On the Loose: A Guide to Online Life for Post-Secondary Students supports young adults who are experiencing both new freedoms and challenges in their post- secondary life.

For more than a decade, MediaSmarts has been a leader in defining digital literacy in Canada. This is reflected in the elementary digital literacy framework we launched in 2015. The Use, Understand & Create framework is based on a holistic approach which recognizes that the different skills that make up digital literacy cannot be fully separated. 

In this lesson, students learn to question media representations of gender, relationships and sexuality. After a brief “myth busting” quiz about relationships in the media and a reminder of the constructed nature of media products, the teacher leads the class in an analysis of the messages about gender, sex and relationships communicated by beer and alcohol ads. Students analyze the messages communicated by their favourite media types and then contrast it with their own experience.

Students often feel detached from the political arena, and this lesson plan we have designed is to help inspire curiosity and action with your secondary students due to the very real connection between early civic engagement and citizens that are active and engaged with politics for their lifetime.

Students are introduced to civic education through a series of activities which will ask them to work together to engage with their larger communities through curiosity, conversation and creation. Current events happening at the neighbourhood, municipal or federal level will act as starting points for each activity.

In this lesson, students discuss “viral” photos, videos and news stories that spread via social media. They are shown how challenging it is to authenticate these using only their content and are introduced to tools and techniques for gauging their accuracy based on context, with an eye towards making wise and responsible decisions about whether or not to forward them to their friends and family.

For more than twenty-five years, Canadian teachers have been at the forefront of getting students online and preparing them to use the Internet in safe, wise and responsible ways. Thanks to the SchoolNet program in the 1990s, many young Canadians had their first experiences with networked technologies in their classrooms and school libraries. However, MediaSmarts' recent Young Canadians in a Wired World, Phase III study shows that even now, our so-called "digital natives" still need guidance from their teachers.

Whether it’s to prepare for the future job market or just to manage the lives they already lead online, young Canadians need to be digitally literate. But what exactly is digital literacy, and how can we ensure that all Canadian youth are learning the digital skills they need?

The Raising Ethical Kids For a Networked World tutorial examines some of the moral dilemmas that kids face in their online activities and shares some strategies to help them build the social and emotional intelligence that’s needed to support ethical decision making – and build resiliency if things go wrong.

The Parenting the Digital Generation workshop looks at the various activities kids love to do online and offers tips and strategies for everything from Facebook privacy settings, online shopping, cyberbullying, to protecting your computer from viruses.

It’s been almost fifteen years since Mark Prensky coined the term “digital native” to describe young people who have grown up with the Internet and digital media. In fact, the children who were born the year Prensky’s book was published are now in high school. While for many, the public perception of young people taking to digital platforms like ducks to water persists – accompanied by the image of adults, particularly parents, who are seen (often by themselves) as hopelessly out of their depth – the question remains how close that image is to reality. Are Canadian youth truly digitally literate? And if they are not "digital natives" who effortlessly acquire their skills on their own or from peers, are students learning what they need from their parents or teachers?