Level: Grades 9 to 12
About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts
Duration: 1 to 1 ½ hours, plus time to do and present the assessment/evaluation activity
This lesson explores how young people can use online media for activism on issues that matter to them. Through the discussion and scenarios that are presented, students will develop their knowledge and ability to respond or “push back” against issues they feel passionate about, such as racism, discrimination, sexism – and make a difference. At the end of the lesson students will use The eQuality Project PushBack Timeline to research examples of online youth activism on topics that appeal to them. The end goal of this lesson is to create an understanding of youth activism that can transition into the lives of students outside of the classroom.
The purpose of the lesson is to facilitate and develop youth art as a form of community engagement and give students the opportunity to explore their experiences with privacy and equality in networked spaces. Students will be presented with several scenarios related to experiences of privacy and (in)equality in networked spaces and how young people have used art to advocate for change. Students will be asked to develop an art project (mural, collage, recorded performances, face/body art, etc.) that they believe best reflects the issues that are important to them. Since the expertise and support to implement an art project vary from classroom to classroom, there are three options for completing this lesson: (i) students design and create their art projects; (ii) students develop a plan to produce an art project without actually creating it; and (iii) students are mentored by professional artists who help them design and implement their art projects.
In this lesson, students examine a fictional social network profile to learn how online platforms collect data about their users. They then read an article that explains how platforms use this data and explores some of the issues this raises. Finally, they create a mind map of their own online data profile and reflect on how the data they post may be collected and used by others.
Level: Grades 11 and 12
Duration: 1½ to 2 hours class time
About the Author: Robert Porter, Sarah Keeshan, and Jane Bailey
This lesson plan is a joint project of MediaSmarts and The eQuality Project, a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
The Respecting Yourself and Others Online workshop was created to provide tweens and young teens with strategies and knowledge that will help them respect themselves, respect others and respect the space when using social media.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea that what they see in media can be deceptive. They explore the idea that media are “framed” by their creators and consider what parts of the world are left out of the frame.
In this lesson, students consider the ways in which misinformation can have an impact on history and politics. After discussing a number of historical examples of misinformation, they examine the ways in which news sources may be biased and use an interactive online game to practice skills in getting more context on a story. Finally, students read a current news story and use what they have learned to find the context they need to understand it.
The Digital Literacy Training Program for Canadian Educators workshop provides an overview of essential digital literacy skills and key concepts of media and digital literacy, familiarizes participants with the digital experiences of Canadian youth, and introduces the resources and tools that are available through MediaSmarts’ USE, UNDERSTAND & CREATE digital literacy framework.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the challenges of identifying what is real and what is fake online. After learning some simple steps to verify online information they create a poster that communicates the importance of questioning and double-checking online content.