Contemporary communication means that the boundaries of genre once controlled by conventions are being smashed as advertising enters journalism and live voices are replaced by texts or tweets. I believe these changes have made the key concepts more relevant and more important to understanding communication in the revolution of convergence. More than ever students need to understand the modes of communication and then obtain the necessary skills to do so in the convergence revolution.
The Boston Marathon tragedy has raised questions about the role the Internet plays in radicalizing youth and, more generally, how it may be used to perpetuate hatred. In Canada, similar questions are being asked about the radicalization of four London Ontario students in the wake of last January’s attack on an Algerian gas plant.
For the last 3 years, we’ve been asking young people across the US and Canada to tell us in 2 minutes or less their stories about safe, responsible technology use. They’ve responded with enthusiasm and creativity; they’ve entertained and moved us. This year, the What’s Your Story? video contest continues in the same format that’s worked so well so far. But we’ve changed a few things, hopefully for the better.
Not only was 2012 a year of rebranding and change, we were also very busy at work updating our resources and creating brand new lesson plans. We released 21 new and updated lessons on a variety of topics from bias and crime in the media to free speech and the internet and challenging hate online.
It’s been a big year for our website! We’ve redesigned it from the ground up to make it more up-to-date, comprehensive, and easier to search. Our users have responded enthusiastically to the new look and feel.
As we come to the end of 2012, we reflect on the busy and exciting year that just passed. We’re ending the year with a new name, new logo, and new website, but with the same dedication to supporting adults in helping raise a generation of media savvy youth!
November 12 to 17 is Bullying Awareness Week in Canada. To mark the week, MediaSmarts has joined Facebook, Family Channel, PREVNet, Concerned Children’s Advertisers, Kids Help Phone, Free The Children and STOPcyberbullying.org to launch the Be Bold: Stop Bullying campaign in Canada.