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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?
In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea of online advertising and look at the ways that marketers create immersive and appealing online environments that draw and hold children’s attention. After studying common advertising techniques, students play an educational online game that lets them put their learning into action by “creating” a site advertising a fictitious cereal, Co-Co Crunch.
In this lesson, students will learn about the concept of branded content and will learn to differentiate between branded images and videos and non-branded images and videos in online and offline contexts through a series of questions and discussions.
This interactive unit is designed to help kids between the ages of 5 and 8 recognize the marketing techniques used on commercial websites that target children.
Studies have found that fast-food ads dominate children’s programming. In order to give children a perspective on the lure of snack-food advertisements, it’s important that they understand where snacks can fit into a healthy diet. Once they have an understanding of where snack food fits into their lives, they can begin to deconstruct the ads themselves.
In this lesson, students explore the absence, or unrealistic portrayal, of consequences to violence in the media.
This lesson helps children become aware of the types of violence that appear on television, the frequency with which these acts occur, and how they respond to these acts. It begins with a guided discussion about the different types of violence and then,how violence is portrayed on TV.
This lesson teaches children that television doesn’t always offer the best solutions to conflict.
This lesson develops a beginning awareness by students of how they feel towards, and respond to, different sports, and how the media represents athletics.
In this lesson, students look at the different ways in which we spend our free time and learn to find balance between active, learning and media activities. They begin by distinguishing between Active, Learning and Screen time, learn how activities can fall into more than one category; and reflect on their lives to see how well screen time is balanced by other types of activities. Finally, students consider how they might improve how their time is balanced.
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.”