IB course will teach students about fake news, social media algorithms, and privacy

The new digital society course will be part of the IB Diploma Programme (DP), and the Career-related Programme (CP)

International Baccalaureate (IB) students will soon have access to a digital society course, covering fake news, social media algorithms, online privacy, and security.

The new course is part of the latest IB curriculum update, and will complement other newly updated courses in the DP and CP pathways, including computer science, global politics, and social and cultural anthropology.


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Joel Adams, curriculum manager for the digital societies course, said: “Digital technology and media are changing our world and transforming how we think, communicate and create.”

He added: “Digital society will allow educators and young people to critically explore the changing world to better understand where we are now and imagine where we might go next.”

Digital societies will approach technology and media through social, cultural and ethical lenses, with a focus on ‘values’. Students will explore global and ethical value systems, and match these to pressing dilemmas in digital society through practical exercises and projects.

Digital society will allow educators and young people to critically explore the changing world to better understand where we are now and imagine where we might go next.
– Joel Adams, Digital societies curriculum manager

Adams explained: “One of the most important aspects of the digital society course is a core unit on ethics, norms and policies that we are calling values.

“This unit asks students to explore a diverse range of ethical frameworks and consider how these frameworks can help inform our understanding of real-world digital policies and dilemmas such as privacy, security, intellectual property, and political activism.”

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals will be a basis for many of the projects in the course, and students will be challenged with selecting a goal in a local and personal context to present possible ‘digital interventions’.

Students will also be required to undertake a media project, in which they will investigate and evaluate the ethical, social and cultural implications of the use of digital technologies and media.


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The first teaching of digital societies will begin in 2021, across all IB countries around the world.

More information on IB courses and approaches can be found at www.ibo.org/