#CyberFLASH: Online privacy a must in new Alberta curriculum

gv_20140408_biv0108_140409938.jpg__0x400_q95_autocrop_crop-smart_subsampling-2_upscaleAs the Alberta Education Ministry sets out on the massive task of overhauling the province’s school curriculums, one advocate is hoping to see a focus on privacy in the digital age.

Sharon Polsky, director of the Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association said she feels it’s important Alberta Education make online privacy a priority in the Career And Life Management (CALM) portion of the new curriculum.

“Considering something like 30 per cent of children have a tablet for their own exclusive use by the time they’re one and the vast majority have daily time with electronic devices by the time they’re two– it’s the same thing as giving a kid your car keys and saying have a nice time, stay safe on the road– they don’t understand the implications of what they’re doing,” she said.

Larissa Liepins, press-secretary for David Eggen, Minister of Education, said they’re interested in hearing input from concerned citizens about what should be included in the new provincial curriculum.

“Consideration for teaching privacy and protection in the curriculum will be a broad conversation,” she said. “In the fall we’ll be holding many face-to-face meetings as well as launching an online survey for everyone.”

Polsky said by including online privacy in education early on we’re creating safer and more self-aware people.

“An educated public can make better choices, be more self-reliant, make better laws, understand what they’re doing when they use a computer or create a profile or and app,” she said.

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