Now is a good time to think about how we are creating, curating and engaging with online content.  

Digital Citizen Day is October 25, 2023, and Media Literacy Week is October 23-27, 2023. MediaSmarts is focusing on spreading positivity online as a part of their campaign.

This printable activity sheet introduces basic media literacy skills and concepts and is suitable for use in homes, schools and libraries. It can be completed independently, but children will learn more if you discuss the activity with them. Younger children may need help reading the instructions and completing the activity. 

Written by Dr. Samantha McAleese

Here at MediaSmarts, we’ve just wrapped up another research project called Reporting Platforms: Young Canadians Evaluate Efforts to Counter Disinformation. This project created space for youth from across Canada to examine and assess reporting processes on popular social media apps (like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube). We wanted to learn more about how young people feel about current efforts to counter misinformation and disinformation and what solutions they might have to address this particular online harm. To do this, we facilitated three focus groups with 36 participants ages 16 to 29, talked to them about how often they see misinformation and disinformation online and what they do about it, and asked them to comment on whether they trust platforms to keep them safe and informed while scrolling and sharing.  

When my kids saw the TikTok app icon on my phone, both of them had the same reaction: “WHAT? Why are you on TikTok?” While I thought it was because they wanted to tell me I was too old for the app, it was more that they really didn’t understand the appeal since they aren’t current users (for now).

“Do you know this meme?” 

One of my kids once asked me that, many years ago, as they were discovering memes on the internet. They asked it as a simple question, but I couldn’t help but pause at their inquiry. It was a hugely popular meme – I have been online for many years, and I know many of us in my (ahem) age group use memes a lot (I’m sometimes referred to as an Xennenial, born in 1980, also called an elder millennial apparently. I think sometimes I’m considered Gen X too). We love memes! 

Screen time is a common topic for parents to try and manage today. Are we allowing too much? How do we make it safe? We will ask our friends and fellow parents for their thoughts or advice or learn tips from resources (like MediaSmarts!) to help us navigate this new aspect of parenting. When I was my kids’ age, we were just loading Netscape 2.0 onto our computers, and we’d check our ICQ messages before putting in a VHS to watch a movie or playing some Super Mario RPG.  The online world is so different now.

These printable activity sheets introduce basic media literacy skills and concepts and are suitable for use in homes, schools and libraries. They can be completed independently, but children will learn more if you discuss the activities with them. Younger children may need help reading the instructions and completing some activities.

I have teens, but up until recently they didn’t have social media accounts (although, I suppose Discord may count as one). 

They hadn’t had much interest in the past, other than a few requests for Snapchat and Instagram that came and went almost as quickly as they were mentioned. But recently, my eldest asked again about Instagram and through conversations together it seemed like the logical time to get one.  

Level: Grade K to 3

About the author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

Duration: 10-15 minutes per activity

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.

Overview

Level: Grade K to 3

About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts.

Duration: 10-15 minutes per activity

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.

Overview