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Ontario Health and Physical Education Curriculum

I’m going to digress from my normal topics of technology for the moment to address something that’s been happening in my home province of Ontario.

It seems that our new premier has decided that we should revert back to the curriculum from 1998.

There are a lot of opinions floating around the Internet about this.  The response is polarized.  Some people are thrilled, as they did not believe that the new curriculum was appropriate.  And some people are outraged, as they were thankful that the Government was addressing the reality of the world we live in.

Regardless of what side you are on, you need to arm yourself with facts.

This document is the current, 2015 version of the curriculum.  It is linked on the Ministry website,

This Document is the 1998 version.  It is not linked on the Ministry website (yet??) .

Consider these points for context:

  • The first iPhone was released in 2007.  In 1998 there were no smartphones, no ipods, and no ipads.  As a result, there was no snapchat, no instagram, no sharing of photos in real time.
  • Facebook started in 2004
  • Full keyboards on mobile phones were first introduced in 1997.  The first text message was sent in 1992.  In 1998, few kids had phones, and texting was done on a 9 key keypad, if it was done at all.  Think about that.  Cell phones were not everywhere like they are today.
  • This article about the state of the internet in 1998 is very interesting.  Only 41% of adults went online.  Ever.
  • The world wide web did exist.  (The WWW you see in many internet addresses).  Businesses were just starting to go online.  Online shopping existed (ebay started in 1995) but it wasn’t a THING like it is now.
  • In 1998, the population of the world was 5.9 billion.  Today it’s approximately 7.6 billion.
  • 1998 was the year that Google started.

I could go on about the differences in the world.  But you should know them.  If you are a parent, you see that your kids are growing up in a world that is completely different from your own.  And not in the same way that our world was different than our parents.  Kids are learning things at a much younger age, and have access to a lot more information than we do.



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