Digital culture and learning among young people

A recent study entitled “Culture and digital inequalities. The question of uses among young people in vulnerable situations in Quebec ”focuses on the gendered divide of digital culture among young people. We can bring out some relevant data related to education.

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A recent study entitled “Culture and digital inequalities. The question of uses among young people in vulnerable situations in Quebec ”focuses on the gendered divide of digital culture among young people. We can bring out some relevant data related to education. 

On June 9, the Interprofessional and Interregional Concertation Table in Digital Literacy presented the study of Amina Yagoubi, doctor in sociology and researcher at the Canada Research Chair on Digital Equity in Education at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). " Culture and digital inequalities. The question of uses among young people in vulnerable situations in Quebec»Focuses mainly on the gender divide of digital culture among young people, but we can bring out some relevant data in connection with education.  

Links with the Digital Competence Reference Framework

The twelve dimensions of Reference framework for digital competence can be superimposed on the sociologist's study. In the section Digital practices and know-how of the study, we find the main activities of young people carried out via the Internet, such as networking, sharing, information or entertainment. 

If we exclude activities related to entertainment (playing online games, for example), several of them can be linked to a dimension of the Terms of Reference: 

  • Creating Content: Producing Content Using Digital (D7)
  • Looking for a job: Adopting a perspective of personal and professional development with digital technology in a position of empowerment (D9)
  • Search for information: Develop and mobilize your information culture (D4)
  • Share working and study documents: Develop and mobilize technological skills (D2) and Exploit the potential of digital technology for learning (D3)
  • Develop your friendly, professional network: Communicate using digital technology (D6)

We can notice that the other half of the dimensions find more echo in a school context with support. Although digital technology is part of the reality of young people on a daily basis, school remains an ideal opportunity, in our opinion, to develop dimensions such as:

  • Act as an ethical citizen in the digital age (D1)
  • Solve a variety of digital problems (D10)
  • Develop critical thinking about digital technology (D11)

Young people's interest in video creation

The study presents a portrait of the training desired by young people. At the top of the list, it is video creation that has the most appeal, a common interest among both girls and boys.

“Young men are more interested than young women in developing their technical and digital skills and more of them have participated in specialized training (eg coding, programming, digital creation, software, etc.). While training preferences are substantially gendered (eg men will choose programming while women will choose image / retouch workshops), training in video creation remains a common learning wish. "

Environments and actors of digital learning

Finally, according to Digital cultures and inequalities :

  • about 30 % of respondents learn to use the Internet and technologies through at least one of their parent or educator;
  • nearly 25 % of respondents learn to use the Internet from a teacher;
  • that about 20 % of respondents learn to use the Internet from a family member;
  • young people also learn to use the Internet thanks to their work colleagues or their friends.

It is also mentioned that family income and parents' educational level influence digital learning, especially when parents have training in a technological field. The issue of co-education is also an issue dealt with in the special edition of the École branchée magazine for parents, entitled "Co-educate in the digital age", available in digital format for free.

What about school in all of this?

Beyond this study, it has been almost 2 years since the Quebec government launched the Digital action plan in education and higher education (PAN). How is it going in schools so far? With the pandemic situation and distance education, we can certainly say that the school has had to adapt at "big V" speed. During the Table de concertation mentioned above, Christian Landry, deputy director of Polyvalente Le Carrefour, in Val d'Or, also spoke of the “challenge of keeping everyone connected. The equipment allows of course to keep in contact with the pupils, but the main challenge is to try to safeguard the human relationship established since the beginning of the school year ”.

Resource reminder for teachers

Among PAN partners, we find resources and training for teachers to support their students in the development of their digital skills, including those of the and of We can also monitor the new programming of CréaCamps

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About the Author

Maryline Barrette Dubé
Maryline Barrette Dubé
A graduate of a bachelor's degree in public communication, a “marketer” for more than 15 years, Maryline has been working to promote École branchée's activities and to publicize the organization's mandate since 2018. She is a devoted mother, an assumed epicurean. and IPA lover who, in her spare time, enjoys blog.

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