Interim Consensus Submission

I last blogged about the Digital Economy Consultation Roundtable that I was a part of at U of T.

The Interim Consensus Submission is now available in PDF format on the wiki, and those who agree with it are encouraged to endorse it. So if you are so inclined, please do so asap as it is due in a couple of days.

I reviewed our submission, especially the part that I worked on, section 5.5 How will the digital economy will impact the learning system in Canada? How we teach? How we learn?

The wording is not exactly as I would have phrased it, but I think it is ok. It is intended for policy analyst types in the federal government, and so it need not be as academic as I would have written it, I think.

As we move forward in an on‐line society, making correct and responsible use of the technology needs to be prioritized over simply using technology. There will be an on‐going responsibility in formal educational institutions to provide a basic level of existing digital skills. Collaboration, problem solving, learning how to learn in new contexts will be as important as specific technological competencies and probably more portable. Skills related to effective use and management of information will be key. Constant reassessment and adjustment to accommodate emerging technologies will also be necessary.

• The government should continue to work with international bodies such as
the OECD on international standards for technological competencies – not
just computer skills, but also information use and management skills

• As new social and educational practices using technology as intermediary
evolve, there is a need for research on using these tools in the educational
and social context. Social networking is one of the newest additions to the
digital toolkit, but it is too early to predict where it will eventually fit in the
teaching/learning spectrum

• The federal government, as part of its innovation agenda, should support
research programs studying the effective use of new technologies in formal
and informal educational contexts

• Explicit focus on internet safety is required as part of the emerging area of
media literacy for young people. Issues such as cyberbullying; protecting
children from online predators and privacy on social networks need to be
addressed as part of primary and secondary public education curricula. The
next generation of Canadians should not only be skilled in the use of ICTs and
digital media, but should be empowered to fully evaluate the opportunities
and risks related to their use and make smart, long‐term personal decisions
about how they share themselves with the world in perpetuity

• Digital media literacy should be a cross‐curricular program.


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