OK Go Sandbox is why students need a reliable, affordable, high-speed broadband connection

cpc OK Go.jpg

The way children are learning is different from when you and I were in school. We’re moving from textbooks to tablets; access to the latest technology is becoming essential for a true and enhanced learning experience in our schools. This means that a reliable, affordable, high-speed broadband connection is also essential to educating the minds of the future.

Rock band, OK Go, recently partnered with Google and Dr. AnneMarie Thomas of the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota to develop OK Go Sandbox.

OK Go is well known for their elaborate music videos, such as the one with the complex Rube Goldberg machine and one of their latest where they danced in reduced gravity on a parabolic plane.

These videos require a lot of planning, dedication, and well, science. As the videos have become increasingly more popular, teachers have started using them as visual aids for science classes. Students are being asked to identify the science behind the videos and even replicate some of the feats.

And that’s how OK Go Sandbox was born! There are a number of resources on the website that are basically lesson plans that include guides for the educator, worksheets, and guides and worksheets from Google Science Journal.

This is a really cool, really fun way for kids from Kindergarten to grade 12 to learn about math, physics, art, music and much more! But, it’s really only a useful tool for educators and students with a high-speed connection to the Internet.

We believe that broadband should be declared an essential utility and that equitable access to the Internet should be a right of every Canadian as entrenched in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on the principle of “equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law,” (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms).

In the digital age, equitable access to the Internet is a determinant of one’s equal access to healthcare, education, government, marketplaces and the Right to “pursue the gaining of a livelihood.” (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms).  

It is noteworthy to consider that the United Nations, as far back as June 29, 2012, declared that, “The promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet,” to be fundamental to, “all Rights under Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.”[i]

Since the CRTC continues to fail to address the issue of equitability, CPC is therefore calling on all citizens, community networks, municipalities, First Nations, healthcare providers, educators, and businesses to petition the CRTC, the Government of Canada, and Provincial Governments to declare equitable access to the Internet as a Right under the Charter.  

This should be the first step in creating the regulatory, program, policy and funding regime that leads to ubiquitous access by every Canadian to fibre optic, LTE and WiFi/WiMAX connectivity. Settling for inequitable access to the Internet systemically marginalizes millions of Canadians to access their full Rights as a Canadian.

Campbell Patterson