Scratching the Surface of Media Literacy – Self-education
I remember the original Canadian House Hippo commercials from when I was a teenager in the 90’s and at the time I honestly didn’t know what the point of the commercial was. I just remember thinking “That tiny hippo is so cute!” In 2020, the Canadian House Hippo is back with the same message but for a new generation and, of course, is cute as ever.
MediaSmarts is Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy and the masterminds behind the Canadian House Hippo campaigns. The MediaSmarts website has free resources for parents and teachers to self-educate on media literacy, as well as games and other activities for teaching youth critical evaluation skills for the online world.
In particular, there are two campaigns I’d like to mention:
First, I’d like to point out the Break the Fake campaign with the Canadian House Hippo. Break the Fake is a quick and clean place to start for thinking critically about what you are seeing in digital media like television, YouTube, TikTok etc.
Second, is the Check First, Share After campaign; an effort to stop the spread of misinformation. Check First, Share After is another quick and clean website designed to educate internet users on how to critically evaluate the health news that they come across.
Diving Deeper into Media Literacy – Formal Instruction
For librarians, teachers and those giving formal instruction on media literacy, the University of Alberta Library has a subscription to MediaSmarts Web Awareness Workshop Series. In our subscription you will have access to in depth workshops to gain better knowledge of how to teach media literacy. Instructors are able to set up virtual classrooms for group learning and assign individual assignments. There are six in-depth workshops for instructors and students to take the deep dive into media literacy.
- Cyber Bullying: Encouraging Ethical Online Behaviour
- Fact or Folly: Authenticating Online Information
- Growing with the Net: The Early Years (ages 4-12)
- Growing with the Net: The Teen Years (ages 13-17)
- Kids for Sale: Online Privacy & Marketing
- Safe Passage: Teaching Kids to be Safe and Responsible Online