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.
In this lesson, students compare print and TV ads for the same product and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each medium to communicate a particular message. The class then brainstorms a public service message and discusses which medium would be a better way to communicate it and why.
Framed around key concepts of media literacy, the That’s Not Me tutorial examines how entertainment and news media represent diversity and the impact these media portrayals can have on the value we place on individuals and groups in society. The tutorial explores how the media industry is changing to better reflect Canadian society and provides strategies for challenging negative representations and engaging young people in advocating for more realistic and positive media portrayals.
In this lesson, students are introduced to Earth Day and the theme of “Green Cities”. After listening to a short presentation on the concept of a “green city” and elements that constitute a green city (e.g. renewable energy sources such as solar panels, more energy-efficient buildings, recycling programs, cleaner air and water) students participate in an activity where they count the number of parks on a map of their city or neighbourhood. Maps are then analyzed as a medium as students discuss how they are created, things they can and can’t show, and their effectiveness at communicating environmental information.
In this lesson, students watch a video introducing the media literacy key concept that media are constructions. They then explore this concept by considering a pair of cereal boxes and identifying the different elements of the box and the purposes they serve. In an optional final task, students pick a target audience and create their own cereal box to appeal to that audience.
This opening video to the Key Concepts of Media Literacy video series introduces students to the idea that the word media – which they may already know in the sense of the media industry (“the media”) – means channels of communication between a person or persons and their intended audience.