Peter Skillen and I had the pleasure of attending a working group session at the YMCA of Greater Toronto led by Candy Chow (YPALS Coordinator – YMCA of Greater Toronto) and Nina Arcon (YPALS Specialist at YMCA of Greater Toronto). This group of about 12 young people are about to launch a blog that will help newcomers to Canada in areas that would help make the transition easier: health care information, customs, laws, education information, etc.
In this digital age, our tools allow us to reach out over time and space in a more non-linear fashion, and that’s exactly what this group is hoping to do. Their blog will allow people who are preparing their arrival in Canada to begin to investigate their new life before arriving, as well as help those folks who are already here find and explore this source for information.
I was asked to contribute my knowledge about blogging, and especially aspects of Creative Commons that would ensure that this public space wouldn’t be violating any copyright laws. Similar to my experience with working with teachers, these students had never heard of the Creative Commons. They weren’t aware of the laws around responsible use of the works of others, or how to license their own content. Peter and I hear all of the time about how the presence of ‘digital natives’ will mean we no longer have to focus on building capacity for technology use…”they were born with it, they just know it!” Not our experience. It was so refreshing to work with these smart, amazing, self-directed and community minded young people who were so eager to learn. They were delighted that we were sharing sites that would give them great content for their school assignments too!