All Lester B. Pearson School Board students to become responsible Digital Citizens

DORVAL, QC, Jan. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Lester B. Pearson School Board (LBPSB) announced the introduction of a Digital Citizenship program to all their schools and centres, at a press conference today. The LBPSB becomes the first school board in Quebec, and one of the few in Canada, to adopt such a program.  "It's a community program and it begins with training staff and educating students on the right and acceptable way to use technology so that they can become responsible citizens," said Marcus Tabachnick, Chairman of the LBPSB, of the newly launched program.

The Digital Citizenship program aims to educate all members of the school community including students, staff, parents and community members on the responsible use of technology.  The program will be integrated into the current curriculum at all grade levels and is a board-wide philosophy that will be adopted by every school and centre.  "There's no escaping the fact that technology is a big part of everyone's lives today," said Tabachnick.  "The goal is to safely and securely harness new technology to enhance the teaching and learning experience.  It is no longer feasible to think that it is possible to ban technology from our schools and centres."

The program has nine elements, which focus on some of the challenges facing those who use technology.  Students will be taught how to navigate through the challenges and how to properly make use of the technology available to them in a digital society that is safe for them, their families and their friends.  The nine elements are:

  1. Digital Access
  2. Digital Commerce
  3. Digital Communication
  4. Digital Literacy
  5. Digital Etiquette
  6. Digital Law
  7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities
  8. Digital Health and Wellness
  9. Digital Security

All students will, eventually, receive a Digital Citizenship passport, which will grant them increasing access to the Internet as they pass through various levels of the program.  "Digital Citizenship is not a set of strict rules, instead it's a way to understand the challenges facing all technology users," said Michael Chechile, Director of Educational Services at the LBPSB.  "The school board's parent communities, schools and centres have really embraced this project and feel that the time is right to start implementing such a program." 

The school board is currently reviewing and revising its policy dealing with the Internet and technology (Appropriate Use of Computer Internet Communications Policy) and will be calling on its communities for their input.  The board will be hosting a series of Town Hall meetings with the focus of the topics being on the nine elements of Digital Citizenship.  The LBPSB is also planning on launching a website by the end of the school year but won't do so until the consultations with their various communities are complete.  "The input of our communities will be taken into consideration when revising the current Internet and technology policy," said Chechile.  "We want to make sure that everyone who is a part of our school board community is a part of this project."

The dates and topics of the Town Halls will be released by the school board in the coming weeks.

The webcast of today's press conference can be viewed at the following link: http://www.lbpsb.qc.ca/eng/webcast/webcast.asp.

The Lester B. Pearson School Board is an English school board serving more than 32,000 students and staff in 60 schools, adult and vocational centres, an International Language Centre, and an Administrative Centre on a territory from Verdun westward to the Ontario border.  The Lester B. Pearson School Board is recognized locally, nationally and internationally as a progressive and innovative public education institution pioneering a model of inclusive education and an acclaimed International Studies Program.  It is also the first school board in Quebec to pilot a universally-available half-day Kindergarten program for 4 year olds and a tri-lingual International full-day Pre-Kindergarten program.

SOURCE LESTER B. PEARSON SCHOOL BOARD

For further information:

For more information or to speak with someone directly, please contact:

Daniela Scoppa
Communications Officer
514-422-3000 ext. 2666
514-207-6625
dscoppa@lbpsb.qc.ca

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LESTER B. PEARSON SCHOOL BOARD

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