Serving the next generation

May 11 2023


Three USAFA Cadets — C3C Ethan Stroup, C3C Tri Nugroho (an Indonesian exchange cadet) and C2C Jordan Allen — recently provided a digital literacy lesson to middle schoolers at Monument Academy East.

The cadets taught approximately 50 students in three different class periods. With support from USAFA’s Institute of Future Conflict fellow, Maj. Melissa McLain, the cadets recognized the importance of teaching the next generation about digital media and the impact it can have on an individual’s brain and habits.

The team had the idea to support the local community with an outreach initiative urrounding digital literacy. The cadets used lesson materials created by Common Sense Education, and specifically the lesson titled “Digital Media and Your Brain.”

The lesson raises students’ awareness about the design of digital applications — the design can be addictive or humane. Noticing humane design features like “Do Not Disturb,” screen time limits and “Are you still watching prompts,” help the user deliberately manage the amount of time they are spending on digital media.

Comparatively, addictive design features provide users endless scrolling, automatically start the next video, and incorporate feedback loops to encourage the user to frequently check the application (i.e. like’s and comments).

In the final step, the students created guidelines to help keep them on track when using social media, gaming and video streaming that utilize an addictive design.

C3C Ethan Stroup and C3C Tri Nugroho (Indonesian exchange cadet) taught two classes together. C2C Jordan Allen taught the afternoon class solo.

All of the cadets did an exceptional job delivering the lesson material and connecting to the students, Maj. McLain reported.