News Release - Dorval, Quebec, January 26, 2011 - At a press conference earlier today, the Lester-B.-Pearson School Board (CSLBP) announced the introduction of a digital citizenship program. The LBPSB becomes the first school board in Quebec, and one of the few in Canada, to adopt such a program. “This is a community-based program that starts with training staff and teaching students the right way to use technology so they can become responsible citizens,” said Marcus Tabachnick, president of the LBPSB, at subject of recent program.
The digital citizenship program aims to educate all members of the school community, including students, employees and parents, about the responsible use of technology. This program will be integrated into the current curriculum at all levels and corresponds to a philosophy of the school board that will be adopted by all schools and centers. “There is no escaping the fact that technology is part of everyone's life these days,” added Mr. Tabachnick. “The goal is to master this new technology in a safe way to enrich teaching and learning. It is no longer possible to ban technology from our schools and centers. "
The program has nine components that focus on some of the challenges that users of technology face. Students will learn to navigate while avoiding pitfalls and to use the technology available in a digital society that will become safe for them, their families and their friends. These nine elements are:
1. Access to digital
2. Digital commerce
3. Digital communication
4. Digital literacy
5. The online label
6. The law
7. Rights and responsibilities online
8. Health and well-being
9. Digital security
All students will eventually receive a digital citizen passport that will give them access to the Internet as they complete the various stages of the program. “Digital citizenship is not a list of strict regulations, it is rather a way of understanding the challenges facing all users of technology,” said Michael Chechile, Director of Educational Services at the LBPSB. “The parents of the LBPSB, the schools and the centers have really adopted this project and believe that it is time to set up such a program. "
The school board is currently reviewing and revising its policy on the Internet and technology (Policy on appropriate use of the Internet communication network) and will call for feedback from its communities. The school board will organize a series of town hall meetings on the nine elements of digital citizenship. The LBPSB also plans to launch a website by the end of the school year but will do so only when the consultation with the various communities is over. “Feedback from our communities will be taken into consideration when reviewing current Internet and technology policy,” Chechile said. “We want to make sure that everyone who is part of the school board will be part of this project. "
The dates and topics of the discussion meetings will be released in the coming weeks.
The broadcast of today's press conference can be viewed online by clicking on the following link: http://www.lbpsb.qc.ca/eng/webcast/webcast.asp.
The Lester-B.-Pearson School Board is an English-speaking school board with a staff of over 32,000 students and employees in 60 schools, adult education and vocational training centers, an International Linguistic Center, and an administrative center in an area stretching from Verdun to the Ontario border. The Lester-B.-Pearson School Board is recognized locally, nationally and internationally as a progressive and innovative public education institution, the first to adopt an inclusive education model and launch an already renowned international program. It is also the first school board in Quebec to experiment with a 4-year-old half-day kindergarten program available in all of its elementary schools and a full-time trilingual international preschool program.