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Digital Policy Salon: Learning to Learn Online

Welcome to the eleventh issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing. We're excited to bring you our u
Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Learning to Learn Online
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #11 • View online
Welcome to the eleventh issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
We’re excited to bring you our usual policy updates this week, as well as a detailed look at key topics in digital education, tech for good, and a lighter look at social media influencers’ business models.
As Canadian provinces’ reopening plans start up, new data is being released on case numbers, but also on related topics like this month’s Consumer Price Index: read on to learn about the impact of oil price fluctuations, demand for toilet paper, and more. In addition, more and more students are learning that their classes may be held digitally in Fall 2020. The lasting impact of COVID-19 on education is yet to be seen, but this week’s perspective piece and our weekly Tech and Human Rights interview both examine the intersections between education and technology from all angles, including international development, equity, and access to edtech.
Finally, in light of the numerous Canadians taking their work online, ICTC’s Mairead Matthews interviewed a well-known social media influencer and strength trainer, Katie Crewe, to understand how she makes content-creation work as a career. We hope you’re equally excited to hear about statistical modeling in this week’s “what we’re reading,” but we’ll understand if you skip to the featured research on AI in Canada.
Tyler & Faun

COVID-19 Policy Updates 🇨🇦
The economic impacts of COVID-19 have rendered some consumer goods more expensive, but many others have become cheaper.
Statistics Canada released its Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for the month of April this week, highlighting several interesting changes to the cost of goods due to COVID-19. The CPI represents changes in consumer prices over time and also indicates the rate of inflation.
April 2020 marked the first year-over-year decline in consumer prices since 2009.
  • The decline was partly caused by a staggering drop in the cost of gasoline, which fell 39.3% since last April, representing the largest year-over-year decline in the cost of gasoline to date.
  • Though not as significantly, the cost of other consumer goods also fell, including transportation, clothing and footwear, and recreation, education, and reading.
As the cost of many retail products fell, household necessities like food and cleaning products increased in price.
  • Food was 3.4% more expensive as compared to last April, with the cost of some food items like rice, eggs, margarine, and beef rising 7.9% to 9.2%.
  • The cost of paper increased 6% since March 2020, likely due to higher demand for toilet paper.
COVID-19 yields stark reductions in CO2 emissions.
In April, the World Meteorological Organization indicated that the economic downturn induced by COVID-19 could curtail global CO2 emissions by as much as 6%. On Tuesday, scientists from Europe, the United States, and Australia published similar findings:
  • On average, global daily carbon emissions dropped 17% in April.
  • Countries that practiced confinement in response to COVID-19 saw carbon emissions fall as much as 26%.
  • If current economic restrictions were to stay in place until December, total emissions for 2020 could be 7% lower than 2019.
International travel restrictions continue.
The federal government extended non-essential travel restrictions between the United States and Canada for another 30 days until June 21st, and other international travel restrictions remain in place. Similarly, in-bound travellers are still required to isolate for 14 days upon arrival to Canada.
Interestingly, while the number of people travelling to Canada by land has fallen 88% since this time last year (and by air, 98%) travel to Canada has not disappeared entirely. - Mairead Matthews | email
Our Perspective
Canada’s Instructional Revolution: Technology and Policy in a Post-COVID-19 World
Interviews in the Field
Gender, Inequality, and “Tech for Good”
Tulsi Parida, AI & Data Policy Manager at Visa
Tulsi Parida, AI & Data Policy Manager at Visa
The Unseen Side of an Increasingly Popular Digital Career: How social media influencers ‘make it work’ in the online world
Katie Crewe, Canadian blogger and certified strength trainer
Katie Crewe, Canadian blogger and certified strength trainer
What We're Reading
How One Modeler Is Trying To Forecast The Toll Of COVID-19
Research Visualized
New reported cases by day in Canada - Source: The New York Times, May 21, 2020
New reported cases by day in Canada - Source: The New York Times, May 21, 2020
As some Canadian provinces begin reopening their economies, many eyes are on the number of new COVID-19 cases. The hopeful visualization above, showing a decrease in the number of daily recorded cases, comes from The New York Times: the news outlet has developed several user-friendly dashboards with key metrics for countries outside of the U.S., including France, Germany, and Mexico, as well as Canada and others. Interested readers can check out their analysis of cases per capita by province as well as their detailed American overview.
Our Research
On the Edge of Tomorrow: Canada’s AI-Augmented Workforce
Twitter Highlights
We are excited to announce that we are launching a new project that maps newcomers to top opportunities in Alberta’s #DigitalEconomy. Read More:
Talk to Us 💬
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