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

Level: Grades 7 to 12

Duration: This lesson takes place over two weeks, with roughly three hours class time mandatory and an additional two to six hours for the optional media production activity.

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

This lesson plan is a joint project of MediaSmarts, The eQuality Project, a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Child Health 2.0 Research Program, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Operating Grant MOP 341188).

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


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.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Reflect on their media use
  • Analyze the ways in which society and technology influence behaviour
  • Participate in a class discussion
  • Prepare a detailed action plan
  • Create a collaborative media product (extension activity)

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.