Quebec Competencies Chart - MyWorld: A digital literacy tutorial for secondary students

Author: MediaSmarts
Level: Secondary Cycle One and Two
Subject Area: English Language Arts, Moral Education, Physical Education and Health

Description: MyWorld: A digital literacy tutorial for secondary students aims to teach students essential digital literacy skills through simulating their favourite online experiences. The tutorial is divided into four chapters, each of which focuses on a particular aspect of digital literacy: researching and authenticating online information, managing privacy and reputation, dealing with online relationships and using digital media in an ethical manner. In each chapter, students use a variety of online tools and environments — a search engine, a social networking site, for example — to complete tasks that challenge their digital literacy skills. These tasks are based on issues youth encounter daily, relating to their friends, schoolwork and personal lives.

Cross-curricular Competencies

Broad Areas of Learning

  • To use information
  • To solve problems
  • To exercise critical judgement
  • To be creative
  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To use information and communications technologies for learning purposes
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To work with others
  • To communicate appropriately
  • Media Literacy
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Citizenship and Community Life

This lesson satisfies the following English Language Arts Competencies from the Quebec Education Program:

COMPETENCY 1 uses language/talk to communicate and to learn

  • Compares the affordances of written, media and multimodal languages in achieving a specific purpose
  • Constructs criteria for choosing the mode of spoken language in a specific context, by considering audience needs and demands of the context

COMPETENCY 2 Reads and listens to written, spoken and media texts

Constructing a Reading of a Text

  • Focuses on a topic and/or issue that is of interest to her/him to construct an efferent reading, (e.g. makes sense of the text by coming to terms with the ways in which a topic has been developed by a writer/producer)
  • Focuses on the relationship between self as reader and the text to construct an interpretive reading
  • Activates relevant prior textual knowledge before, during and after reading text(s) to monitor the meaning(s) s/he is making, (e.g. uses what is known about a writer/producer and her/his style to make predictions, draws on knowledge of structures and features of a specific genre, applies knowledge of codes and conventions particular to specific texts)
  • Activates relevant prior personal knowledge and experience to make sense of a text which is frequently expressed in text-to-self connections, text-to-world connections, text-to-text connections
  • Asks questions of self, writers(s) and text(s) as s/he reads to clarify and focus reading
  • Determines the most important ideas/messages/themes in a text
  • Draws inferences from a text
  • Retells or synthesizes what s/he has read, e.g. attends to the most important information and the quality of the synthesis itself to better understand the text

Reader, Text, Context

Draws inferences about the view of the world presented in a text

  • Identifies dominant elements and interprets their use, e.g. point of view, specific literary conventions, structure and sequence of argument, patterns of cause and effect
  • Identifies the characteristics of the writer/producer and evaluates how these influence meaning, i.e. how stance, socio-cultural context, values and/or beliefs shape the world of the text
  • Explores how power relationships are constructed in the text
  • Examines how language (word, sound and image) is shaped to present ideas and information
  • Makes connections between the depiction of different groups in texts and the context or setting of a text

Distinguishes between “open” and “closed” texts:

  • analyzes the degree to which the text may be considered “open” to multiple perspectives/ interpretations (i.e. is complex enough to allow different perspectives to emerge) and interprets how these influence the view of the world presented.
  • analyzes the degree to which the text may be considered “closed” to multiple perspectives (i.e. runs along formulaic lines that indicate its lack of complexity and make only a limited number of perspectives possible) and interprets how this influences the view of the world, e.g. in a pulp romance novel or a comic book, recognizes some elements of plot structure that are formulaic and repetitive

Justifies her/his interpretation(s) of texts on the basis of own fluency as a reader

