What We Do

MediaSmarts has been developing digital and media literacy programs and resources for Canadian homes, schools and communities since 1996. Through our work we support adults with information and tools so they can help children and teens develop the critical thinking skills they need for interacting with the media they love.

Our work falls into three main areas: education, public awareness, and research and policy.

Education

Our K-12 resources cover a wide-range of issues in “traditional” media and also address the unique issues arising for digital media.  They are easily integrated into existing curriculum as they are aligned with classroom outcomes for all the provinces and territories.

The majority of our educational resources are freely available on our website. They include classroom lesson plans, with work sheets, backgrounders, tip sheets and essays, and multimedia games and quizzes.

In addition to our free resources, we also license professional development workshops for teachers and librarians and interactive modules for students.

Public Awareness

Raising public awareness of the importance of “media smarts” for children and youth is one of our key mandates. To reach parents and people who work with children and youth we have developed extensive awareness campaigns and online resources. We’ve worked with partners, including police, Girl Guides of Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society and libraries, to develop community-based programs. One of our main awareness events is Media Literacy Week, held annually in partnership with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation to engage Canadians in media literacy activities across the country.

Research and Policy

MediaSmarts’ ongoing research program Young Canadians in a Wired World (YCWW), initiated in 2000, is Canada’s largest and most comprehensive study of children’s and teens’ Internet use. In addition to YCWW research, we produce discussion papers – both independently and in partnership with other institutions – on a wide range of media issues, including: privacy education, online civic engagement, food marketing, digital literacy and Internet governance.

Our research informs policy development in both the public and private sectors and ensures that MediaSmarts’ programs and resources reflect and respond to the media experiences of Canadians.