Category Archives: EC&I 832

Digital Natives and Parenting

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Mary Beth Hertz speak to our class this past week on the topic of technology in school.  As she brought forth her insight and knowledge on the topic, I was constantly looking up terms for which she was using, such as FOMO, digital natives, and COPPA.  I also did a little more digging on some of the experts she had mentioned, such as Danah Boyd, Manoush Zamarodi, and Alexandra Samuel. Side note, I found some satisfaction in noticing that these digital media experts are females!

Moving on, I was intrigued specifically by Alexandra Samuel’s research on the topic of digital natives.  It made me think about how much I have been involved with the recent usage of social media with my eldest (who is 11) and how I might change how these interactions going forward.  I also enjoyed reading through the sample iPhone contracts that were shared as well as they gave me some ideas of things to discuss with my daughter with regards to phone usage.  I’m not sure I’ll go as far as implementing a contract, but the contents of the contract are good topics to address. 

There were two things that Mary Beth said that made me think more critically about social media and how I perceive it.  The first quote was:

It is possible and important to teach kids self-regulation when using technology and how to reflect on their behaviours.  However, this may or may not change things.

Mary Beth Hertz

I agree that it’s important to bring awareness to their routines, reliance, and behaviours with their devices and technology.  Heck, I need to do that with myself as I tend to think that I’m not dependent on it.  However, every time I leave the house in the morning, I often have to go back to grab my phone.  I have created a communication base for which my daughter can easily contact me, regardless of emergencies, for which there have been none.  She calls to ask if she can have a certain snack, if she can have a friend over, ask what the plans are for the evening, ask what we are having for supper. Does she need an immediate answer to any of these things?  NO!  But I have created such easy access to communicate with me that it has become routine for both of us.  I feel like I’m needed and she feels safe knowing she can have my attention almost immediately. 

What might happen if I change my availability by phone? What are some ways in which I can be less reliant on my device and be present at work?

Second quote from Mary Beth that resonated with me was:

We need to understand technology and how/why kids use it. We also need to validate their reasons and not always judge them.

Mary Beth Hertz

This statement came within our discussion about the Bored and Brilliant Challenge created by Manoush Zomoradi. I watched her Ted Talk on this for which she brings up the perspective on our youth and states that “if you’ve never known life without connectivity, you may never have experienced boredom.” Wow! That is exactly what we are experiencing with my daughter. She has grown up to a witness of our interactions with technology, specifically our devices, and is mimicking those behaviours. However, when we see her on her phone more than what we are comfortable with, we are instantly all over her it. We need to start to be models for phone usage.

We also need to have a conversation about why and how we use our phones. I feel that if she knew why I was on my phone updating our family calendar while sitting down after supper, she might have a better understanding and acceptance of my phone usage in that moment. Likewise, I would like to know why she is on her phone at times and perhaps understand her purpose for further acceptance and respect. We are quick to judge others about phone usage but need to take a step back, as expressed in the Bored and Brilliant Challenge, and evaluate ourselves before we do others.

Would you be willing to take up some of the challenges identified in Bored and Brillant study? If no, why not? If so, which ones would you find the easiest or the most difficult?

Back Samuel’s research. She did a study for which she took data from more than 10,000 North American parents with regards to kids and their screen did.  In her article Parents: Reject Technology Shame: The advantages of helping kids learn to navigate the digital world, rather than shielding them from it, she identifies that there are three groups of parents based on how they limit their or guide their kids’ screen time as well as their attitude towards technology.  These are related to the concept of digital natives:

CAUSE – Parents: Digital Limiters

  • Raise their kids offline
  • Prefer to keep their kids away from the Internet
  • Often strictly limit screen time

EFFECT – Kids: Digital Exiles

  • Kept out of the digital world for as long as possible

CAUSE – Parents: Digital Enablers

  • Trust their kids online
  • Respect kids’ ability to make their own choices online
  • Take cues from how other families use technology

EFFECT – Kids: Digital Orphans

  • Explore online world without parents to guide them

CAUSE – Parents: Digital Mentors

  • Guide their kids online
  • Enjoy spending time online with their kids
  • Cultivate their kids’ digital skills
  • Foster online learning

EFFECT – Kids: Digital Heirs

  • Inherit their parents’ online know-how and engagement

If you have kids, what category of digital parenting do you see yourself? If you’re not at old as me, what category of digital natives do you see yourself? Are you surprised by this? Why or why not?

