Digital Outreach for Community Engagement

This lesson asks students, in groups, to take their issue and solution to the streets. In order to enact real change through action for the benefit of the larger community, each chosen topic will need to be exposed to and understood by other members of the community. In this lesson, students will design a community outreach promotional campaign in order to effect real change that matters to them. If the students have completed the Digital Storytelling for Community Engagement lesson and have created their own Digital Story, this digital project can be used as the starting point/product with which to share with others. If not, groups of students can create a hypothetical solution to an existing problem, which then could be disseminated to the larger community using their designed outreach strategy. 

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Remixing Media

In this lesson, students examine different types of remixes – from works created by editing a single text to ones that draw inspiration from existing texts – in order to develop a definition of “remix.” They learn about the legal considerations in making remixes under the Copyright Act, consider ethical issues around remixing, and develop a code of best practices for remixing. Students will also consider the differences between remixes that are primarily creative versus those that are done for purposes of criticism, and create their own critical remix.

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Digital Storytelling for Community Engagement

In groups, students will create a Digital Story which addresses a topic, theme or issue that is affecting them.  All stages of production will be covered, including research, storyboarding their idea into a visual organizational layout, practicing capturing quality photographs and interviews, and finally weaving their Digital Story into a finished project using computer editing software.

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For more than twenty-five years, Canadian teachers have been at the forefront of getting students online and preparing them to use the Internet in safe, wise and responsible ways. Thanks to the SchoolNet program in the 1990s, many young Canadians had their first experiences with networked technologies in their classrooms and school libraries. However, MediaSmarts’ recent Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III study shows that even now, our so-called “digital natives” still need guidance from their teachers.

Earth Day: Maps as media - Lesson

In this lesson, students are introduced to Earth Day and the theme of “Green Cities”. After listening to a short presentation on the concept of a “green city” and elements that constitute a green city (e.g. renewable energy sources such as solar panels, more energy-efficient buildings, recycling programs, cleaner air and water) students participate in an activity where they count the number of parks on a map of their city or neighbourhood. Maps are then analyzed as a medium as students discuss how they are created, things they can and can’t show, and their effectiveness at communicating environmental information.

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It’s been almost fifteen years since Mark Prensky coined the term “digital native” to describe young people who have grown up with the Internet and digital media. In fact, the children who were born the year Prensky’s book was published are now in high school. While for many, the public perception of young people taking to digital platforms like ducks to water persists – accompanied by the image of adults, particularly parents, who are seen (often by themselves) as hopelessly out of their depth – the question remains how close that image is to reality. Are Canadian youth truly digitally literate? And if they are not “digital natives” who effortlessly acquire their skills on their own or from peers, are students learning what they need from their parents or teachers?

Camera Shots - Lesson

In this lesson, students examine the visual codes used on television and in movies through an exploration of various camera techniques. Students begin with a discussion about camera-subject distance, and review various film techniques that are used to create visual meaning.

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