Informed Citizen Discussions on Digital’s Impact on Society: Digital Literacy for All in Canada

by | Dec 16, 2020

Tech for Good Canada seeks to to educate all on digital technology’s impact on society. We see our role as essential for citizens of all ages in Canada to acquire digital literacy, not so much in terms of using tech or coding, as is provided elsewhere, but in terms of decoding how tech is changing our lives. Digital impacts our education systems, our consumption patterns, our physical and mental health, our democracies, our national and personal security, to name a few. Some call this digital citizenship. We do this by connecting informed citizens and experts in regular, monthly discussions we call Citizen Salons.

Attendees are invited to watch a movie and/or read background material before the event. The discussion is moderated by Caroline Isautier along with Tim Grant (for the English salons), while the audience is encouraged to ask their own questions to the experts, who are free to respond as they wish. This makes for open, lively exchanges.


The main themes of our discussions are: access to information and censorship, online transactions and commerce, digital identity and privacy management, protection of our data and cybersecurity, online ethics and etiquette, and reliance on digital media. The goal is to develop a critical discourse on digital technology that balances the blissful “techno progressivism” pushed by American tech giants and raises awareness of the dangers of a development where ethical values and civil rights such as privacy rights, are flouted.

Citizen Salons are in English or French, via video or in person. A writen account of the discussion is always available, along with the entire discussion and a short video clip. They are free and open to all. In the past, as few as 20 (on person) and as many as 80 individuals (online) have regrouped.

Digital Citizen Salons in 2020 and their Accounts (often with video excerpts):


February 2020: ‘ Is Facebook deciding Elections ? ’ (English)

> Invitation email to ‘Is Facebook Deciding Elections’ with background material

March 2020: ‘ Teens and Social Media ‘ (English)

> Invitation email to ‘Teens and Social Media’ with background material

> Recap post on teens and social media

June 2020: The New Normal in Higher Education (English)

> Presentation of The New Normal in Higher Education Teaching

> Recap post on The New Normal in Higher Education Teaching

June 2020: K-12 Schools & Distance Learning (English)

> Recap post on Schools and Distance Learning in Canada during Covid19

October 2020 : Réseaux Sociaux et Jeux Vidéo: La Dépendance Programmée ? (French)

> Annonce de Réseaux Sociaux et Jeux Vidéo: La Dépendance Programmée

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School Digital Citizenship Education: On the road to improving mental wellness — and protecting Canada’s democracy

2019 is the year Google turns 31, Facebook 15, and the iPhone 12 years old. Its also the year where we citizens, blinded clients of whiz bang Big Tech, are taking back control of digital media to make sure it truly improves our lives. The impact on kids’ well-being has so far been too silent, for lack of powerful advocates. Educators and concerned citizens are now coming together in Canada to help youth and adults develop a healthy use of digital media, through what is coined in San Francisco, the Tech Mecca, “Digital Citizenship” training and can be translated to “ healthy Digital Literacy ” in the Canadian context. Digital citizenship education should be part of the curriculum accross Canada now.