Digital technology is central to the lives of young Quebecers, but their skill acquisition and appropriation are uneven, as the world goes through major technological transformations. Recent statistics are telling:
- 65% of children beginning their school career will hold jobs that don’t exist yet (World Economic Forum – 2016);
- In Quebec, 1.73 million jobs will be affected by digitization and robotization by 2030;
- In 2016, more than 100,000 Quebec students learn daily with a tablet (Canada Research Chair in ICT);
- In 2018–2019, 69M$ will be devoted to investments in digital infrastructure for the Quebec education system.
In order to connect with youth and to get to know their digital reality, Printemps Numérique, supported by the Quebec Secrétariat à la Jeunesse, is launching its Digital Cafés tour. A series of free technology exploration events is organized in 6 Quebec regions: Montreal, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Capitale-Nationale, Estrie, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Mauricie.
“Quebec is a digital leader. Our position on the global scene gives us a responsibility in regards to future generations,” says Mehdi Benboubakeur, director of Printemps Numérique. “The wealth of our ecosystem allows us to offer original experiences to hundreds of young people.”
Two age groups – 13–17 years old and 18–29 years old – are targeted. The main goal is to raise awareness about the potential and the transformations of digital technology. Topics include virtual reality spaces, humanoid robots, 3D printing, 360-degree video, and more!
The Digital Cafés are part of the Youth QC 2030 project, supported by the Quebec Secrétariat à la Jeunesse. It was developed to give access to technology to youth aged between 13 and 29 from various backgrounds in order to prevent the creation or expansion of a “digital divide”.
Youth QC 2030 also touches upon research and consultation axes. Printemps Numérique, in collaboration with UQAM’S Canada Research Chair in Sociocultural Issues of Digital Technology in Education, will seize the opportunity presented by the youth gatherings to improve the still basic research on the subject, collecting and analyzing data on their skills in digital literacy. Furthermore, this fall will mark the start of the first cross-sectoral and interregional committee on digital literacy with different players.
“Quebec stands out by its dynamism in the digital field. However, our youth remains uneven in their acquisition of skills in this sector. Youth QC 2030 wishes to give equal chances to everyone to evolve and get involved by offering practical solutions and collaborative actions imagined by young people. The project will also create the first cross-sectoral network around digital literacy, which will be a source of reflections and exchanges of good practices,” says Suzanne Gouin, Chairwoman of the Board, Printemps Numérique.
Youth QC 2030 is part of the 2016–2021 Youth Action Strategy of the Quebec Secrétariat à la Jeunesse. The project also explores the possibilities offered by digital technology to contribute to the progress of the objectives of the Quebec Youth Policy.
“Young people have a great role to play in the digital evolution of Quebec. They are the voice of a generation who, in most cases, will work in that field. The Government of Quebec is happy to be able to count on Montreal Digital Spring to help young Quebecers to use digital technology and to accompany them in their professional growth,” says Karine Vallières, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier (youth).
Dates of the Digital Cafés
- Friday, June 8; Saturday, June 9; and Sunday, June 10 – Eurêka Festival
- Wednesday, June 13 – Station FM-R
- Saturday, June 16 – Virage Campus-MIL
- Tuesday, September 11 – Polyvalente Le Carrefour in Val-d’Or
- Thursday, September 13 – Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue in Rouyn Noranda
- Tuesday, September 18 – École secondaire L’Odyssée in Chicoutimi
- Thursday, September 20 – Collège d’Alma
- Thursday, September 27 – Cégep de Sainte-Foy
- Friday, September 28 – Musée de la civilisation
- Saturday, September 29 – Bibliothèque Monique-Corriveau
- Tuesday, October 2 – Cégep de Trois-Rivières
- Thursday, October 4 – École secondaire Val-Mauricie in Shawinigan
- Tuesday, October 9 – Cégep de Sherbrooke
- Thursday, October 11 – École Internationale du Phare in Sherbrooke
For details on the programming of the Digital Cafés and to sign up, visit: http://www.printempsnumerique.ca/en/projects/project/youth-qc-2030/