Digital Wellness in School District 23

Bits  Bytes transparent

Families across the Central Okanagan are eager to learn about how to live well in an increasingly digital world, with hundreds signing up to learn how to balance technology with family life, keep children safe online, and use social media in a positive way. The learning opportunities are offered by Central Okanagan Public Schools' Learning Technology Department in partnership with the Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Committee (COPAC).

"For three years, our department has been exploring an ongoing inquiry with students, staff, and families to understand what it means to live well in an increasingly digital world," says Jordan Kleckner, District Principal for Learning Technology. "This year, we partnered with COPAC to bring multiple learning opportunities to families and the response shows that not only are parents eager to learn about these topics, but we have a great opportunity as educators to empower both adults and children to use technology in positive ways."

Over 200 parents joined webinars early in 2022 to learn from teacher librarian and author of Raising Digital Leaders Jennifer Casa-Todd. These sessions were followed by three workshops and book studies, attended by over 60 parents. Over 600 families have also subscribed to receive Digital Wellness Bits and Bytes - short form learning resources curated by the District that offer helpful information and ideas on topics such as screen time and navigating social media.

Central Okanagan Public Schools hopes to build on the success of the Digital Wellness inquiry and learning and encourages all families to get involved with learning alongside their children for the health and wellbeing of all.

"Parents tell us they're learning that parental involvement is more effective and meaningful than parental restrictions," says Kleckner. "Technology and social media will evolve but they won't go away, so it's imperative that we have open communication with our children and learn how to model the behaviour we want to see."