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Technology is amazing and has improved our lives in so many ways. However, it’s also had a huge impact on our relationships, habits and emotions, and not always in a positive way.

Literacy is an extremely important skill as it relates to our competency in a certain area. We’re taught reading, writing and arithmetic. However, we’re coming up short with emotional, physical and especially digital literacy.

I have been working in online marketing and websites since 2000 and the internet has changed so much since then. So many adults aren’t able to keep up with the changes so they can only do so much when it comes to teaching kids.

I have spoken to over 15,000 kids in the last 3 years and most of those kids were between Kindergarten and Grade 8. I have had a tough time booking high schools and in doing some research among my teacher friends, part of that is due to the fact that a lot of high schools don’t have time/don’t make time for assemblies/extra activities. I get it – high schools are under a lot of pressure to have their students perform. However, how well are they being prepared for life during and after high school?

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This short video with Gary Vaynerchuk is one of my favourite reminders about the impact the online space has had on our brand.

 

It’s easy to find examples of people who have gotten into trouble using technology and it’s so easily avoided. Just a few examples of what can go wrong:

  • You publicly say something that is taken the wrong way and you get fired from your job
  • You post a photo publicly that you meant to only send to one person, which then becomes shared and your reputation is ruined
  • Your friend shares a news article, which you read and share and believe to be true. However, it’s fake news but you base your judgement and opinion on that fake news article

There are just a few general examples of what can go wrong and it happens daily. I knew that something had to be done and that we can do better. Instead of putting a bandaid on the wound, it’s better to prevent the wound from happening in the first place.

That’s why I am going to be starting to present my Digital Literacy assembly to high schools (and junior high schools) that includes the following topics:

  • Personal brand
  • Perception & Consequences
  • Distinguishing fake news from real news
  • Best practices

We can do better. This is one way that I’m doing my part. If you are a principal, teacher or parent and would like to talk about having me come speak at your school or group, please contact me.

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