For generations, Star Wars has captured the hearts and imaginations of so many. Parents can now share the past stories with our own kids, and experience new ones together as new media from the Star Wars universe, like comics, television shows and more movies come to life.

As your kids grow older, their gift requests may start to look a lot different than when they were younger. While they once circled all the toys in the holiday catalogues that arrived at the door, now they are sending parents text messages or Google Docs with links to their wish list items.

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.

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.

Reality Check: We Are All Broadcasters

In this lesson, students consider the ways in which our own biases can prevent us from being objective. They then learn ways to recognize and account for our biases and practice these by playing an interactive online game. Finally, students learn about how public service campaigns can change social norms and create their own PSA to promote ethical sharing of online information.

English

Art Exchange

The purpose of the lesson is to facilitate and develop youth art as a form of community engagement and give students the opportunity to explore their experiences with privacy and equality in networked spaces. Students will be presented with several scenarios related to experiences of privacy and (in)equality in networked spaces and how young people have used art to advocate for change. Students will be asked to develop an art project (mural, collage, recorded performances, face/body art, etc.) that they believe best reflects the issues that are important to them. Since the expertise and support to implement an art project vary from classroom to classroom, there are three options for completing this lesson: (i) students design and create their art projects; (ii) students develop a plan to produce an art project without actually creating it; and (iii) students are mentored by professional artists who help them design and implement their art projects.

English

Digital Media Experiences are Shaped by the Tools We Use: The Disconnection Challenge

In this lesson, students consider the role of technology and media in their lives and then spend a week either tracking or limiting their media use. They then share their experiences and discuss how the ways that digital media tools are made may cause us to use them differently (or simply more often). Finally, students draw on those insights to create a mindful media use plan. In an optional extension activity, they interview other students for a video exploring their experiences and reflections over the course of the project.

English

Editing Emotions

In this lesson, students learn about the history of film editing and how shot composition, juxtaposition of images and the use of rhythm and repetition in film editing can affect the emotional impact of a film. Students begin by watching a video on the basics of film editing and answering questions to aid their comprehension. They then view and analyze a slideshow demonstrating basic ways in which the “building blocks” of film editing can affect a film’s emotional impact, and discuss how this can affect a film’s rating. Finally, students create their own film and/or storyboard, using the editing techniques they’ve learned to produce different emotional effects with the same collection of shots.

English

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