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EVERFI and Shaw Communications bring "Ignition" to British Columbia and Alberta schools, equipping students with critical digital literacy skills

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  • SJR

Curriculum to help students safely navigate online and thrive in digital world

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Students and teachers in Alberta and British Columbia now have access to Ignition —a digital literacy course developed by EVERFI, a leading social impact education innovator, designed to help students in grades 6-9 develop the skills they need to navigate online content and social media safely and confidently.

Through a series of six lessons, students learn critical digital literacy skills that enable them to protect their privacy and safety while evaluating online content for accuracy, perspective, and motive. The course works to help students recognize and acknowledge the benefits and resources of digital communities while simultaneously placing them in those same virtual environments to tackle potential issues surrounding digital citizenship. Students will also learn to create a healthy balance between on- and offline time.

“We live in a fast-moving world of technology and many falsely think that because children are immersed in the digital world at a young age, they are naturally digitally literate,” said EVERFI Co-Founder and President, Jon Chapman. “Just like traditional literacy, children benefit from guidance, instruction, and practice. By educating students on the nuts and bolts of how technology works, we are building the foundation for them to confidently navigate the possible pitfalls of being in these digital spaces.”

Covering a wide range of topics including cybersecurity, cyberbullying, and responsible social networking, Ignition will increase basic digital literacy for students and provide them with the knowledge to leverage technology in a safe way.

The curriculum is being made available to schools at no cost through support from Shaw Communications Inc.

“As the ability to learn, play and access information through technology becomes seamless across devices in the home and at school, the need for digital wellness and literacy education is ever-increasing,” said Chethan Lakshman, Vice President, External Affairs, Shaw Communications. “This generation is growing up with unrivalled access to technology, and students are incredibly savvy at navigating the internet. With Ignition at their fingertips, they will have a better understanding of the power of connectivity to build positive online experiences and communities.”

According to a 2019 EVERFI study, middle schoolers today are spending an average of 6 hours per day online. Online activities allow them to connect with people with common interests and find creative ways to create and source content. Despite this, only 47 per cent of students say social media has had a positive influence on their lives.

According to EVERFI, students who have discussed online safety with their teachers are more likely to say that technology and social media have had a positive effect on their lives and less likely to report getting in trouble in school or at home for their technology use.

Working with EVERFI to launch Ignition extends Shaw’s commitment to support youth with critical digital education during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the early months of the pandemic, Shaw funded nationwide access to EVERFI’s digital educational programming, covering topics that are most relevant to young people today: personal health, financial education, mental health, and digital wellness. From March to June of 2020, more than 10,600 students accessed seven unique digital programs.

To learn more about Ignition, visit https://everfi.com/courses/k-12/digital-literacy-wellness-safety/

About Shaw Communications Inc.
Shaw is a leading Canadian connectivity company. The Wireline division consists of Consumer and Business services. Consumer serves residential customers with broadband Internet, Shaw Go WiFi, video and digital phone. Business provides business customers with Internet, data, WiFi, digital phone, and video services. The Wireless division provides wireless voice and LTE data services.

Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and is included in the S&P/TSX 60 Index (Symbol: TSX – SJR.B, NYSE – SJR, and TSXV – SJR.A). For more information, please visit www.shaw.ca

About EVERFI, Inc.
EVERFI is an international technology company driving social change through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society ranging from financial wellness to prescription drug safety to workplace conduct and other critical topics. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) community engagement platform and has reached more than 41 million learners globally. In 2020, the company was recognized as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and was featured on Fortune Magazine’s Impact 20 list. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, as well as Advance, Rethink Education, Rethink Impact, The Rise Fund, and TPG Growth. To learn more about EVERFI and how you can #answerthecall please visit everfi.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter @EVERFI.

Media Contacts:

Chethan Lakshman, VP, External Affairs
Shaw Communications Inc.
(403) 930-8448

Jennifer Edgerly