By Clair Deevy, Director of APAC Community Affairs
We care deeply about the safety of our community – and providing resources that can help people have meaningful interactions online is an important part of the work we do to help keep our community safe. This is especially true in countries like Myanmar where many people are using the internet and our services for the first time.
Over the last year, we have invested heavily in people, technology and partnerships to help remove the bad and amplify the good we see on our services in Myanmar. Building partnerships and resources aimed at improving digital and media literacy in a country that has fast come online is an essential part of this work.
Last week, we announced a new collaboration with the Myanmar Books Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF) to update their current digital literacy curriculum and support training outreach through their national network of libraries and community centers. The Mobile Information Literacy (MIL) curriculum, which was developed for Myanmar by MBAPF and the University of Washington, consists of seven modules that focus on a basic introduction to the internet such as web searching, email, presentations and how to work online.
The latest curriculum will now include modules provided by Facebook on:
- Tips for staying safe on Facebook
- Critical Thinking and Empathy
- Spotting False News
“We are excited to work with Facebook to deliver digital literacy trainings across our community centres,” said Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung, Executive Director of MBAPF. “This is an important program that will help our communities across Myanmar to become better informed digital citizens in the 21st century.”
Through this program, MBAPF will train 4,000 people across its network of libraries and community centers across 13 states and regions throughout 2019.
With more and more people coming online and connecting with friends, families and communities, digital literacy is more important than ever. Connectivity at this scale is empowering and brings tremendous benefits, but it raises a whole new set of challenges. We need to think about the skills we should focus on to create responsible digital citizens – critical thinking, empathy and digital discourse.
To help with this, last year we launched the Digital Literacy Library in 45 languages around the world, including Myanmar. We also have a Safety Center, Parent’s Portal and Youth Portal, which are all available in Burmese – and we will continue to work with experts on these topics and our Myanmar partners to develop and deliver locally relevant resources.