COVID -19 Series: Middle Digital Literacy
Email Header

May 11, 2020
Middle Snapshot
Digital Literacy


School connectedness is one of the most important protective factors in a young person's life. 

During this pandemic as we practice physical distancing, we are all spending more time online for learning, work, and social connection.  Peer connections are incredibly important to adolescents, but we can't forget that the relationship between parents and their children is the most important factor in supporting their safety and well-being. How can we have a balanced approach with online time and other opportunities for connection?
What is Digital Literacy?

The BC Ministry of Education defines digital literacy as the interest, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digital and communication technology.

To use communication tools to access, manage, integrate, analyze and evaluate information, construct new knowledge, create and communicate with others.

Many parents have had to 'upgrade' their digital literacy through the process of supporting their children with their online learning assignments. We would like to highlight the pros as well as some of the pitfalls of living within a technology filled environment at this time.  

Platforms for Connection

Online Learning

Social Connections


Google Classroom and Hangouts

Phone calls to connect with students

Video Conferencing via Zoom or Google

Encourage teens to stay socially connected virtually through Instagram,
Facebook, Tik Tok, Snapchat, etc.

Spend regular virtual time with extended family members and friends.

Focus on connections that offer helpful support.
Online games

Wellness and Mental Health apps (Mind Shift, SAM, iMood Journal, Headspace, Calm)
Digital Parenting Tips

Technology is here to stay and a vital part of our day to day work and interactions. Moderation is key to managing technology use in our homes. It is helpful to maintain an open, transparent, and ongoing dialogue with our children regarding the internet, technology, social media, and video games.

Keep phones and devices out of their bedroom. Sleep is important for growth. If possible have a central charging station for all portable household digital devices (e.g. home office, kitchen table).

Know their passwords - it's a parental necessity. You paid for the devices and should be able to randomly spot-check them at any point in time.
Do your homework. Download the app first and try it out, play around with it and do your research. If your child already has the app or the game, ask them to teach you about it.

Put tape or a sticky over the laptop or iPad camera when not in use.
yd2 yd2
We are not our child's best friend. We are responsible for ensuring their safety in the offline and online world.

Remind them of the permanence of anything posted online or sent electronically.

Try to build a culture of openness and trust in establishing a two-way dialogue about technology and social media. You want to be approachable when (not if) an issue comes up in their digital lives.
 The video above highlights key points of Digital Responsibility
This Parent‘s Guide to Raising Digitally Responsible Youth gives you what you need to know in 2020 to stay in the loop about the most popular applications (apps) and trends. This information will equip you to better understand your child or teen and help you relate to the digital world that they are living in. Click on the image to download the Guide.

Raising Digitally Responsible Youth: A Parent‘s Guide is brought to you by Safer Schools Together and the BC Ministry of Education.
Full Image
Good-quality video games offer lots of benefits to children and teens. They can: 

* provide a fun and social form of entertainment  
* encourage teamwork and cooperation when played with others  
* make kids feel comfortable with technology
* increase children’s self-confidence and self-esteem as they master games  
* provide points of common interest and opportunities for socialization  
* develop skills in reading, math, technology and problem-solving
* encourage participation in related offline activities, such as reading or sports  
* encourage civic participation
* improve hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills
Concerns about Video Games

More than 80% of Canadians ages 6 to 17 years say they play video games regularly.

Excessive Playing. Studies have shown that between 7 & 11% of gamers show some symptoms associated with addiction. These teens will often neglect school work and other aspects of their daily lives when they become immersed in these games. There are also many potential negative effects on physical health due to lack of activity. 
Violence. A 2011 study found that 13 % of youth under 18 were able to buy Mature rated games. Adolescents can have difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy, which makes them more vulnerable to the effects of media violence. They may become more aggressive and fearful if they are exposed to high levels of violence in video games.
Gender Stereotyping. As with all forms of popular media, video games have the potential to influence how children perceive themselves and others.
Racial Stereotyping. While people of many cultures play video games, diversity is not usually reflected in the games themselves. 

The Canadian Pediatric Society Recommends that Parents:

Manage screen use: Make a family media plan; be present and engaged when screens are used; speak proactively with teens about acceptable and unacceptable online behaviours

Monitor for problematic screen use such as: complaints about being bored or unhappy without access to digital technology; challenging behaviours in response to screen time limits; screen use or time that interferes with face-to-face interaction, physical activity, school, or sleep; negative emotions after using social media, texting, or playing video games.

Model healthy screen use: Have daily “screen-free” times; turn screens off when not in use; turn screens off at least an hour before bed; do not text while driving or biking. 
Encourage meaningful screen use: Prioritize face-to-face interactions, sleep, and physical activity over screen use; choose developmentally appropriate content; be part of their children’s digital lives; and prioritize screen use that is educational, active, or social.
Balance is important - remember to get outside!
Full Image

Chief Joseph sends a message to all in light of COVID-19.

 "If ever there was a time and a need to honour our common humanity, "Namawyut (we are all one), this is it. This is the moment." 


Full Image
Click the button below for a comprehensive list of Community Services and their availability during the pandemic.

Learning Resources

BC Numeracy Network  
Free Indigenous movies online CBC  
The Ministry of Education site contains excellent information on learning at home and resources for families
The Greater Victoria School District provides learning opportunities for elementary, middle and secondary age students.
TedED - Parents can sign up for grade specific daily lessons on any subject imaginable.  Fun and engaging!
BCTF - Aboriginal Education Teaching Resources
Indigenous Educational Resources

  Learning Resources for Students with Complex Needs

Food Resources for Families 

Full Image