New Brunswick to develop digital literacy standards for schools12 March 2018
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing in the creation of digital literacy standards for provincial classrooms, in co-operation with the University of New Brunswick (UNB).
A focus on cybersecurity is a significant part of the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan. The creation of digital literacy standards will help ensure that students protect themselves online and are prepared for the opportunities available to graduates in the modern economy.
“Your government has established New Brunswick as a leader in the cybersecurity sector,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Brian Kenny. “One of the key objectives of our 10-year education plans is to improve learning in, and application of, technology for all learners. By working with UNB’s Faculty of Education to create these digital literacy standards, we are ensuring our emerging workforce will be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities your government is investing in today.”
The project will involve investing in the work of a PhD student at a total cost of $80,000; $40,000 of this amount will be covered by UNB, while the remaining investment will be split evenly between the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Opportunities NB.
“Opportunities NB and CyberNB have worked tirelessly to position New Brunswick as a leader in cybersecurity,” said Stephen Lund, CEO of Opportunities NB. “These new digital literacy standards will complement our existing education efforts through programs like CyberSmart, to ensure New Brunswick’s graduates are ready to help our province continue its leadership role.”
Phase 1 of the project, which involves the development of a draft set of standards, is already underway, with the work being done by PhD student Matt McGuire. Phase 2 involves consultations with teachers, industry professionals and government, to ensure the draft standards are validated by stakeholders. The final phase will be the incorporation of the finalized standards into the province’s education system.
“Cybersecurity is an increasingly significant sector, one in which UNB and the Government of New Brunswick have established themselves as leaders,” said university president Eddy Campbell. “Through partnerships such as this, and the development of new digital literacy standards, UNB is able to continue educating future leaders and shaping public policy around cybersecurity.”
One of the project’s long-term goals is to have the standards adopted across Canada.