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On the internet, it can be hard to tell what’s true and what’s false—but we have to make a lot of decisions based on how reliable we think things are. In Reality Check, you’ll learn how to find clues like finding where a story originally came from and comparing it to other sources, as well as how to use tools like fact-checking sites and reverse image searches.
While the training workshops focus on the five key concepts of digital literacy, this implementation guide looks at the specific skill areas that MediaSmarts has identified as being essential for students to learn by the end of their secondary education: ethics and empathy, privacy and security, community engagement, digital health, consumer awareness, finding and verifying and making and remixing. The guide also addresses common challenges to integrating digital literacy into the classroom, such as limitations on available technology and classroom management concerns, and includes links to relevant MediaSmarts’ and other resources, and apps and tools for creating digital media in your classroom.
Understanding the connected world of kids and teens can be challenging for parents because adults don’t communicate online in the same way and are not necessarily using the same social media. Even more challenging is the reality that there’s always something new coming around the corner.
In this lesson, students consider the role of snack foods in a healthy diet. The teacher then guides them on a tour of popular sites aimed at children, where the class identifies and classifies the advertising encountered there and looks at how the food products being advertised fit – or don’t fit – in the food groups found in the Canada Food Guide. Students then play the game Co-Co’s AdverSmarts to understand some of the techniques used by online food marketers and then create their own mock website promoting a healthy diet.
Racial stereotypes abound on television, and children’s programming is no exception. The turban-wearing bad guy, the brainy Asian, and the Black basketball whiz are just a few of the stereotypes reinforced in children’s cartoons, films and TV shows. Spotting these stereotypes is often difficult for children; to them, the tomahawk-wielding Indian or the Asian karate expert is a familiar, easily-understood and often funny character. So how do you help children understand these images for what they are – oversimplified, generalizations?
Students will consider the use of the Internet as a research tool and learn how to use search engines more effectively. They then apply these new found skills to investigating popular myths about sexuality and contraception.
In this lesson, students use a Web-based activity to help them think critically about how to determine the quality of Web resources.
This lesson helps students understand how self-image can influence lifestyle choices.
This lesson helps students become more aware of the stereotypes associated with portrayals of students and teachers on TV. (It is also a good follow-up to the elementary lesson TV Stereotypes.)
This lesson helps students become more aware of the stereotypes associated with portrayals of students and teachers on television and on film.
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.
Individuality vs. Conformity is part of a three-lesson unit designed to introduce students to the concept of popular culture and the role that it plays in their lives. In this lesson, students examine the pressures that exist to conform to popular culture and its effect on their lives.
In this lesson, students learn about the concept of “time capsules” and then apply the idea by selecting time capsule contents to represent both the time they live in and their own lives and tastes. They then extend this idea to online content, making a “time capsule” of any online content connected to them. Younger students finish the lesson by creating a group Internet time capsule, while older students finish by considering what online content they might like to remove or keep out of their “time capsules.”
This lesson encourages children to explore the differences between their real families and TV families by imagining how their own families might be portrayed on a television show.
Because of the ways that digital media leave out many of the cues that prompt us to feel empathy, it is easy for young people to sometimes forget that real people – with real feelings – are at the heart of online conversations. In this lesson, students are provided with opportunities to explore this concept and discuss the importance of using empathy and common sense when talking to others online.