The Toronto District School Board and Onestop Media Group have launched a pilot project to bring a real-time, digital communications network to students in four downtown Toronto high schools: Harbord Collegiate, Central Technical School, Central Commerce Collegiate and Haydon Park Secondary.
Using today’s digital and interactive technologies, the network showcases a massive portfolio of content segments, from student news reports; to safety and security information; to the announcement of events and student achievements. The network also enables staff and students to upload videos, images and text to a series of state-of-the-art LCD screens.
The TDSB network’s goal is to equip the schools with a modern communication platform to allow user-generated content – similar to what the students encounter growing up in the digital age. Content creation for this emerging digital medium may, in the future, be integrated into the school curriculum.
“Today’s youth are tech savvy,” says Chris Bolton, vice-chair of the Board. “This project engages them through their own media environment but also challenges them to be involved in their school and community. Learning has become more relevant using the technology and is reflective of their interests and those of their community, which also shares the benefits of this new communication piece in the Toronto District School Board.”
Michael Girgis, president and CEO, Onestop Media Group, says, “This is a generation that was born with the Internet. Digital technologies are a part of the way students speak with each other, and we’re pleased to provide a way for them to use this technology at school.”
Constable Scott Mills, Community Youth Officer, Toronto Crime Stoppers, says that the digital infrastructure that supports this Network also allows authorities such as TDSB and Crime Stoppers to deliver messaging in a timely and relevant fashion.
“Digital Networks like these have proven to be instrumental in helping keep our communities safe, as seen with Onestop’s Network in the Toronto Transit Commission,” says Mills.
Rodrigo Fuentes, principal, Harbord CI, says that the pilot will run for several more months, and will allow for student, parent and staff feedback on the tools and technology as they become part of daily school life.