Sask. professor hosts class of thousands to talk about being a good digital citizen
A U of R professor will deliver an online lecture to thousands of students
Each day, in classrooms across the province, kids use screens to learn and work. While the learning spaces have changed, the challenges of adolescence have not.
This is why University of Regina professor Alec Couros is taking time to teach a class of at least 8,800 elementary and high school students on Tuesday.
The lesson's focus? How to be a good digital citizen, or #digcit.
"Digital citizenship is a new way of looking at the anti-bullying initiatives that have been prevalent," Couros explained.
Naturally, Couros will deliver the lecture through an online, interactive broadcast.
"Basically, it's a much more positive approach and much more realistic approach at looking at the behaviours of students and how they actually engage in the web, through web technologies," he said.
Couros estimates that the online forum may reach as many as 9,000 Saskatchewan students in 160 schools.
The idea behind the forum is that good online behaviour is something that needs coaching.
Kids, like adults, may need a guide to help them maneuver the endless webs of knowledge available at the touch of a fingertip. A positive helping hand to steer them away from troves of online risk and clear of social media pitfalls, lurking predators and possible vulnerabilities.
"Ultimately, it is about them being able to leverage the tools they have in their hands, in many cases, to make the world a better place," he said.
"Rather than just simply saying you should not bully someone, it is about creating these behaviours in students. What is out there? What is possible? How can they better the world, rather than just punishing negative behaviours."
with files from CBC's Micki Cowan