Digital and Media Literacy in the Age of the Internet

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to Mary Beth Hertz, Philadelphia high school teacher as well as author of the book called Digital and Media Literacy in the Age of the Internet explaining what digital literacy and media literacy are while providing teachers with practical classroom applications.

The first question that came to my mind during the Skype discussion was: Are we educators prepared for teaching our students digital literacy and media literacy? I can relate to Leigh Tremblay, when it comes to “blindly” engaging with apps without knowing what is behind them. Looking at myself, there’s still a lot that needs to be done in the area of knowing how technology works and knowing how to use and analyze resources. I think the first step is that we educators recognize the importance of digital and media literacy and take the time to better ourselves. Since how could we guide our students, if we don’t understand technology and don’t know what is happening around us? Or we just lock the world of Internet and Social Media out of our classrooms limiting our students’ learning?

I agree with Adam Scott Williams, who believes that “Schools are the perfect place for students to learn about social media tools and how to use them responsibly and efficiently.” Prof. Henry Jenkins draws our attention to the dangers of the mentality of “let them be, they’ll learn on their own” since our student population is made up of three distinct groups of young people: digital orphans, digital exiles and digital heirs. Being aware of these differences can help us, educators when it comes to meeting our students’ needs. According to Mary Beth Hertz, it is crucial for us, teachers to educate ourselves and our students. Making assumptions that our students have digital literacy, just because they have access to technology or are able to use certain apps can be quite dangerous. It is like a ‘digital playground’ where students are being thrown into without guidance. It is our job to address and fill in the gaps.

Another important takeaway was the importance of validating our students’ experiences and being open to learn with them and from them. Listening to our students and talking about their experiences in a non-judgemental way will help us see the value Social Media offers to youth as well as helping them deal with its negative effects, such as the FOMO phenomena. I wonder if teaching youth to be real as Alexandra Samuel: Ten Reasons to Stop Apologizing for your Online Life explains, would make a change and encourage youth to behave like IRL (in real life) since the online life is RLT (real life too)?

Major Project Proposal

It has taken me some time to get my major project sorted out.  I’m still not 100% sure about how I will go about gathering information and compiling it, but that’s part of the process, right?

Because the concept of digital citizenship is becoming something that we are educators are starting to realize we should have a hand at addressing with our students, I wanted to start with my own children first.  As an LRT, I don’t have a class of students for which I can develop a curriculum resource to use and implement daily.  Therefore, topic one is not a realistic choice at this time.  As for topic number two, I’ve noticed that a lot of my classmates are tackling this and I feel that I can learn from them on their journey of social media apps instead of exploring it myself.  I’m not comfortable approaching topic three of social activism as I feel it would require a lot more time than what I have available right now.  That leaves with me one option, topic four, a student-designed project.

The idea for my designed project came to me when reading a recent book with my daughters (ages 9 and 11) about Web Tools for Kids (see my last post).  I was learning a lot of things along with them with regards to why we use the internet, safety online, and most recently blogs, captchas, collaborative documents, and copyright.  This got me to thinking that maybe I could learn more about digital identity and citizenship alongside my girls and come up with some fun ways for them to share their knowledge and creatively teach their own peers.  This may also allow us to teach their peers’ parents as well, either directly or indirectly.

Therefore, my project will be:

Through the eyes of a child (my daughters), I will use inquiry research to learn about digital citizenship and share this new knowledge with their peers.

I don’t have a specific outline like most others have posted, but after listening to Mary Beth Hertz describe the topics that she addresses with her students, I have a lot of different directions that I can go and explore.  First off, here is where I will start.

  1.  Research different purposes for why we use the internet and have my daughters identify how and why they use it.
  2. Pre-teach and frequently review technological vocabulary as there is a lot of specific jargon that needs to be understood.
  3. Consistently write down any questions my daughters may have during our discussions and use them to guide our research.
  4. Discover kid-friendly resources online and offline to help engage their interest in this topic.
  5. Develop a list of questions to use with their age alike peers to gather data about their knowledge base on these topics and to help find areas that lack understanding.

If you have any other suggestions or recommendations that would help guide my project as outlined, I welcome it.  I’m looking forward to involving my own kids in this process.  I just hope their initial interest in being involved doesn’t subside.  Time will tell!

Bitmoji Image


Key Learnings about our Guest Speaker – Mary Beth Hertz

This week we were fortunate to have Mary Beth Hertz  as a guest speaker in our class.

She is the author of Digital and Media Literacy in the Age of the Internet  and is a high school teacher, advocate for technology and a mom from Philadelphia PA.

