Young people today spend large amounts of time sharing parts of their personal lives online playing games, “checking in” with geolocation apps and posting photos and catching up with friends on social media sites. Despite this openness, young people’s privacy does indeed matter to them, especially as their online actions become increasingly monitored by parents, educators, and corporations.
Under the theme Privacy Matters, Media Literacy Week (November 5-9, 2012) encourages parents, teachers and community leaders across Canada to join together to help youth develop the knowledge and skills they need to better manage their personal information online.
Since 2006, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and MediaSmarts have been hosting Media Literacy Week to promote media and digital literacy as key components in the education of young people. While the theme may change each year, the goal remains the same – to help young people develop the critical thinking skills necessary for active and informed engagement with media.
Each year ministries of education, teacher associations, NGOs, community and youth-based organizations, and individuals across Canada plan media literacy activities in recognition of the week. Successful activities from 2011 that were planned a round the theme of digital citizenship included: an online community launched in Manitoba to help students think critically and creatively about using digital media to positively influence the world; a video games industry panel discussion in Montreal on fostering citizenship in gaming communities; and a media literacy contest for students in the Northwest Territories.
The Media Literacy Week website is a great place to start if you are interested in organizing or participating in an activity in your community. For a list of events associated with the week, check out the Events Calendar. The site also profiles teachers and students who are doing extraordinary things with technology; if you know of someone we should profile, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.