The landscape of digital citizenship education in Canada from grades K-12: online privacy education
Master of Education
Digital devices in educational settings
Digital citizenship frameworks
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In recent years, the availability of digital devices, tablets and other media has significantly increased which has led to a series of transitions in all of social and professional life, including how we teach and learn. The use of digital devices in educational settings has evolved from separately facilitated Information and Communications Technology (ICT) classes to being integrated into almost every subject with which a student comes in contact. In Canada, many curriculum documents are calling for an increase in ICT use within lessons, student worktime, assessments and evaluations. As ICT is becoming more and more integrated into the educational experiences of students, so are the risks associated with its use such as the insecurity of privacy online. Keeping personal data and identity safe is crucial in not only minimizing risks of cyberbullying, cyber predators, phishing, and exposure to scams, but also potentially harmful digital footprints that may re-emerge later in life. These risks can affect students immediate wellbeing as well as have long-term effects. These risks result in an immediate call for digital citizenship frameworks that will support students in using the new technologies ethically and safely, while also teaching them how to use these tools to participate constructively in their communities and society at large. The urgency in the need for updated digital citizenship frameworks is what inspired the research that has come together to create this portfolio. Though the focus of this research has been centred around online privacy and safety for students between the grades of K-12, it falls under the broader umbrella of digital citizenship. To begin implementing an adequate digital citizenship framework for our times, investigation of currently available educational curricula as well as third party initiatives must be conducted. This research was completed for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, through the completion of two commissioned research reports. Two major research papers were written, the first focusing on Canadian curriculum and professional development and the second undertaking a deeper and more detailed evaluation on existing Canadian educational resources. This overview of Canadian curriculum and professional development materials and initiatives, as well as a detailed evaluation of Canada’s existing educational resources from provincial and territorial education ministries and school jurisdictions, demonstrates the current landscape of current digital citizenship education in Canada. Dr. Michael Hoechsmann, and I co-authored the first research paper.