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PRIORITIES FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION

A Brief to the Ministry of Education from the BC Teachers’ Federation, August 2017 

Technology

The issue

As in society as a whole, digital technology is becoming ubiquitous in our schools. This has significant implications, too few of which are being addressed with research, resources, or comprehensive policies.

Background

Areas that need policy and action include:

  1. How do we produce equity in access to digital technology, regardless of family income, language, or other cultural and social realities? What financial support is required to ensure equity?
  2. How can we incorporate critical digital literacy and digital citizenship throughout the curriculum?
  3. How important is privacy and how are teachers provided with training on protecting privacy of students? 
  4. What are the basics of hardware, software, bandwidth, and technical support that should be available in each school? Should there be provincial guidelines?
  5. What should be the policies on “Bring Your Own Device,” both for students and teachers?
  6. How much and what kind of data on students should be collected, what are the privacy parameters and how should it be stored, accessed, as well as destroyed when not appropriately saved? 
  7. What tools for collecting data should be available to teachers? How much should student data be centralized through MyEducation BC?  What should be the parameters of using technology to report to parents?
  8. How much focus should be put on computational thinking and coding and at what levels?
  9. What supports through in-service should be provided to teachers to deal with the wide-range of pedagogical, social, and technical issues related to information and communications technology?
  10. What are the issues around use of the education platforms of Google, Microsoft, FreshGrade, Scholantis, Aspen/Fujitsu, and other technology corporations?

Key Recommendation

Recommendation 1

Create a digital technology policy committee to develop advice on issues around information and communications technology, particularly education technology.

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