There are many different ways to support and celebrate Media Literacy Week; from spreading the word to organizing an event. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Promote Media Literacy Week:

Organizations interested in promoting Media Literacy Week can:

  • Put a link to the Media Literacy Week site on your intranet or web site. Visit the Promotional Materials page to find out how.
  • Download articles on a variety of media topics that can be published in your newsletters or magazines.
  • Sign up for the Media Literacy Week bulletin and promote this great initiative through communications with your employees, clients and organization members.

Organize an Event:

1. Film/video festival

Create a festival for student-produced films and video productions to shine a spotlight on interesting work being created in your community. You can use the Media Literacy Week theme or create your own for your festival. Invite a variety of local organizations – schools, media, book publishers, law enforcement personnel, Internet service providers, youth and community-based groups to participate as judges.

Example: MediaSmarts asked students to create videos on stereotyping for Media Literacy Week and the results were amazing, creative and very moving.  Check them out on our YouTube Channel here:

2. Media contest

Host a contest around a specific media topic and ask students to create media products on the theme.

Example: The George Waters Middle School in Winnipeg celebrated Media Literacy Week through a Blurred Images Challenge. Students issued a challenge to media and advertisers to stop promoting gender stereotypes and unhealthy “ideal” body images. They also challenged fellow students across the province to create videos, podcasts, posters and other media projects to show how they feel about gender and media.

3. Hands-on production workshops for youth

Arrange an animation, coding or maker workshop for children and youth featuring hands-on learning through a variety of organizations in Canada. Here are a few:

  • MakerKids workshops
    MakerKids offers hands-on workshops, camps and after-school programs where kids can learn and create with things like 3D printing, electronics, Arduino, Minecraft, robotics and woodworking.
  • Code for kids workshops
    Based in Ottawa this organization hosts two-three hour events to teach children aged 7-13 the basics of coding, technology and design. Each event has a different focus but they all strive to encourage children’s natural curiosity and creativity by giving them the skills they need to explore this new digital world.
  • Girls learning code workshops
    Started by the organization Ladies Learning Code, these programming workshops for girls are designed to help girls see technology in a whole new light – as a medium for self-expression, and as a means for changing the world.
  • Mozilla Hive
    The Mozilla Hive Toronto Learning Network fuels collaborations between youth-serving organizations to provide youth with digital learning opportunities.

4. Hands-on production workshops for adults

  • National Film Board of Canada (NFB) educator workshops
    The NFB offers educator workshops in Montreal and Toronto on teaching animation to students of all ages, for a variety of issues and subjects. Teachers explore the NFB’s PixStop stop-motion iPad app, as well as traditional animation equipment, so they can comfortably teach animation to any class.
  • Ladies learning Code
    A Canada-wide not-for-profit group working to empower everyone to feel comfortable learning beginner-friendly technical skills in a social, collaborative way.
  • Party Maker workshops
    This Mozilla run campaign unites educators, organizations and enthusiastic web users with hands-on learning and making experiences.

5. Tweet Chat

  • A tweet chat is a Twitter event, usually moderated by a host, where people discuss a specific topic. You can start your own tweet chat with a hashtag of your choosing, or you can piggyback onto an existing education tweet chat with a regular schedule to take advantage of an engaged audience for your topic. You can link together classrooms this way so students can join together for a media-related discussion.

6. Media/career fair

Holding a career fair for students during Media Literacy Week will offer the opportunity to highlight the wide variety of jobs available in the media industries. Invite representatives of communications, broadcasting, news, Internet and video game companies to attend and talk about their industries.

Example: Entertainment Software Association of Canada hosted a discussion with women from Vancouver’s video game industry and secondary school students. The event provided an opportunity to encourage girls to consider a career in video game production and a forum to discuss the important contribution that women make in this vibrant industry in Canada.

7. Youth conference

Hosting a conference for youth can be tricky as they need to be engaged in the whole process – or driving it themselves – or it won’t be an authentic experience for them. Youth-based organizations have the most experience in engaging youth in meaningful ways so it’s best to partner with those types of organizations when planning a conference for young people.

Example: The Vancouver YMCA hosted a conference for secondary students: ME & The MEdia: Advancing Youth Media Literacy. The event included keynote speakers and workshops on workshops on sexualization and advertising awareness, masculinity, sports marketing and aggression, and social media and identity.

8. Parent information workshop

Invite an expert in Internet safety to present a parent workshop at your school or library. Many police services have community officers who go into the community to speak on this topic. MediaSmarts’ Parenting the Digital Generation is a free workshop to educate parents about what kids are doing online and strategies for ensuring safe, wise and responsible Internet use.

Example: The London Public Library hosted Internet safety workshops for parents focusing on the importance of appropriate internet use, protecting passwords and personal information, using netiquette, and the appropriate responses to cyberbullying.

9. Public forum, panel discussion or town hall meeting

Choose a media-related topic of interest to your community and invite students, members of the media, researchers, NGOs and industry and government representatives to discuss and debate. Invite the public to attend. Arrange media coverage beforehand.

10. Digital or media literacy professional development (PD) workshop

Hold a digital or media literacy PD workshop for teachers or librarians in your community. You may have access to a MediaSmarts’ digital literacy workshop series – Web Awareness Workshops – through an existing licence in your province or territory. To find out who the current licensees are for these resources, check the Resource Catalogue. You can also contact the Ontario-based Association for Media Literacy to book a media literacy workshop

11. Webinar

Webinars – online workshops – are a great way to engage more people because it’s more convenient to attend an event on your computer than in person. Some organizations have an existing Webinar platforms they use, but if you don’t have access to one of these, there are free platforms like Google Hangout which means anyone can host a webinar and hundreds can join in using the service.

Examples: The U.S.-based media literacy organization NAMLE hosted a Google Hangout webinar on the topic of marketing to kids with the Children’s Advertising Review Unit and marketing professionals.