MediaSmarts Bloggers

Our MediaSmarts bloggers bring you their perspectives on current media topics that matter to teachers, parents, consumers – everyone trying to keep up with the crazy pace of today’s evolving media world.

Are there topics you’d like to see them write about? Just let us know at

Matthew Johnson

Matthew Johnson, Director of Education

Matthew Johnson took a long and winding road to get to MediaSmarts, but somehow every step has come in handy for his work here. After getting a degree in theatre (where he learned how to do the pirate voices for Privacy Pirates, as well as the many other voices he’s done for our games) he divided the next decade and a half between writing scripts, stories, novels and non-fiction articles and spending ten years as a high school teacher. He’s been writing for the Talk Media Blog since 2008 on a wide variety of topics including cyberbullying, copyright, politics and social media and princess mania.

Matthew also maintains a personal blog, Irregular Verbs, and a Twitter feed, both of which are mostly about his science fiction and fantasy writing. Along with his work for MediaSmarts he’s also published novels and short stories that have been translated into Russian, Danish and Czech. He lives in Ottawa with his wife Megan and their sons Leo and Miles.

Thierry Plante

Thierry Plante, Media Education Specialist

As MediaSmarts’ Media Education Specialist, Thierry researches and creates bilingual digital and media literacy resources for classrooms and homes. While he considers himself lucky to be working for a cause that makes full use of his years of experience as a teacher, editor, programmer, and his two media studies degrees, he suspects that more profound insights about kids and media are about to come now that he is a new dad. Thierry is especially passionate about video games and their potential for education and his graduate work focused on the experience of “presence” in online virtual environments. When he is not geeking out on media and technology, Thierry experiments with chocolate-making (and inevitably eats too much of it).

Andrea Tomkins

Andrea Tomkins, MediaSmarts Mom

Andrea Tomkins is the kind of person who is rarely seen in the wild without her pen and notebook, camera, and iPhone. She’s an informavore with a passion for social media, community building, and multimedia storytelling.

Armed with a journalism degree and a healthy amount of time spent planted in front of her television, computer, and mobile devices, Andrea taps into her parenting experience to bring you her thoughts, recommendations, and tips from the perspective of a mother who’s raising her kids in a new media age that is constantly evolving.  

Andrea has definitely been around the block, or should we say, BLOG. Andrea’s Ottawa-based blog – a peek inside the fishbowl was among the earliest Canadian blogs on the web. First conceived in 1999, it has been featured in notable publications such as Reader’s Digest, Best Health Magazine, the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail.  You can also follow her parenting adventures on Twitter.