In 2012, CLIP launched the Volunteer Privacy Educators Program, a first-of-its-kind privacy education program aimed at engaging middle school students in discussions about privacy and its relevance in their lives. Based on research conducted by former CLIP Privacy Fellow Jordan Kovnot, CLIP created a series of lesson plans and visual aids to be used by instructors in middle school classrooms. These lessons center on discussions of what privacy is, how it may be relevant to young people’s lives, and how the technologies they regularly use impact their privacy. Specific topics include managing an online reputation, understanding how technologies like cell phones and facial recognition work, dealing with social media, and maintaining secure passwords.
For the Program's pilot run in spring 2013, CLIP recruited and trained a team of Fordham Law students to teach these lessons to 7th grade students at P.S. 191, a public middle school in Manhattan. Fordham students served in the program on a volunteer basis and, as a result, were able to earn credits toward the New York Bar’s pro bono admission requirement. Fordham CLIP officially launched the program on October 16, 2013, and now makes the curriculum materials available as a set of free open source documents for any educators who wish to address the many privacy issues teens face as their use of technology skyrockets.
Institutions from around the country also teach the program for free in their own communities. CLIP would like to thank these academic institutions, as well as Nichole Gagnon and Shawn Mitchell of P.S. 191 in New York, New York for their assistance and for opening their classrooms to our program.
The Volunteer Privacy Educators Program is supported by a grant from the Digital Trust Foundation.