  • Evaluates the way specific codes and conventions of a spoken/written/media text are employed to have an impact upon the assumptions, actions, values and beliefs of readers:
    • codes and conventions of a specific genre that are employed to have an impact on readers in general or on a target audience in particular
    • mode(s) of representation (sound, word and image) that influence the message(s)/meaning(s) of a text and how these reveal the intention(s) of the writer/producer(s)
    • linguistic and textual features that situate or position the reader, e.g. connotations and denotations, stereotypes and bias, aspects of characterization and setting that evoke a specific emotion or response, appeals to mainstream values and beliefs
    • issues and topics that present alternative values, beliefs, lifestyles in order to evaluate meanings for self as part of a process of interpreting a text
    • features and conventions of favourite genres and how these are used to special effect, e.g. in a mystery or a romance novel, in a magazine article
  • Interrelates characteristics of the writer/producer(s) of a text and self as a reader:
    • identifies characteristics of the writer/producer(s) of a text and applies this knowledge to determine how the text is designed to appeal to self as a reader, e.g. writer’s style, producer’s values or intent
    • evaluates a perspective or point of view and its impact on self as reader
    • recognizes the use of rhetorical strategies, e.g. use of first person to convey attitudes and feelings about an issue/topic, appeals to common beliefs or values in a culture, appeals designed to evoke a certain age group
    • recognizes how authors and producers of written persuasion and argument, whose views are accorded great respect in our society and culture, influence her/his interpretation(s), i.e. in particular, of what can be considered factual, objective
    • analyzes the representation of different groups, including interest groups, in the press in relation to controlling ideas, opinions, main ideas
  • Makes inter-textual connections between texts read in and out of class:
    • compares and contrasts alternative and mainstream values, mores, lifestyles within a range of literary and popular narratives
    • compares and contrasts the socio-cultural, literary or historical contexts and conventions in texts

COMPETENCY 3 Produces texts for personal and social purposes

Researching as a Writer/Producer

  • Develops topics that are personally and socially relevant:
    • looks at multiple perspectives on the topic, e.g. pros and cons of an argument, how different people perceive the issue
    • considers open-ended question(s) to facilitate topic development
    • broadens and/or narrows the scope of the topic
  • Respects rules related to copyright and intellectual property

Assuming Roles as a Writer/Producer

  • Adopts a stance to a topic and audience appropriate to the genre
  • Explores different dimensions of a character, issue
  • Experiments with register:
    • adjusts register to the formality/informality of the context, e.g. uses academic language in an essay, jargon or slang in an advertisement
    • establishes the tone, e.g. uses dispassionate tone of anchor on news report, intimate tone when writing in a journal

Public and Private Space

Examines the difference between producing texts for private and public audiences:

  • questions issues of ownership, intellectual property, creative freedom, boundaries of genres
  • considers effect the medium has on a genre, e.g. reality TV’s pretence of intimacy, journalism as the arbiter of truth

Conducts a genre analysis:

  • compares and contrasts texts within a social function, i.e. Why do people produce them? Who has access to these texts? Do they serve the same purpose? How do they communicate the values of a community?
  • evaluates the structures, features, codes and conventions used
  • examines how language (sound, word and image) is shaped:
    • to represent and/or exclude people, events, ideas and information
    • to organize and develop ideas
    • for special effect

Applying Codes and Conventions

  • Applies conventions of the genre:
    • chooses textual structures and features
    • chooses linguistic codes and conventions
  • Adopts ethical standards in own productions

Production Process

Media Practices

  • Manages production constraints, e.g. time line, deadline, group roles and responsibilities
  • Respects legal constraints, e.g. language laws, copyright
  • Respects genre constraints, e.g. format, layout, target audience’s expectations, industry standards such as time allotment

Planning and Drafting

  • Brainstorms ideas, clarifies and extends thinking by talking with peers and teacher
  • Uses strategies to work out ideas, plan and draft, e.g. concept map, free writing, storyboard
  • Makes preparations prior to production
  • Uses different available ICTin order to draft own texts, e.g. shoots video footage, takes photographs

Physical Education and Health

The secondary cycle 2 Physical Education and Health curriculum states:

The messages conveyed by the media can have major repercussions on adolescent behaviour. Therefore, it is important to encourage students to exercise critical judgment. Consider, for example, the violent images involving professional players shown during televised hockey games, the prestige awarded to successful athletes who use substances that are legal but whose long-term health effects have not been evaluated, and the promotion of weight-loss diets or products that rapidly affect body weight. These issues raise questions about the place and influence of the different media in daily life, in society and in the way reality is represented. Questions of integrity, morality and ethics may be discussed in relation to different types of physical activity that students practice.