Our work falls into three main areas: education, public awareness, and research and policy.
Our K-12 resources cover a wide-range of issues in “traditional” media and also address the unique issues arising for digital media. They are easily integrated into existing curriculum as they are aligned with classroom outcomes for all the provinces and territories.
The majority of our educational resources are freely available on our website. They include classroom lesson plans, with work sheets, backgrounders, tip sheets and essays, and multimedia games and quizzes.
In addition to our free resources, we also license professional development workshops for teachers and librarians and interactive modules for students.
Raising public awareness of the importance of “media smarts” for children and youth is one of our key mandates. To reach parents and people who work with children and youth we have developed extensive awareness campaigns and online resources. We’ve worked with partners, including police, Girl Guides of Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society and libraries, to develop community-based programs. One of our main awareness events is Media Literacy Week, held annually in partnership with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation to engage Canadians in media literacy activities across the country.
Research and Policy
MediaSmarts’ ongoing research program Young Canadians in a Wireless World (YCWW), initiated in 2000, is Canada’s largest and most comprehensive study of children’s and teens’ internet use. In addition to YCWW research, we produce research reports – both independently and in partnership with other institutions – on a wide range of digital and media issues, including: privacy and consent, algorithmic literacy, online harms and online hate, digital well-being and collective online resilience, digital equity and the digital divide, digital media literacy and ethical digital citizenship.
Our research informs policy development in both the public and private sectors and ensures that MediaSmarts’ programs and resources reflect and respond to the online experiences of Canadians.