OTTAWA – This year, Canada’s 15th annual Media Literacy Week runs from October 26th to 30th. Co-hosted by MediaSmarts, Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy, and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE), the annual event invites all Canadians - teachers, students of all ages kindergarten to seniors and community groups, libraries, museums, to celebrate by engaging in media and digital literacy activities.
With concerns surrounding health misinformation and “fake news” at the forefront for many families and educators across Canada right now, MediaSmarts has created resources to help all Canadians learn how to identify misinformation before sharing information online. In addition, we have created specific resources for teachers in the classroom and for parents and children learning at home. “We need to make verifying the information we see online a habit – just like buckling a seat belt. Once learned, this is a quick and easy skill we can all practice to help stop the spread of misinformation, and evidence shows this will build both our personal as well as collective resilience to misinformation,” said Kathryn Ann Hill, Executive Director of MediaSmarts.
“These past months have shown us how important credible news is in order to stay properly informed, safe, and healthy,” said Shelley L. Morse, President of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE). “This is especially the case as an increasing number of students are learning remotely online and, as a result, are potentially exposed to unlimited dubious sources of misinformation. This is why this year’s Media Literacy Week has an increased level of importance as we collectively work to help educators, students, and families identify what is real and what is not in order to best navigate our lives during the pandemic.”
“I encourage everyone to take part in Media Literacy Week activities. Educating young Canadians and helping build citizen resilience to online disinformation are of the utmost importance these days,” said the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “As Canada faces serious media literacy challenges, we are proud to support an independent organization such as MediaSmarts that has the knowledge and expertise to teach us how to be critical of online information—and why it is important to check twice before clicking and sharing.”
To kick off Media Literacy Week, MediaSmarts is hosting its first ever, fully online-kick-off event featuring Canada’s beloved house hippo! During the event, participants have the chance to explore the return of the house hippo, and why its message is more relevant today than ever before. In addition to the live event, Canadians will also have access to a new Teacher’s Hub with curated lesson plans, tip sheets, posters, and videos. All resources are free to use year-round.
This project has been made possible (in part) by the Government of Canada’s Digital Citizen Contribution Program. The DCCP provides financial assistance for research and citizen focused activities that support democracy and social cohesion in Canada’s digital world, by enhancing and supporting efforts to counter online disinformation as well as other online harms.
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MediaSmarts is a Canadian not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy. Its vision is that young people have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens. www.mediasmarts.ca @mediasmarts
About the CTF: Founded in 1920, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is a non-profit organization and a national alliance of provincial and territorial Member Organizations that represent over 300,000 teachers across Canada. www.ctf-fce.ca @CTFFCE