Matthew JohnsonMeet Sasha. At age 8, she’s a real social butterfly, both online and off, and is very concerned with how the world sees her: she spends a lot of time making sure she looks good in photos online but doesn’t always think twice about who might see them. Violet is Sasha’s older sister and her polar opposite: she’s a hardcore gamer, and just as tough as her Level 65 Barbarian. Though she despairs of her sister sometimes, she’s also fiercely protective of her and will unleash her considerable wrath on anyone she thinks is picking on Sasha.

This blog was written by Samantha McAleese and three youth participants – Sahil, Erin, and Kate (pseudonyms used to maintain anonymity).

Reflections on Conducting Qualitative Research During a Pandemic

What comes to mind when you hear the word algorithm? Can you explain how machine learning works? Do you have any privacy or data collection concerns regarding the increased reliance on artificial intelligence? These are just a few of the questions that we asked young people in our recent qualitative research project Algorithmic Awareness: Conversations with Young Canadians about Artificial Intelligence and Privacy. From November 2020 to January 2021, we facilitated eight focus groups with 22 youth ages 13 to 17, where we combined game-based learning with discussion and reflection to gain insight into how young Canadians understand the relationship between artificial intelligence, algorithms, and privacy.

Lynn JataniaAn interesting thing happened the other day. My husband was talking about some recent political events in the United States, and my kids and I didn’t know what he was talking about.

 

Cyber Choices is an interactive game designed to help students in grades 3 to 5 develop the skills and habits they need to make safe and responsible choices online. Cyber Choices lets students explore four different stories that cover key issues such as making good choices about their own and others’ personal information, dealing with cyberbullying (as both a target and a witness) and managing online conflict. 

Lynn JataniaThis past December, my two daughters and I fell down the BTS rabbit hole.

BTS is a Korean K-Pop band that has been slowly taking over the universe since 2013. Their music can be heard worldwide, and in recent years they’ve made appearances on American late-night talk shows and on the American charts, while selling millions of records internationally.

We’ve been using video games to bond with our kids for a while now. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?

Matthew Johnson

For nearly thirty years, Canadian teachers have been at the forefront of getting students online and preparing them to use networked technologies safely, productively and responsibly. Many young Canadians have their first experiences with the internet in their classrooms and school libraries. Over the past decade, though, while digital tools have come to provide new opportunities for creating and distributing digital content, MediaSmarts’ research shows that most Canadian teachers aren’t making media in the classroom.

Matthew JohnsonParents 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.

Is your screen use creative?

If you’re wondering how to get started making media on your phone, tablet or computer, animation is a great place to start. You can start doing it as a family activity even when kids are very young and they’ll soon be able to do almost everything themselves.

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