As we consume the troubling news of the past few weeks, we have all seen that there are so many issues we’re dealing with in our digital world that have real life impacts: the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories, the proliferation of racist stereotypes, online hate and prejudice, and the attacks on journalists and freedom of the press.
It can feel so overwhelming and complex that we aren’t sure what we can do as caring, concerned citizens. Here at MediaSmarts, we know that digital media literacy can help provide some of the solutions. We can start by learning about, practicing and encouraging good digital citizenship.
As educators, parents and trusted adults, we can also help guide the children and youth in our lives by having conversations about these topics. We all have the opportunity to make a difference now.
Here are some resources that we recommend to help guide these important discussions:
Behaving ethically online: Ethics and empathy – Lesson plan for Grades 4 to 6
Behaving ethically online: Ethics and values – Lesson plan for Grades 7 to 8
Facing Online Hate - Resources portal page
Just a joke? Helping youth respond to casual prejudice – Lesson plan for Grades 6 to 8
Online propaganda and the proliferation of hate – Lesson plan for Grades 10 to 12
Challenging hate online – Lesson plan for Grades 10 to 12
Free speech and the internet – Lesson plan for Grades 10 to 12
Break the Fake: How to tell what’s true online – Portal page
What to do if you see false info - Infographic
Become aware of your own biases - Article
Know It or Not? Increasing resiliency to health and science misinformation (MediaSmarts is looking for teachers to test this new resource)
Journalism and news
Talking to kids about the news – Tip sheet
Talking to kids about hate in media – Tip sheet
Digital Literacy 101
Going back to the basics to explain that media are constructions and digital media is networked is a good way to frame the issues happening in our lives right now.