The Digital Citizenship Institute (DCI) creates intergenerational learning experiences for local, global and digital communities, aiming to go beyond a simple list of “don’ts” and instead design opportunities to learn how to use technology for the greater good (#UseTech4Good) in various aspects of life such as school, home, play and work. With a human-centered mission, DCI calls upon school communities to recognize and appreciate the individuals sitting next to them, as well as those around the world and across screens. As a leader in the emerging technologies space, the DCI has positioned itself to ensure that we can also embrace and experience the human in avatars and other immersive environments.
Recognizing the importance of providing school communities with an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant to actively engage in practicing digital citizenship, DCI embarked on the development of Mundo, which translates to “world” in Spanish. If you take a closer look, you may notice that Mundo was designed using the globe from its logo as inspiration. Based on its mission for schools to learn about the world with the world, the DCI wanted a generative AI option where school communities could experience how to stay safe, solve problems and become a force for good both on- and offline.
Building Mundo began with digital citizenship values at the foundation as the DCI began asking these privacy questions first: How can we ensure students are safe and that their data and privacy are protected? As part of developing Mundo, the DCI team made safety and privacy a top priority. They worked closely with veteran educator, district leader, international presenter and consultant Mrs. Heather Brantley and her students rigorously tested the safety features to ensure Mundo’s effectiveness. This partnership serves as another example of how school communities can learn to #UseTech4Good their students.
Teaching digital citizenship in her CTE Web Communication class, Mrs. Brantley models her “guide them, don’t block them” approach toward AI with her students and uses Mundo to demonstrate how generative AI is a digital tool that enhances learning. Mundo offers a safe place for students to explore generative AI without having to give personal information such as email and/or phone numbers. This allows for students to learn best practices while using AI, including how to generate prompts and ask enriching questions. This mindset aligns with the values of DCI school programs that promote a collaborative and community approach to using technology.
When we work with school communities, our ultimate goal at the DCI is to turn negatives into positives and empower students into designers, creative thinkers, global collaborators, problem solvers, justice-oriented digital citizens, and global impactors. With this objective in mind, using lMundo as an AI assistant in the classroom aims to enhance students’ ability to “polish” and refine their work to the next level and prepare them for future endeavors and jobs that have not yet been created. As generative AI continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly important for students to recognize the influence of a well-crafted prompt. Mundo offers a safe environment to cultivate a collaborative culture and encourages an openness to change and innovation.
Mundo was introduced during #DigCitWeek in October during multiple events. Classrooms got to experience the AI assistant, as well as taking pictures with our new plush world mascot. Our stuffed world mascot will travel to help classrooms learn with Mundo both on and offline.
Dr. Marialice B.F.X. Curran, the founder and executive director of the DCI introduced both the Mundo AI and the plush world mascot in Nebraska as two hundred middle and high school students spent the day formulating ideas around how to #UseTech4Good. This video captures the excitement from the day and the picture of Mundo in a corn field with the question about the varieties of corn that Nebraska farmers plant highlights how Mundo AI can be a classroom assistant, as well as help others learn about the world with the world.
Since Mundo speaks multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and many more, Ms. Eugenia Tamez, the DCI director of LATAM programs and partnership is proud to invite both Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities to Mundo. Ms. Tamez spent #DigCitWeek in Mexico with students, teachers, and administrators as she introduced AI through Mundo. Having Mundo in multiple languages supports our DCI programs available in Spanish and Portuguese and Ms. Tamez shared her excitement, “During DigCitWeek, we hosted #UseTech4Good sessions with 5th and 6th graders from Euro Sur in Monterrey. As we were exploring and learning together how to be safe online, I introduced Mundo to the students. Mundo created excitement and curiosity among the participants and was a great way to teach younger generations how to be what Dr. Jason Ohler defined to be ‘creatical’—creative and critical.” Ms. Tamez also shared how one student said, “This makes learning fun, is Mundo available for everyone? How can we have Mundo with us every day?”
Simultaneously, Mrs. Brantley’s students in Texas were also presenting during Global Maker Day on How to Create with AI. The students modeled how they were able to give Mundo a list of supplies they had on hand and Mundo generated several ideas on what the students could create.
Mundo also made an appearance as a keynote with Mrs. Jaime Donally, founder of ARVRinEDU, at the STEM Innovation Academy in Cobb County, Georgia. Mrs. Donally asked the audience what fears they had around using AI and, with audience participation, she asked those questions live to Mundo. Taking the activity further, she challenged educators to test possible prompts they would not want students to write. Of course, the inappropriate prompts provided a message that Mundo could not provide a response to, proving that additional educational restrictions are needed when using AI in the classroom.
Introducing Mundo during #DigCitWeek was a wonderful reminder that digital citizenship needs to be deliberately present in everything we do whenever we use technology at school, home, play and work. We invite you to join us on this AI learning journey and have your school community learn about the world with the world, with Mundo.