Web Awareness Workshop Series - Detailed Descriptions

Detailed Descriptions

MediaSmarts offers a series of workshops for use by teachers and librarians. The workshops are intended for in-house information or professional development.

Each of the following Web Awareness workshops includes an HTML5 tutorial for self-directed learning, a PowerPoint slide presentation with speaking notes, and an extensive workshop guide containing background information, handouts and ideas for pre-and post-presentation activities.

The workshops can be used for professional development with staff and for public education.

Teachers can apply what they’ve learned in their classrooms using MediaSmarts’ Find a Lesson search tool that offers over 200 free lesson plans and online interactive games.


Encouraging ethical online behaviour

Children rely on the Internet to explore social roles, stay connected with friends, and develop their social networks. While most of the social interactions are positive, increasingly kids are using communication tools to intimidate and harass others. The Cyberbullying workshop explores these activities, how pervasive they are and why the Internet is such an effective tool for bullying. It further examines who gets bullied, who does the bullying, and the role of the bystander in cyberspace.

The workshop offers strategies for librarians, teachers and parents on how to help young people develop responsible online behaviour and strike a balance between freedom of expression and creating an environment in which children feel free from harassment.

Duration: 1 hour


Teaching kids to be safe and responsible online

Canadian kids are among the most connected in the world. For the most part, their online experiences are positive, but there are drawbacks and safety risks that parents, educators and librarians should be aware of. While filters and firewalls provide some protection, kids need information and critical thinking skills to protect their personal information online, navigate chat rooms safely, handle illegal or inappropriate content and recognize online hate when they encounter it.

The Safe Passage workshop explores the various Internet environments that kids enjoy, highlights Internet safety hazards and offers tips for managing inappropriate content and promoting ethical online behaviour. The workshop also contains information on creating Internet “house rules,” using kid-friendly search engines and finding great kids’ sites.

Duration: 1 hour


Online privacy and marketing

Marketing to children and the protection of privacy are two important issues that have emerged as marketers exploit the interactive capacities of the Internet. This workshop offers a sampling of online commercial environments that attract children. Kids for Sale explores current strategies for marketing to kids and the ways in which children’s privacy may be compromised online. The workshop underlines how important it is for kids to know when they are being informed, entertained or marketed to online and also to understand how their personal information may be used.

Duration: 1 hour


Authenticating online information

Research shows that three per cent of children think all information on the Internet is reliable and another 36 per cent think “most of the information” is reliable. While printed resources have traditionally had gatekeepers—editors, proofreaders and fact checkers—to weed out mistakes, lies, hoaxes and incomplete or erroneous information, the Internet, in many cases, has no such gatekeepers. Anyone can be a publisher or an “expert.” To get the most out of the Internet, kids need to learn two things: how to find good information; and how to question and evaluate online sources. The Fact or Folly workshop explores examples of misinformation on the Net and provides guidelines and techniques for finding and verifying Internet resources.

Duration: 1 hour


Teaching today’s highly connected generation can present many challenges for educators. With the fastest growing group of online kids now being pre-schoolers, how can adults keep up and how can they provide these savvy students with relevant and appropriate skills for their Internet explorations?

The Growing with the Net: The early years (Ages 4-12) workshop provides a snapshot of children’s (ages 4-12) favourite Internet activities, explores the social and psychological developmental traits associated with different ages and looks at the way these characteristics can affect how children interpret and respond to Internet content and situations. The workshop also offers developmentally appropriate education strategies for fostering critical thinking and maximizing positive Internet experiences.

Duration: 1 hour


Supporting the MyWorld tutorial for secondary schools, this workshop outlines Internet activities and behaviours common to teens, developmental traits associated with adolescence, and how these characteristics can affect how teens interpret and respond to what they encounter online. The workshop highlights challenges adults face while raising and educating a highly connected generation and offers strategies to help teens develop the critical thinking skills they need to effectively manage their online experiences.

Duration: 1 hour