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Montreal CIRA Consultations Notes_ENG_general

Montreal CIRA Consultations Notes_ENG_general

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Published by: Canadian Internet Registration Authority on Dec 14, 2010
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Canadian Internet Forum:Digital Literacy ConsultationMontréal, QuébecNovember 16, 2010Attendees
Serge Carrier, Société de formation à distance des commissions scolaires du Québec
André Caron, Université de Montréal
Chad Lubelsky, Association for Progressive Communications
Marrousia Kishka, Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux
Sylvie Passerini, Bibliothèques de Montréal
Joël Pomerleau, Office national du film
Michael Hoechsmann, McGill
Louis Houle, McGill
Kathryn Reynolds, CIRA; Matthew Johnson, Media AwarenessNetwork; Veronique-Marie Kaye, Media Awareness Network
Jean PerrasThis document captures the information from the opening reflection, the exercise of issueidentification (sticky notes), the small group discussions on baskets of issues and the closingcomments and reflection.
Reflections on key questions
Participants were asked to consider the question:
“What could/should the future of the Internet in Canada be like?”
 1. I believe it is important to focus on accessibility, analysis skills and writing: the informationavailable online tends to be surface information. Young people act more quickly, but notnecessarily better. In reality, sales of paper-based courses are on the rise: it is important notto think that an Internet education is privileged.2. There is a gap that needs to be filled. Universities have to look after literacy and the waysin which young people master literacy.
3. The Internet is going to become increasingly personalized. Also, we shouldn’t deludeourselves about the skills of the "younger" generation and the "older" generation. After all, the"older" generation created the Internet.4. I am primarily concerned about illiteracy. Since 1952, we have been a generation of the“spoken word.” With the Internet, this generation and future generations are generations ofthe “written word.” It is important to deal with illiteracy since it is the foundation of all literacy,including digital literacy. Writing is now the basic skill. Over the last century, people in thesecondary sector (like metallurgy) could be illiterate but still function with a good salary. Thisis no longer true today. This is leading to the disappearance of the secondary sector. We arechanging how we communicate. There are delays: the school system must take a more long-term approach.5. Libraries have been crusading for digital skills for years. Language quality is also at stake.6. We cannot discuss literacy without putting it into context. A good understanding of media,the Web, all of this post-modern hodgepodge, is important. Technology is a framework thatopens and closes. The issues in terms of data, access to information and open data, are keysfor defining the future of the Internet. Cultural diversity is also very important and we must notfoster American hegemony. There are few Internet leaders in Canada. World languages are atrisk. The key is to develop critical thinking. The Internet is a doorway, not an end in itself.7. It is still necessary to educate and help teach. The Internet is used for research andcommunication. Wikis open doors.
Small group sessions - Issue Identification Process
The individual sticky note brainstorm session generated a lot of data. The sorting exercisewas done at a fairly broad level with five baskets of issues identified: governance, access,content and culture, technology and
skills. In the small-group discussions, however,conversation tended to be more free-form and so comments are organized by group ratherthan by topic.
1.0 Skills/content and culture
1.1 Themes addressed:
Yesterday and today; illiteracy; training; learning difficulties; creation; content on the Internet;Americanization; lack of a regulatory body; tax credits.
1.2 Some ideas:
Classical literature once conditioned thoughts, critical thinking. How do we offer thistype of training to today’s young people?
There have always been young people who have had learning difficulties. ICTs could
help them more than more traditional teaching methods.
The level of digital literacy is fairly low overall, especially in terms of content creation.
Literacy is important for governments. We must go beyond learning how to simply useit. We must avoid “technological fetishism.” Critical thinking is also important.
It is also important to recognize that not everyone will be a creator in terms of ICTs.
Change has already occurred in the educational context. Five years ago, futureteachers were not very interested in ICTs. They are much more interested today.
Internet content is largely American.
There is the CRTC for TV and radio. Why are there no regulations for the Internet?
Too often, the Internet is seen as the Wild West. Leadership is needed for content if wewant to avoid being crushed by the United States.
The thinking about how to proceed on copyright is out of date, limiting, productivity-hindering. We must change our thinking about copyright.
Nothing has changed in regulations over the past 10 years.
We must sound the alarm if we wish to generate Canadian content.
Why not provide tax credits to people purchasing technological tools? This wouldencourage national support for ICTs.
Large associations should encourage change instead of resistance.
2.0 Access/Technology/Governance
2.1 Themes addressed:
The importance of Internet access; opportunities that accompany access in general,especially rural and Northern access; the opportunity to use technological tools (like top-leveldomains and search engines) to protect marginalized languages and cultures.
2.2 Some ideas:
Accessibility for all – regions where this is more difficult (rural) – free national WiFi?(done in Germany) – consider it a public utility, like electricity.
Question of cost – how do we overcome this at the individual level?
Quebec access program for disadvantaged families – enable increased access – 

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