Posts tagged ‘Media Literacy’

MediaSmarts: Canadian teens and sharing photos

Mediasmarts has released a new 44-page report titled  To Share or Not to Share: How Teens Make Privacy Decisions about Photos on Social Media. [pdf]. Note that this report was based on interviews with 18 (only) youths.

Here are some selected out-takes from the release/announcement titled How Do Canadian Teens Make Decisions When Sharing Photos?

“The most common motivation the teens gave for sharing photos online was to build and maintain a consciously crafted image. They often spoke of being aware that the audiences they reached through different apps would judge them, and of the need to choose and, in some cases, edit their photos to fit into what was acceptable and desirable on each platform”

“As opposed to simply ‘not posting’, most of these teens’ efforts are aimed at controlling who sees particular photos and preventing them from being spread to unintended audiences. The main tool that they use to ensure that only desired audiences see particular photos is selecting which platform and account to post them on” (like Snapchat)”

“They have little awareness of the ways that the corporate owners of their favourite platforms make use of their photos and other data, these teens have a strong sense that their photos are – or ought to be – their property, and that those corporations should seek their consent in the same way they expect of their peers.”

These findings help to show us the way forward in educating youth about the ways in which they participate in the information economy, and about their rights as digital citizens:

  1. Digital literacy education.
  2. Digital citizenship education
  3. Consumer awareness education

For more information and details, check out the report and news release. There is lots more there.  Rowan

April 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

MediaSmarts: Talk Back! How to Take Action on Media Issues

MediaSmarts has created a new guide titled Talk Back! How to Take Action on Media Issues

“This guide will introduce parents to the organizations that oversee Canadian media, the codes of conduct that cover children and other important issues, and steps they can take to voice their concerns. Areas of discussion include: advertising rules, codes of conduct for television, rating systems for video games, music, and movies, and using social media to speak out to large organizations about issues.”

Check it out  – and the MediaSmarts site too – there are lots of resources on digital literacy for teachers – and parents too.


March 27, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Teaching Fake News: OLA jot notes

Fifth in a series by Natalie C, one of fabulous librarians who attended the OLA Super Conference this year: 

One of the big themes of the conference was the problem of fake news and how, in the current political climate, librarians can teach their users how to identify information they can trust.

Sarah Oesch and Derek Jones, Teacher-Librarians with the Halton District School Board, shared their fake news lesson plans in the session ALL INformation is Not Reliable: Teaching Students to Think Critically During Inquiry Based Research. Oesch and Jones’s lesson is dependent on duping their students. They typically run this unit over a 5-week period, but they indicated that it could easily be condensed if necessary.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Week 1: Listen to a podcast from CBC’s fake news radio show This is That. Derek & Sarah don’t let their students know that the podcast is a parody. Some examples of podcast episodes they’ve used in the past include: Alberta Oil Planes, National Recycling 7 Bin System, Visual Allergies, Toboggan Registry After the students listen to the episode, they’re told to do some more research on the podcast topic for a debate they’ll have in class next week.


Week 2: Switching gears — Finding reliable facts. In the next class, Sarah & Derek don’t return to the podcast and the debate. Instead they pretend that the students need to work on their citation skills. They give them a list of websites and ask them to find 5 reliable facts from the list. What the students don’t realize is that 3 of the 5 websites are hoax sites. These are some of the hoax sites Sarah & Derek use: Dog Island, Help Save the Endangered Tree Octopus, All About Explorers Sarah & Derek collect the assignment and mark it, giving -1 point for each unreliable fact. Most students don’t bother to check the validity of the website and get -5 on the assignment.


Week 3: Finding reliable facts – Learning our lesson. After handing back the assignment, Sarah & Derek discuss what went wrong and provide some tips for evaluating the validity of a website beforehand.Here are some of the strategies they suggest:

  • Check the domain of the web address (.edu, .org, .gov)
  • Google the website title with “scam” or “hoax”
  • Truncate the web address to see the host site
  • Check the Contact Us page for the author, address, phone number, and date
  • Cross reference the information from another site


Week 4: Finding reliable facts – Take 2 Sarah & Derek offer their students another chance to find reliable facts with a different set of websites. Using the strategies they learned the week before, this time the students do much better.


Week 5: Back to the podcast & the debate The following week, Sarah & Derek return to the debate activity, and give their students more time to find information about their topic. Once they regroup, they ask their students if they used the strategies they had learned the previous week to find reliable information. Everyone typically says no — and Sarah & Derek reveal that the podcast was also FAKE NEWS. Sarah & Derek mentioned that they got a lot of student buy-in with this activity because the students hated being duped by their teacher.

A fun way to introduce the concept of fake news through which students should hopefully learn not to believe everything they read online — or even everything their teacher tells them!

For more information and resources related to Sarah & Derek’s session, access their slide deck:


Rowan> check out the Professional Libraries resource list on fake news/media literacy: medialiteracy2017_delinked


February 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

How to spot fake news: Check our new media literacy resource

Judy A,  one of our fabulous reference librarians has completed a new resource list on Media Literacy . Check it out here: medialiteracy2017_delinked


February 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

Fake news and the need to teach media literacy/critical thinking.

In November 2016, the Stanford Graduate School of Education released a report titled Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning and found “a dismaying inability by students to reason about information they see on the Internet”  and “The authors worry that democracy is threatened by the ease at which disinformation about civic issues is allowed to spread and flourish” (from the news report). See also the executive summary.  Read this recent New York Times article Fake News Fooling Millions!

Looking for resources and ideas to build and reinforce media literacy and those critical questioning skills with your students? Check out the Inquiry page on the new TDSB Virtual Library and send your students hunting for articles on this topic in databases, such as Explorer.  Your TL can assist you with all of these.

Here are a couple of other randomly selected resources: Edutopia has recently posted an item by Mary Beth Hertz titled Battling Fake News in the Classroom. Read this checklist 10 Questions for fake news detection and check out sites like Media Smarts. The Professional Library has ordered the new edition of Media Literacy in the K-12 Classroom by Frank Baker but it already has a bunch of reserves on it.


January 13, 2017 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Oct 31 – Nov 4 is media literacy month

Next week is Media Literacy Week (lead partners include Canadian Teachers Federation and MediaSmarts) and the theme is Makers and Creators, from news release: “Makers and Creators” will celebrate the ways parents and teachers can help young people become more creative, innovative and entrepreneurial by embracing media production, remixing, maker and do-it-yourself culture and coding. The week will highlight the wide variety of media products young people can create – blogs, videos, music, websites, apps, video games, etc. – using easily accessible digital tools.”

Check it out! Rowan


October 28, 2016 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

MediaSmarts: Respecting Yourself and Others Online Workshop

Also rom MediaSmarts:

Respecting Yourself and Others Online Workshop guide

The Respecting Yourself and Others Online workshop was created to provide tweens and young teens with strategies and knowledge that will help them respect themselves, respect others and respect the space when using social media.

Through a series of activities and presentations, participants will develop critical thinking skills and strategies, grounded in the best practices of digital citizenship and digital literacy, to minimize the risk of negative experiences and to maximize the positive opportunities of social media. The workshop also gives teens an opportunity to be leaders through peer-led activities.

The workshop is designed to be presented in a classroom, school, or community setting, as a stand-alone event or as a companion to The Parent Network: Social Media and Your Kids workshop for parents.

It comprises a slide show and a guide for adult and youth facilitators.

Check it out!


November 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

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