Three weeks left to submit proposals to the international Trust Challenge

Have questions about the Trust Challenge and how to apply? You heard it here (and we annotated it): Cathy Casserly and David Theo Goldberg talk about the Aspen Task Force Report Learner at the Center of a Networked World and answer questions about the Trust Challenge application process.

Paul Oh of Educator Innovators talks to Sheryl Grant about the Trust Challenge and how to apply. (Hint: teachers are learners in connected learning environments too.) Take a look at some examples of trust challenges, check out the Aspen Task Force Report, and get your inner innovator ready to apply. Looking at you lifelong learners, educators, technologists, researchers, higher ed administrators, K-12 leaders and thinkers, plus in school, out of school, including museums, libraries, schools, school districts and more.

What’s all this talk about trust? We unpacked it during our summer series on trust in connected learning environments. Don’t have four hours to watch it all? Take a crash course with this highlight reel featuring Howard Rheingold, Audrey Watters, Barry Joseph, Anne Balsamo, Jonathan Worth and other leading thinkers working in and transforming connected learning environments.

We also dug into trust with Nishant Shah, danah boyd, David Weinberger, David Steer, and Cathy Davidson who answered questions about building trust in connected learning environments and here’s what they had to say. More thought leaders are on their way, so watch for their responses to these questions and more throughout October:

  • Often when we hear terms like “student data” or “student privacy” we don’t hear them in conversation with “trust”. Do you have any thoughts on why that might be the case?

  • How are you thinking about trust in regard to connected learning?

  • What are some of the biggest challenges to engendering trust you see in connected learning?

  • Do you know of any tools, procedures, apps, and/or systems enabling or disabling trust? How are they doing this? What do these  tools, procedures, and/or systems change how learning can happen in connected learning environments?

  • What are some of the literacies you think are required for learners to  have a digital “trust literacy”?

  • Do you have a favorite method of creating an environment of trust in your own digital practice? in learning practices? What do they look like? Is this scalable in connected learning environments?

You’re invited: We’re hosting participatory webinars in October. Tweet questions with #dmltrust or raise your hand during these Trust Challenge webinars:

Thursday, October 23 @ 1pm EST
Rachel Anderson from the Data Quality Campaign talks with Akili Lee of Chicago City of Learning and Luis Mora of the Los Angeles City of Learning about both digital and human systems and issues of trust in connected learning environments. Register here.

Tuesday, October 28 @ 2pm EST
Maria Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino and co-chair of the Aspen Task Force talks to Sheryl Grant about the interoperability, access, digital literacy, and trust, and the call to action for a truly networked learning environment. Register here.

Thursday, October 30 @ 2pm EST
Connie Yowell of the MacArthur Foundation and Cathy Davidson, co-founder of HASTAC and director of CUNY’s Futures Initiative will talk about the challenges and opportunities for connected learning when human and digital systems are designed with trust at the forefront. Register here.

 

WEBINAR: Building Trust (and Data Quality) in Cities of Learning

The Trust Challenge has launched a broad, open, constructive conversation about building trust in connected learning environments. We invite you to learn more about the Trust Challenge during this interactive webinar hosted by the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media & Learning Competition.

Our hosts include Akili Lee from Chicago’s City of Learning, Luis Mora from Los Angeles City of Learning, and Rachel Anderson from the Data Quality Campaign.

For Trust Challenge informational webinars, submit questions to our guests by emailing dml@hri.uci.edu and including “webinar question” in the subject line.

When: Thursday, October 23 @ 10am PST / 1pm EST

  • Duration: 50 minutes
    Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2633109708337421570
    Advanced registration is recommended, but not required.
    Webinar will open at 12:45 EST to allow registrants time to establish access

  • Hosted By:

    • Akili Lee, co-founder and Director of Digital Strategy and Development, Digital Youth Network
    • Luis Mora, Educational Services Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District
    • Rachel Anderson, Associate, Policy, Analysis, and Research at Data Quality Campaign
    • Sheryl Grant, Director of Social Networking, HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition

Archived versions of this event will be available at http://dmlcompetition.net/resources/. Information about other upcoming Trust Challenge webinars will be available at http://www.dmlcompetition.net/Blog/ and announced on Twitter from @dmlcomp with #dmltrust.

WEBINAR: Opportunities for Trust in Networked Learning with Maria Teresa Kumar

The Trust Challenge has launched a broad, open, constructive conversation about building trust in connected learning environments. We invite you to join a conversation about trust and learning with Maria Teresa Kumar, Chief Executive Officer and President of Voto Latino and co-chair of the Aspen Task Force. Learn more about the Trust Challenge during this webinar hosted by the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media & Learning Competition.

