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Digital literacy initiatives are growing for youth... and they need it!

"We think young people are used to technology and we give them a lot of credit in that sense. Yes, they are mostly able to use certain applications. For the rest, they need support. They also need to be shown that technology is not just a hobby, it can also become a career," says Jonathan Le Prof, a social studies teacher and spokesperson for the first edition of Youth Digital Month.

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"We think young people are used to technology and we give them a lot of credit in that sense. Yes, they are mostly able to use certain applications. For the rest, they need support. They also need to be shown that technology is not just a hobby, it can also become a career," says Jonathan Le Prof, a social studies teacher at the Centre de services scolaires de Rouyn-Noranda, who is very active on social media.

Jonathan was the spokesperson for the first edition of Youth Digital Month, which ended on March 6. During an online lunchtime event, which included members of the Québec Digital Literacy TableHe discussed with them.

When we think of digital skills for young people, we quickly think of spotting fake news online or choosing what to publish or not, but it's also how to write and send an email, how to use a spreadsheet, file digital documents, etc. In short, it's a whole range of skills that are very different from each other.

Jonathan recognized that teachers themselves sometimes need to acquire certain knowledge in order to then pass it on to their students. "How to be ethical in your use of the web, how to develop good practices... With that background in hand, it's possible to be more aware of the importance of digital issues and discuss them with students."

Digital literacy activities and resources

The meeting of the members of the Table de concertation en littératie numérique du Québec, which is coordinated by the organization Printemps numérique, also provided an opportunity to share various resources available to youth and teachers.

  • With the support of CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), TechnoCulture Club has started the development of the It's just onlinein partnership with the Bibliothèques de Laval. This project aims to provide teens (12-18 years old) with access to tools, resources and support that will enable them to become empowered digital citizens by helping them understand cyber-violence and stay safe online.
  • The Carrefour jeunesse-emploi Vaudreuil-Soulanges offers the following workshops Cultivate your Webwhich allows young people to create the website of social economy enterprises in their region.

The burden of protecting one's privacy

In addition, just prior to the Table de concertation meeting, a Facebook Live event was organized as part of Youth Digital Month, with digital media specialist Nellie Brière.

She spoke about transparency (or rather the lack of it) in several digital platforms. Do you really read the terms of use? Do you know how your data will be used? What is the motivation of a platform when it collects this or that of your data?

"To understand these issues, it requires a minimal level of digital literacy. It also requires insight and concern for one's privacy," she says. "Digital platforms have been built by putting the individual burden on users to protect their privacy, but still, you have to be aware of it and know how to do it."

"On the other hand, do we really want to leave it to the companies to explain? Aren't we better off educating ourselves to understand?" According to her, every citizen today has a duty to seek a better understanding of how digital platforms work and to educate themselves to better control their personal data.

She gave two examples of transparency:

  • The Facebook Ads Librarywhich allows you to see who buys advertising on the platform, including political parties.
  • Our Facebook Supervisory BoardThis is a recently established body that can give its opinion and decide on issues related to content moderation.

The resources of the Youth digital month will remain available throughout the year on the website.

École branchée is a member of the Table de concertation en littératie numérique du Québec and the Youth Digital Month programming committee.

In addition :

  • A meeting by Jonathan Le Prof on the morning show Salut Bonjour! about the importance of educating youth about digital opportunities.

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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