In 2015, MediaSmarts and PREVNet conducted a study of Canadian students – funded by TELUS – to find out how to give youth better advice and support when they witness cyberbullying. That research, Young Canadians’ Experiences with Online Bullying, aimed to discover three things: what are the barriers to witness intervention in cyberbullying? What incentives can increase the likelihood of witness intervention? And which interventions are more or less likely to have a positive outcome?

Impact! How to Make a Difference When You Witness Bullying Online

In this lesson, students discuss reasons why they might be reluctant to intervene when they witness cyberbullying and identify ways that they can help without making things worse. They then use the interactive tool Impact! How to Make a Difference When You Witness Bullying Online to help them decide how to navigate scenarios relating to being a witness to bullying, and share their experiences to help them understand how important it is to think carefully before you act.

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To help you help your kids make the situation better, this guide includes information about cyberbullying and practical tips to recognize and address this issue. 

On the Loose: A Guide to Online Life for Post-Secondary Students supports young adults who are experiencing both new freedoms and challenges in their post- secondary life.

September 22 is Character Day, an international day that fosters a conversation around developing character strengths (resilience, grit, empathy, courage, kindness) – all rooted in evidence-based research. We’d like to share some resources that can help youth think about, and develop, their character.

For more than a decade, MediaSmarts has been a leader in defining digital literacy in Canada. This is reflected in the elementary digital literacy framework we launched in 2015. The Use, Understand & Create framework is based on a holistic approach which recognizes that the different skills that make up digital literacy cannot be fully separated. 

Online Relationships: Respect and Consent

In this lesson, students use mind maps to explore concepts of “respect” and “consent” in an online context. They consider a wide range of scenarios that shed light on different aspects of consent relating to digital media and draw on those to create a detailed definition. Finally, students create an “explainer” video in which they illustrate one of the aspects of consent.

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Online Cultures and Values

In this lesson, students are introduced to basic concepts of anthropology and ethnography and explore how they apply to online communities. After performing a digital ethnography project on the norms and values of an online community, students consider how a community’s norms and values are formed and how they can be shaped and influenced.

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First, Do No Harm: Being an Active Witness to Cyberbullying

In this lesson, students consider how difficult and complicated it can sometimes be to do the right thing. Students are asked to consider whether they agree with a number of widely-held moral principles and then are asked to consider a moral dilemma in which a number of moral principles are in conflict, reflecting on how their view of it may change based on the details of the scenario. They then explore the idea of weighing different moral principles against one another and develop their own moral dilemmas. Finally, students learn practical tools for deciding how best to intervene when they witness cyberbullying and apply those tools to moral dilemmas relating to cyberbullying.

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MediaSmarts has partnered with TELUS to develop resources for two online portals designed to help keep Canadian families and kids safe online; the TELUS WISE online educational program and the TELUS WISE footprint website.

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