For Trust Challenge informational webinars, submit questions to our guests by emailing dml@hri.uci.edu and including “webinar question” in the subject line.

When: Tuesday, October 28 @ 11am PST / 2pm EST

  • Duration: 50 minutes
    Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/587039739597187584
    Advanced registration is recommended, but not required.
    Webinar will open at 1:45 EST to allow registrants time to establish access

  • Hosted By:

    • Maria Teresa Kumar, co-chair, Aspen Task Force and Chief Executive Officer and President, Voto Latino
    • Sheryl Grant, Director of Social Networking, HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition

Archived versions of this event will be available at http://dmlcompetition.net/resources/. Information about other upcoming Trust Challenge webinars will be available at http://www.dmlcompetition.net/Blog/ and announced on Twitter from @dmlcomp with #dmltrust.

WEBINAR: Trust and Learning: What’s the Link? A Conversation with Connie Yowell and Cathy Davidson

The Trust Challenge has launched a broad, open, constructive conversation about building trust in connected learning environments. We invite you to join a conversation about trust and learning with Connie Yowell of the MacArthur Foundation, and Cathy Davidson, HASTAC co-founder and Director of the Futures Initiative at CUNY. Learn more about the Trust Challenge during this webinar hosted by the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media & Learning Competition.

For Trust Challenge informational webinars, submit questions to our guests by emailing dml@hri.uci.edu and including “webinar question” in the subject line.

When: Thursday, October 30 @ 11am PST / 2pm EST

  • Duration: 50 minutes
    Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7660848726939103234
    Advanced registration is recommended, but not required.
    Webinar will open at 1:45 EST to allow registrants time to establish access

  • Hosted By:

    • Connie Yowell, Director of Education, MacArthur Foundation
    • Cathy Davidson, Distinguished Professor and Director of The Futures Initiative at CUNY; Co-Founder, HASTAC
    • Sheryl Grant, Director of Social Networking, HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition

Archived versions of this event will be available at http://dmlcompetition.net/resources/. Information about other upcoming Trust Challenge webinars will be available at http://www.dmlcompetition.net/Blog/ and announced on Twitter from @dmlcomp with #dmltrust.

Trust and the Moment of Technological Faith: interview with Nishant Shah

trust

HASTAC sent a series of questions to thought leaders about trust challenges and solutions that could enable trust across social contexts of connected learning and engagement. From September 3rd through October 31st we will be posting their responses to these questions on HASTAC.org.

The Trust Challenge: Building Trust in Connected Learning Environments

Trust, privacy, and safety are critical to learning in an open online world. How can learners exercise control over who sees and uses their data? What tools do they need to navigate, collaborate, and learn online with confidence? What solutions will foster greater civility and respect in online learning environments? How can open technical standards create more opportunities to share and collaborate online in a spirit of trust?

The Trust Challenge will award $1.2 million to institutions and organizations that tackle these questions in real-life learning contexts. More information about the Competition including rules, guidelines, and how to enter can be found on the Competition website.

INTERVIEW

Nishant Shah has a PhD in cybercultures and is a professor of Internet and Aesthetics of New Media at Leuphana University, Lueneburg, Germany. He is the co-founder of the Bangalore based Centre for Internet & Society where he was the Research Director for 6 years, and also a knowledge partner to the Dutch development non-profit Hivos, working on developing new practices of change in network societies. His current research is at the intersections of body, digital technologies, gender and sexuality, collaborative pedagogy and connected learning.

1. What about our contemporary moment makes understanding trust important?

We live in times of faith. As more and more, our technologies become transparent, they also become opaque. We work with machines that promise that What we see is what we get, but that is an empty promise. Because increasingly, as the lag time between the input, processing and display of data gets reduced, we lose control over the machinations that run in the background. The contemporary moment is a moment of the interface, where all our attention is geared towards understanding, improving and analysing the interfaces. However, these interfaces are surfaces. Interfaces hide the infrastructure. Even as we worry about better visual representations, more accurate mapping, and stronger connectivity, we are losing control of the real operations where decisions of power, control, regulation, containment and censorship reside. This is what I call the moment of faith. In order to stop having blind faith that governments, private corporations, technologies, or indeed the people that we connect with, will all behave as expected, in conditions of transparency, we need to think about trust again. Trust is faith quantified. Trust requires enumeration. Trust needs responsiveness and responsibility. And more than anything else, trust demands reciprocity. So instead of having faith, and then be constantly surprised at how different things are, we need to start thinking about trust – its processes, its mechanics and its measurement.

2. Often when we hear terms like “student data” or “student privacy” we don’t hear them in conversation with “trust”. Do you have any thoughts on why that might be the case?

