There was a time when the main courses in grade school included the typical math, English, French, and social studies programs. In this era of technology students can expect to add another course to their curriculum–text ed.
This new course, part of textED.ca will be tried in one hundred seventh grade classrooms across Canada for the upcoming month. A full version of the program will be implemented in the fall in all schools. The announcement of this new course comes from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. According to the agencies, this program is designed to teach the proper behavior that one should follow when texting. It is also designed to teach teenagers the dangers of sexually explicit text messages, harassing messages, and other types of texts that could harm themselves or another individual.
A study conducted by Pew Research Centre found that 15% of teens between 12 and 17 years old have received nude photos or videos through a text message on their cell phones. With the launch of this new program in schools, Canada is attempting to highlight the dangers to its youths on “text luring” and other risks that are associated with inappropriate texting.
The website, textED.ca, has many sections on it that highlight proper texting etiquette. The site includes things such as times when one should not text, taking the time to enjoy technology and knowing when to not let it control oneself, and knowing that it’s okay to be disconnected at times from technology. The website even includes an “acronictionary” that explains the meanings of commonly abbreviated words used in text messages.
The program is also designed to inform teens that they can approach a trusted adult if they ever feel threatened or uncomfortable by messages that they receive.