I always appreciate the opportunity to hear from others who are working with teens everyday.  Here are some of the key takeaways I gained from her presentation:

One of their core values at school is collaboration.  They are also inquiry-based - projects are based around questions.  They dive deeper into the course material vs. a traditional school that may only skim the surface to prepare students to pass a test.  (I love the practicality of this.)

She decided to write this book because she teaches an "Intro to Tech" course at her school, to prepare the students because they each have a laptop for their own use throughout high school.  It was intended to provide them with a hands-on session for all Grade 9 students including aspects of digital literacy, digital citizenship and media literacy.

She straddles the complex world of understanding how tech and computers work but also we use the internet everyday.

She teaches her students how to understand how the device they use connects them with a larger web - including privacy and safety concerns,  wifi access, internet of things, and the complexity of using devices whether they are smart speakers, webcams or their smartphones.  She admitted that doing the research for this book made her a little paranoid about all that can go wrong.

On a personal note, I am always interested to hear that people are concerned about the devices they use such as an Alexa or Google Smart speaker.  My home is a Google Hub and I love the ability to play music, podcasts, research recipes and so much more.  Clearly, I need to do more research on the risks, because right now, the only thing that happens is I will get served an advertisement for something I have already searched using my Smart Home.  I question what nefarious activities can happen with this data knowing that I like to cook plant powered recipes?   Although I did appreciate Alec's comments about reports of devices being hacked and homes being infiltrated, and the vulnerabilities, but  I wonder how common that is? I have ensured my privacy settings and passwords are unique and as secure as I can.

I liked her point that in order to be digitally literate, we need to try to understand some of the concerns about the privacy and access of their information when they are online.  I also agree that many companies blame the user, rather than informing the public on how to properly secure their devices and provide education on tech literacy.

This infographic is from her blog post where she discusses how in her class she teaches kids how the internet works.  I completely agree with Mary Beth that everyone should have a basic understanding of how the internet works.  And that this infographic summarizes her key reasons why. The themes are critical to digital literacy and include Privacy, Security and Troubleshooting.

There was some discussion about the pros and cons about cookies.  I liked the balanced perspective she raised, and that we should be aware of the commercialization of our data.

I shared an example of a podcast that I just listened to that discussed this very concept - IRL  - and what we need to know about our data and our privacy.  So when Mary Beth had a fan girl moment about Manoush Zomorodi - I had yet another reason why I liked her.  We share a mutual respect for the body of work (Note to Self, IRL and her book "The Bored and Brilliant")

Here is a link to Manoush's TedTalk:

The conversation between Alec and Mary Beth about Dana Boyd's work really resonated with me.  They talked about the WHY people do what they do when they use technology and how her book "Its complicated" focuses on that it isn't the tools or technology.  It is the idea that it is what the tools offer us that keeps us using social media.  The need to be noticed, to feel connected, the feeling that you are visible to many others.... EXACTLY!

"Understand the world we live in.  There is value to technology and social media in our lives.  Don't judge it."  Mary Beth Hertz

So many great ideas shared in our class tonight from our guest speaker, our instructor and within our chat!

Major Project

At the very beginning of my EC&I 832 class, I feel nervous and fortunate at the same time. I am excited to have the opportunity to learn about social- and educational apps that I am surrounded with but not know a whole lot about. I have never used Snapchat, Instagram, nor TikTok, so I decided to go on my personal journey and learn what these apps are and how to use them safely and effectively. Having both my students and my children (eight and eleven) use them, as a teacher and parent, I feel it is my responsibility to learn about these viral tools.

So I opted for the Personal journey into media:

The goal of my major project is to have a better understanding of the digital world and of the apps and programs that my children and students are using regularly. As part of my in-depth investigation, I will be focusing on reviewing two social apps Instagram and TikTok, and two educational apps, such as Aurasma and Touchcast.

I am planning to create a detailed review of the selected apps through a media lens including a description, analysis of the app platform, Terms of Service and privacy implications, as well as educational value and usage. I would like to experiment with the above highlighted four apps by actively engaging and using the apps for an extended period of time.

