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. 

Ottawa, ON (May 25, 2016) – MediaSmarts, Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy, has today launched the final component to its extensive program to support teachers in inte

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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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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Your Online Resume

In this lesson, students learn that their online presence is like a resume that can help them – or hurt them – in their future personal and professional lives. The lesson begins by having students do a self-appraisal of their online resume. Students will review steps for limiting the negative impact of things they’ve posted online. Students then think about people whom they consider to be heroes or role models, identify the characteristics that make them admire these people, and discuss what those people did in order to be seen so positively. Finally, students learn tools and strategies for consciously building a positive online brand and develop a communications plan for doing so.

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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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Dealing With Digital Stress

In this lesson, students reflect on the ways in which digital media can cause stress. Through a series of role-playing exercises, they consider how social media can cause stress by making us compare the highlights of others’ lives to the lowlights of our own, and practice strategies for coping with digital stress.

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Relationships and Sexuality in the Media

In this lesson, students learn to question media representations of gender, relationships and sexuality. After a brief “myth busting” quiz about relationships in the media and a reminder of the constructed nature of media products, the teacher leads the class in an analysis of the messages about gender, sex and relationships communicated by beer and alcohol ads. Students analyze the messages communicated by their favourite media types and then contrast it with their own experience.

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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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