I think that there is a deliberate division of intellectual discourse, when it comes to some of the most important debates around the intersections of digital technologies and learning. The questions around data, for instance, are divided into two discrete sets. The educators and learners are invited to engage with concerns around privacy, identity, robustness and authenticity of data whereas questions of trust, security, licensing and storage are often relegated to the realms of the technologists and designers. This division is not only erroneous but downright dangerous, because it makes people believe that they don’t need to worry about the other concerns – because somebody else is taking care of it. This is why concepts like ‘trust’ become important. In order to talk about the design of trust, we will need to now straddle these divisions and think of them as not only co-existent but also inextricably tied to each other. We will have to acknowledge that questions of data identification, identity, quantification and ownership are tied closely to the digital architecture, conditions of access, protocols of design and ownership of platforms. It opens up a dialogue between the artificially created silos of technology development and content production, or technical architecture and political control, making these into technosocial questions rather than technical or social questions.

3. How are you thinking about trust in regard to connected learning?

For me, what is most important in the landscape of connected learning is to map the bottlenecks of trust. If we were to go with the metaphor of the network, and connections as intersections, then finding out the flows of trust, the traffics, the infrastructures, the nodes and hubs and routes that trust processes and data takes, is what is most important. Especially because connected learning seeks to overturn the systems of authority which traditionally ensured and safeguarded trust practices, it becomes important to see how different communities of learners interact with each other, but also with the service providers, regulators, policy actors, communities of support and of infrastructure. So when I think of trust in connected learning, I am more interested in thinking about how protocols of trust can be established – how it can be measured and effectively reported, and how it can be infused with the affective, the human, the subjective and the personal, rather than just interface and reporting fixes.

4. What are some of the biggest challenges to engendering trust you see in connected learning?

I like to think of opportunities, rather than challenges, because challenge presumes that there is an active resistance against developing trust in connected learning environments and promises The active resistance is easier to overcome, because it only needs education, training and information. However, the opportunities are going to be in the more complex questions that emerge in connected learning.

The first one set of opportunities is in recognising our education and learning processes as shaped by technologies. When it comes to connected learning, there is an easy argument of novelty that presumes that this is the first time our learning is intersecting with technologies. However, even the most cursory critical history will teach us that the entire modern education system has been shaped by technologies of information production, storage, and distribution. This schism between people who make apps for learning and people who engage in the process of teaching and learning has to be removed. And that is going to take more than just practice. It is going to require a common vocabulary and a dialogue that allows the different stakeholders to actually understand each other’s processes and modes of working, and maybe even engineer hands-on immersion into the work. To build connected learning, we might need to first connect the different elements involved in the field and get them to trust each other.

Given how connected learning is not restricted to the traditional learning environments, the second set of opportunities is going to be shaped around what is at stake. It is easy to think of fixes and platforms and designs and databases as modes of bringing together connected learning ideas. However, we need to find a common grounds, a political vision a set of values that we embody as we work through new partnerships, open collaborations and participatory processes in open learning. It is one thing to operationalize trust through processes and practices, but it is going to take more effort and resources in figuring out that at the core of our different approaches is a common set of ideas and ideologies that bring us all together.

The third set of opportunities, are in dismantling the notion of trust itself. There is already a growing rhetoric of niceness, inclusion, respect and generosity that is often used to actually penalise radical ideas or those who refuse to subscribe to one narrative of power and politics. We need to make sure that we think of trust not as a finite thing, but as a continuously iterative process which will find contradictions and discrepancies, not only on the outside, but from within the community. What constitutes trust, and how do we ensure that trust does not become a monopoly or a grand narrative, and constantly allows for mistrust and scepticism, instead of developing a faith in trust.

5. Do you know of any tools, procedures, apps, and/or systems enabling or disabling trust? How are they doing this? What do these  tools, procedures, and/or systems change how learning can happen in connected learning environments?

I am hoping that this competition actually brings to our attention some of the most creative ways by which trust can be enabled, and once enabled, sustained. There are many different existing protocols that are useful, in making sure that trust is a part of a system, and they range from UI design to architecture to human intervention. For instance, verification certificates, checking of URLs for malicious code or redirects, enforcing https logins, etc. are great ways by which access is made safe and encourages people to perform complex processes like financial transaction or medical data transfer. Similarly, collaborative databases that verify the provenance of information, self-editing and corrective algorithms that help provide better information sources, and user-generated curation of information that enables new insights and access to the online information, are all ways by which an environment of trust is created. Human intervention, where community conflicts get mitigated, offensive material gets flagged, trolls get punished, and new people are encouraged to participate are ways by which trust gets generated. All of these are elements that we need to be able to incorporate in our connected learning environments, along with the traditionally known structures of creating safe and inclusive spaces for learners to create, innovate and experiment with knowledge content and processes.