I already learnt it from my Learning Project of my EC&I 831 class that creating a plan on a fairly new topic can be quite challenging. When I started learning how to play the piano, I set the most amazing goals, such as playing an Ellie Goulding song by the end of my course. It was hard to face reality and change my final goal several times. But the Learning Project taught me about the importance of connecting with professionals and learning from each other. I had the opportunity to chat with one of my colleagues, Kristina Boutilier, regarding my Major Project in Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy, and she shared a wonderful site with me that I think will be very useful when it comes to examining apps through media lens. is a collection of best apps that offers detailed description and evaluation of the various apps. I am also planning to examine other resources in the Educational App Store. The latter offers a wide collection of apps as well as overviews that will be helpful in finding valuable apps and learning what to look for in a good app. I also came across an open educational resource (OER), the Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) offering valuable information regarding the quality and relevance of apps by providing a checklist for an app evaluation. I will also continue reading articles and listen to TED talks on this topic. I came across Jeff Kirschner’s Litterati app, an app that makes it fun to pick up litter is definitely something I would like to know more about.

I hope, when I start examining apps, I will not get lost in the abundance of resources. Being fairly new in the world of technology, I am ALWAYS happy to hear your suggestions and advice.

Thank you!

Digital Citizenship Major Project: An In-Depth App Analysis

For my major project I have decided will entail my personal journey into digital media both personally, and educationally.  In my current position it is an expectation that we are up and current on trending educational technology that is implemented into the classroom, as well as having an idea of the technology that our students are using on a daily basis.  I have decided that because this project fits well within the context of my position as an instructional technology consultant that it would be a great asset to share with my school division, and aid in the implementation of these apps for teachers in our division.  As an EdTech Leader we often look at the purpose of the apps, in addition to one of our main concerns with the implementation of new technology, privacy.  Some of the questions we have to look at include:

  • Where is the student information stored?
  • What happens if the company sells?
  • Do companies sell student data?
  • Are students being marketed towards?

The apps that I am going to look at include

  • TikTok (An app that is fairly new to me that could potentially has engaging potential for education),
  • Seesaw (A very popular app that is being used by many educators in ourschool division, I have some experience with Seesaw)
  • Wakelet (A fairly new app to me, but again have some experience but have seen limited use in the classroom)
  • and as Matteo is doing (time permitting a surprise app)

I am still trying to fabricate how I am going to present, and the information that I am going to gather.  There currently is a lot of educational websites that tackle investigations into these apps, such as Common Sense Media.  I want to make something different, while still providing the full review of the app. Currently I am hoping on housing these full reviews on a web creation site such as Adobe Spark Page in which I have played around briefly with, or with Adobe Dreamweaver, in which I have no experience with, but would tie in nicely with some of the coding experience I have taken in my last course.

My current ideas for providing my in-depth app analysis includes:

  • description
  • in-depth review
  • tutorials
  • privacy policy,
  • educational value
  • lessons
  • testimonies
  • podcasts
  • Alignment to the ISTE Standards (What our school division follows)

Where applicable I will encourage teachers I am working with to look at the use of apps in an educational setting or to use the apps within a personal setting, and get their feedback on using the applications.  I will possibly with school division permission, pilot the educational apps and provide testimonies of the classroom experiences.  These experiences will be documented not only on the website that will be created but as well as through Twitter.

Time permitting I will like to take a deep dive into how teachers are implementing these apps within the classroom, and hopefully step outside my comfort zone and produce some podcasts related to teachers who are implementing these programs in the classroom.  For podcasting I plan to use Anchor, this is a very user friendly app that I have used with students and will suit my needs perfectly for podcasting this semester.

I am excited to venture into this project as it will allow me to research and reflect on my learning as a educator, and as a EdTech leader for my school division.


Major Learning Project week 1

I had a bit of a hard time narrowing down an idea that would fit into the parameters of the options available. I wanted to do something both meaningful and challenging. My journey thus far in the EC&I classes has proved useful in my daily teaching by greatly improved my understanding of technology in the classroom. This growth was not the easy for me and came through a great deal of work, mostly because of my own inefficiencies with technology.

This term will be no exception, I plan on doing a project that will challenge my understanding of technology and some deep seated social intricacies that I would like to get a better understanding of.

The Inspiration

This little hairball is Luke Claude Raes. He is currently 2.5 years old and is quite a little character (like me). He is your typical kid, makes a big mess, says funny things and cries when he doesn’t get his way, (like his mom). When Luke was born it was a warm day in August and everything went well, Lacey has a family history of quick births, so quick in fact that two children have been born on the way to the hospital. SO, being a car guy I toyed with the idea that it may be kind of neat having your kid born in the car… you know, name him something funny like Silverado, Skylark or Lincoln… depending on which vehicle he was born in. I am sure we can all agree this is unique opportunity and would be a great family story down the road. Like most of my good ideas, it was quickly rejected and we compromised and decided to have a more traditional birth. So as we sat and ate our lunch that Sunday afternoon I remember the feeling of great anticipation as Lacey told me that we needed to leave. We arrived at the hospital and the contractions were increasing in speed and intensity. The nurses told her calmly that everything was on track, but left the room to tell the doctor he needed to come immediately. Less than 30 minutes later Luke was born. What an amazing roller coaster of emotion, on one hand I was agonizing watching the woman I love go through so much pain and the other so proud of the little life we had just brought into the world.

