Parents could be forgiven for thinking that our children are born media literate. They are mediatized, certainly, even before they are born: it’s a rare baby shower that doesn’t feature Elsa or Elmo in one form or another. As for digital literacy, kids take to devices like the proverbial ducks to water, quickly becoming expert at finding the videos and games they want.
We’re living in a strange and uncertain time. Already, as parents, we’re feeling our way to the right set of rules and guidelines for screens and social media. But now that we’re facing an extended time of quarantine and social distancing, the rules are bending and changing every day.
It’s more important than ever to double-check info that you see online—for your own sake and for other people’s. The How to tell fact from fake online guide offers fact-checking tips that will take you a minute or less to do. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can fact-check things once you get the hang of it!
Digital literacy is a vital tool for education, employment and economic participation, civic engagement, and even health and wellness. It reinforces existing inequalities based on socioeconomic status, ethnicity, education, immigration status and gender. Given the importance of digital literacy skills to under-represented populations, MediaSmarts and YWCA Canada have partnered to develop and deliver DigitalSmarts, a digital literacy skills program.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea that what they see in media can be deceptive. They explore the idea that media are “framed” by their creators and consider what parts of the world are left out of the frame.