young people. Amy has written extensively on a range of issues from body image and the promotion of junk food to kids, as well as being a game maker working with young people to develop games that address sustainability and democracy. We talked a lot about the issues facing young people, their parents and educators when it comes to the implementation of technology (gaps in skills, gaps in resources). I love that Amy's work is so clearly about positively harnessing the use of technology and flipping the conversation into being critical, not mindless consumers of technology and digital content.
The next morning I headed to the Common Sense Media offices in the huge Zynga complex walking distance from my B&B to meet with Brisa Ayub, an education content producer with this organisation which is recognised as being a leader in rating, evaluating and advocating for kids media content. Common Sense Media have a huge network and cover almost everything you can imagine in terms of young people, digital media, parenting with technology, reviews and educational uses of technology (which is a whole separate branch). One of the things I cant seem to find many people talking about is preventing problematic internet/digital media use. There is a lot about parenting and screentime, but really nothing specific addressing the compulsive and engaging nature of some aspects of technology use.
Next I talked to artist and educator Jessalyn Alland from the SFMOMA about the way that technology and social media is being used by the museum to engage students in accessing art. Jessalyn has only recently completed teaching in local schools and we had a lot to share about the way that schools are funded and how charter schools work to cater to certain types of learners and needs of communities.