As we all head back to school during a global pandemic, it’s a good time to ask whether students are learning the skills they need to keep themselves and their communities safe.
Over the last decade, scholars, policy makers and citizens have been concerned about whether young people had the key skills they needed to survive and thrive in the digital economy.
Canada, the United Nations and the World Economic Forum, among others, have developed position papers and programs aimed at promoting digital skills. Coding, in particular, has been promoted as an essential component of public education.
Most public schools now teach students how to code, but we are not teaching students how to identify their own key triggers for misinformation or the organizational incentives for misinformation spread. As a result of these missing information literacy skills, our children may grow into adults who are not prepared to participate democratically in what is certain to be an even more complex information environment.
While I agree that coding is indeed an important skill, I am concerned that it is not enough.