In today’s day and age, social media is everywhere. If you own a smartphone or computer of any sort, odds are you have at least one social media account and checking it is a part of your everyday routine. In high school, you’re constantly surrounded by social media! Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, high school life nowadays revolves around these three entities. It’s a great way to connect with friends, make plans, help spread information if you’re in a school club or sport, and it can even help you meet new people. Although there are many great things social media can offer, there can be a couple downsides too.
Whether it’s to prepare for the future job market or just to manage the lives they already lead online, young Canadians need to be digitally literate. But what exactly is digital literacy, and how can we ensure that all Canadian youth are learning the digital skills they need?
In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea that “hot” emotional states such as anger or excitement can make it harder for them to control how they act. They also discuss the concept of empathy and look at the ways in which digital communication can make it harder to feel empathy for other people. Students then read scenarios that portray two sides of an online conflict and consider how to resolve them, using their discussion to build a list of tools for emotional management and conflict resolution online. Finally, students create a media product that explains and reminds them of one of those tools.
Screen-Free Week is an annual event that traditionally takes place in April. Each year people from around the world make a conscious decision to turn off screens of all kinds for the week.
In this lesson students are introduced to the concept of “avatars” and share their experiences creating and playing avatars in video games and virtual worlds. They then create avatars using a program that is intentionally limited in terms of available body types and gender markers, first creating an avatar of their own gender and then of the opposite gender, and then discuss the program and relate it to representations of gender and body image in games and virtual worlds and in other media. Students then create avatars using a much more flexible version of the program and compare that experience to the more limited version. Finally, students use the more versatile program to create avatars that represent how they see themselves and how they would like others to see them online and reflect on the choices that went into creating them.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea of online advertising and look at the ways that marketers create immersive and appealing online environments that draw and hold children’s attention. After studying common advertising techniques, students play an educational game online that lets them put their learning into action by “creating” a site advertising a fictitious cereal, Co-Co Crunch. Students then look at examples of real commercial environments and watch for “weasel words” used by advertisers.
In this lesson, students look at the different ways in which we spend our free time and learn to find balance between active, learning and media activities. They begin by distinguishing between Active, Learning and Screen time, learn how activities can fall into more than one category; and reflect on their lives to see how well screen time is balanced by other types of activities. Finally, students consider how they might improve how their time is balanced.