As Luke was born the doctor called the nurse to help, it turns out there was a complication with the umbilical chord. It had tied itself in a knot, after a few initial tests were done the doctor informed us that Luke was a little miracle baby. He explained that in the 20 years he had been delivering babies that this had only once before happened where there weren’t considerable health complications as a direct result. This comment was burned into the back of brain and still surfaces from time to time.

As Luke grew older we began to notice that he was left handed, like really left handed. He often wouldn’t open his right hand to hold his bottle… enter doctors comment from the back of my mind.

During Luke’s regular checkups it seemed he was not meeting some of the milestones typical in child development. Our doctor explained that it is not normal for infants to show such strong left or right handed tendencies, he recommended that we see a specialist to help diagnose why he was falling behind. I remember leaving that appointment feeling very different, I was not sad, or upset because Luke was my son and and a diagnoses wouldn’t change that. But, at the same time I could see some of those little daydreams of Luke playing the guitar, or being the high school quarterback slipping away…

So off to the specialist we go, after months of physiotherapy and talking to a long list of specialists (who were all wonderful, and get to play with infants all day… what a great job) it was determined that Luke has Cerebral Palsy, (almost certainly due to his oxygen supply being cut off from the knot in his umbilical chord). Some of the language they used to describe it was extremely lucky, fortunate, minimally disabled… these will come into play later.

I know this is a long and unsolicited look into my personal life. I don’t often talk about it because I don’t like the idea that Luke isn’t normal. He is a funny little character just like everyone else his age, he is minimally effected by this as he has been meeting all cognitive milestones and due to his physiotherapy he has started getting more mobility in his right arm. However, he is not “normal”. So, my project will be a social awareness campaign based around the “normative center”.

Some of the things I would like to explore are:

  • What is the Normative Center?
  • How does the Normative Center affect people both “in” and “outside” of it?
  • Who decides what normal is?
  • Why do people feel the need to “fix” someone outside the “normative center”?
  • How do students/adults feel that don’t fit into this definition of normal?

Please feel free to add some points that could be addressed. I would love to hear your point of view around some of these thoughts so please open a dialogue with me about them!

Hello, again!

This semester marks the downhill portion towards completing my master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction, and I am stoked about this!

I have been teaching for 15 years, which is insane to think about. I started in grade 7/8/9 in rural Saskatchewan in my first year and was fortunate enough to get on in Regina Public the following year in grade 5/6. I taught these grades for the next 10 years before deciding that I needed a change. I took the leap to get my Inclusive Education Certificate to become a Learning Resource Teacher, for which I have been doing for the last 4 years. Because I was used to the work/student life schedule, I decided to continue my educational endeavors and go after my masters. It has not been easy with trying to balance work and personal life (with two daughters now aged 9 and 11), but I know I’ll look back and be glad that I have taken this journey and modeling life long learning for my girls.

Aside from teaching, I enjoy sports and activities. My husband would agree with me when I say that I have a hard time NOT being busy. I enjoy playing ringette, softball, basketball, volleyball and coaching my daughters in their activities. I have also recently taken up doing puzzles with my oldest as this is a good way for both of us to sit and relax rather than being busybodies all of the time. Of course, like most people, I also value my sleep.

Thanks to Sarah for the idea to use Bitmoji. I had never used them before in this way. Always learning something new!

My interest in this course stems from my apprehension and lack of knowledge when it comes to social media and media literacies. Although I have experienced the introduction of many technologies throughout my lifetime, I have often seen them as scary thanks to society’s portrayal which uses a fear-mongering lens to analyze them. However, society is not completely to blame for my trepidation. I am safe and satisfied with being comfortable and with things that I can control and the idea of online means learning, collaboration, and contribution is new and daunting. I have started to become more open minded about the value and benefits that it has but am still caution and uncertain at times, especially with how I can use it both personally and professionally.

Another reason I am interested in taking this course is because my daughters are at an age for which they know no different and they are fully immersed. I do not believe in hiding them from social media as this is the way of the world and this would only ostracize them. Instead, I want to learn along with them and from them to ensure they are approaching and using social media in a positive, effect, and appropriate way.

