DigitalSmarts

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.

Technology Facilitated Violence: Criminal Case Law Lesson Plan

This lesson plan explores the relationship between technology and the law by examining how the criminal law responds to technologically facilitated violence (TFV). Not only will it enhance students’ understanding of the legal meaning of key terms such as “violence”, it will also engage them in dialogue about the surrounding social and legal issues and the ways in which new and emerging technologies are affecting the relationship between the law and technology. Through the exploration of Canadian case studies, and subsequent discussion, students will develop their knowledge on legal implications of various forms of TFV such as harassing communications, criminal harassment, unauthorized use of computer systems, non-consensual disclosure of intimate images (sometimes referred to as “revenge porn”), and hate propaganda. Students will use materials from The eQuality Project’s “Technology-Facilitated Violence: Criminal Case Law” database to research recent Canadian case law involving TFV, better understand the concept of “violence” and the wide range of acts that fall within TFV, as well as the available criminal legal resources and potential outcomes for those affected.

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Digital Skills for Democracy: Assessing online information to make civic choices

In this activity, students :

  • think about the importance of making sure they have trustworthy information before they make a decision on a political or electoral issue
  • explore a series of scenarios designed to teach five strategies for verifying information: find the original, verify the source, check other information, read factchecking articles, and turn to places you trust 
  • reflect on the impact of false and misleading information in politics
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Break the Fake Lesson Plan: Verifying information online

In this lesson, students participate in a workshop that teaches them four quick, easy steps to verify online information. After practicing these four steps they create a public service announcement aimed at teaching one of these steps and spreading the message that it is necessary for everyone to fact-check information we see online every time we are going to share it or act on it.

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The Workshop facilitator guide has been developed to support facilitators who are presenting the Break the Fake, and includes background information about the workshop, advice on preparing and presenting the workshop, a supporting script, Frequently Asked Questions and handouts for participants.

Break the Fake Tip #4: Check other sources

This step may sometimes be the last one you do, but it could also be the first. The News tab is better than the main Google search for this step because it only shows real news sources. While not every source that’s included is perfectly reliable, they are all news outlets that really exist.

Break the Fake Tip #3: Verify the source

Whether you’re looking at a website, photo, video or news story, what really matters is whether or not the people who originally created it are trustworthy. Even when it has been shared with you by someone you trust, like a friend or family member, you can’t know if they checked the facts. So it’s up to you!

Break the Fake Tip #1: Use fact-checking tools

Sometimes a single search can Break the Fake if a professional fact-checker has already done the work for you.

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