Guest post by Amil Niazi, cultural critic, writer and showrunner for CBC’s Pop Chat.

This is a transcript of a presentation by Amil Niazi on October 28, 2021 as part of MediaSmarts Presents The Walrus Talks: Our Digital Lives (a Media Literacy Week event).

Guest post by Dr. Chris Dornan, former Associate Professor Carleton University School of Journalism & Communication

This is a transcript of a presentation by Dr. Chris Dornan on October 28, 2021 as part of MediaSmarts Presents The Walrus Talks: Our Digital Lives (a Media Literacy Week event).

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.

Talking to kids about casual prejudice online

That’s why it’s important to talk to kids about casual prejudice which is the use of words or phrases that are negative towards a particular group - and help them learn how to push back in situations where they’re not sure if the person meant to be hurtful.

Here are some tips on how to help your kids respond to casual prejudice online:

Just a joke? Helping youth respond to casual prejudice

One of the barriers to youth pushing back against prejudice is not wanting to over-react, particularly if they feel their peers were just ‘joking around.’ Humour, however, can often be a cover for intentional bullying and prejudice. In this lesson, students analyze media representations of relational aggression, such as sarcasm and put-down humour, then consider the ways in which digital communication may make it harder to recognize irony or satire and easier to hurt someone’s feelings without knowing it. Students then consider how humour may be used to excuse prejudice and discuss ways of responding to it.

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Do you know someone who would like to learn more about using technology in their everyday lives? MediaSmarts is proud to offer a series of free hour-long digital literacy workshops to help empower under-represented populations from communities across the country.

father daughter tablet holidaysMany families have media traditions around the holidays – whether that’s watching A Charlie Brown Christmas together or staging a Mario Kart tournament on New Year’s Day. It’s great to make media a family activity, and it’s also an opportunity to co-view with your kids.

Managing tech at home during the holidays

Family guidelines for new tech devices 

“We used (this) contract in our home when my son got his first smartphone… it’s a great resource.” - Kim Schiffman, editor-in-chief at Today’s Parent 

Break the Fake: Make Your Own Custom Search Engine

To make a custom search engine you will need to be logged in to a Google account. (If you don’t already have one, go to accounts.google.com to sign up.)  You don’t have to be logged in to Google to use it. As well, anyone can use a custom search engine once it’s been created, so a whole class can use search engines made with a single account.

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