I have recently stumbled across a book within the Moving Up with Literacy Place resource at my school called “Web Tools for Kids” by Jane Smith and Nathan Toft that I have been reading through with my daughters. It has been a great starting point to discuss specific terminology related to the world wide web and important topics such as:

Using resources such as this as well as the learning through this course and from my classmates/colleagues, I feel ready to lower my walls to social media and media literacies and take the first step in being more connected.

P.S. I am always looking for help, support, and a gentle push along the way.


Welcome to my introductory blog post! My name is Melinda Demeter and I have been living in Canada for 18 years. I am Hungarian who grew up in Romania, Transylvania, half an hour drive from the famous Bran Castle known as Dracula Castle.

Due to living as part of a minority group, Romania never really felt like home. At a very young age, I knew I was going to leave the country. I started learning English when I was in grade five, later I added German to have a higher chance when the time was going to come to settle in a new country. After I had finished university in the capital city of Romania, my dream came true and I was able to move to Canada. Soon, I had to face the harsh reality by being told that my Education Degree was equal to a Bachelor of Arts Degree and I had to go back as a full-time student for three and a half years to get my teaching degree. I often wonder what my life would look like had I stayed in my home town. I feel this was God’s plan for me. I have two beautiful children Dani and Mariska who give meaning to my life.

I love to travel, I am passionate about different cultures and of course teaching. Being an English as an Additional Language teacher is the perfect fit for me, since I am an immigrant who has experienced culture shock and all the ups and downs of settling in a new country. I truly feel that I can connect to my students and really understand what they are going through.

I see myself as a lifelong learner always finding an exciting goal to work towards. After I finished my Master’s Certificate Program in TESOL, I applied for the Master’s Certificate Program in Educational Technology, pushing myself to face my fear of technology.

I am so thankful to my Professor, Dr. Alec Couros for his continuous guidance and support as well as for my classmates’ help and encouragement. During the past two courses, EC&I 834 and EC&I 831, I have not only learnt a tremendous amount, but also built great relationships. I always loved technology since it made it possible for me to stay connected to my friends and family. Without Internet and Skype I wouldn’t have been able to survive the past 18 years. Now, that I am learning about the treasures the world of technology is offering, I am loving it more than ever. Of course it has positive and negative sides, like everything else in life. Being able to see and hear my parents living 8,288 km away from me is something words cannot describe.

Since I have been taking Ed.Tech classes, according to one of my students I became a “YouTuber”. I also had the opportunity to develop online and blended learning resources, as well as learn how to play the piano, the most amazing journey, that I recorded in the form of a podcast. This was a childhood dream of mine, that I was able to accomplish thanks to the Learning Project of my EC&I 834 class. Although the class ended, the piano stayed in my life, helping me find my inner piece when life gets hectic.

I am very excited to learn about Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy since it is a relevant topic both in schools and in my own home. Looking forward to another great journey!

Thanks for stopping by!


Final Project Idea – EC& I 832 Digital Citizenship

My plan for the final project is to focus on creating a resource for digital citizenship for a group of people who are often not considered when we focus on digital & social media -

Senior Citizens 

This project hits close to home for me.  My mom is 83 years old and moved into a seniors residence this past year.  My mom is a very tech-savvy octagenarian, for example, she uses her iPhone and iPad to connect with friends and family on Facebook, uses Twitter to get up-to-date with news and current affairs, and reads at least 2 books a week using an online reading app where she downloads books from the library.

Many of her friends in her new residence are open to wanting to learn how to use social media, like Facebook.  However, there is some hesitation in getting started because they are fearful of how to do it, or how to use it properly.  I think there is a great opportunity to help seniors learn more about digital citizenship, how to use social media safely and responsibly.

I personally love the extension this project would take from my previous work in helping parents navigate the digital world for their teens, and instead could help my generation help navigate this space for their parents!

For this project, I would need to:

  • research the current use of social media by seniors in Canada.  
    • I will research Stats Canada, and find other resources to help establish this information
  • conduct basic research of my own through a survey, interviews with seniors and a focus group
  • write a report that outlines my findings focusing on how seniors use social media, or don't use and why they don't
  • Prepare a basic resource to help seniors with navigating their participation in social media with a focus on digital citizenship including:
    • media literacy
    • online identity
    • responsible participation online.
I would really appreciate your feedback on this idea.  Do you have any suggestions or ideas on how I can improve this project?  Do you agree/disagree that this would be helpful for this group of people?