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Students First: The Health Curriculum Debate

One of media literacy’s strengths is its ability to explore ideas from multiple perspectives. So let’s employ a strategy pioneered by Marshall McLuhan, Canada’s foremost media educator: substitution. Let’s substitute the Ontario government’s parental consultations on its Health curriculum with other governmental policies affecting children. The Health curriculum issues are …

Critical Thinking: Solution or Problem?

Recent populist political victories have caused pundits to wonder if public education has failed and democracy is at risk. Some wonder, “How can people who are openly racist, sexist, xenophobic and vulgar get elected in democracies that pride themselves on their voters’ education?” danah boyd wonders if education—and specifically media …

Ethical Choices and Voices

There is a long-ignored, newly-recognized ‘holy grail’ in technical education and its home can be found in media literacy education. IT has traditionally been a sharing and celebration of effective ways to learn, produce, process and communicate. Spreadsheets, databases, simulations, graphics, videos and 3D printers have all been supercharged by …

Bias, Understanding Texts, and Widening Perspectives

The following thread from @Jess5th on Twitter (otherwise known as Jessica Lifshitz, an American elementary school teacher) is a great example of rich discussion, excellent scaffolding, and critical thinking. Although Jess did not necessarily create this as a “media lesson”, it incorporates several key concepts for media literacy. All media …

Why this and not that?

Why this and not that?   By Diana Maliszewski and Neil Andersen   Certain events galvanize and inspire large groups of people to respond in a variety of ways. Two recent examples of this are the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (see http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/ ) …

Things to Know About Rulers

by Neil Andersen, Diana Maliszewski and Nina Silver In an early episode of The Crown, a young Queen Elizabeth is frustrated because she feels that she is not being taken seriously, both for being young and a woman. She is counselled to upbraid her Prime Minister, Winston Churchill—to admonish him …

Media AQ Part 1: Spring Offering!

Media Studies AQ Part 1: Spring Session! We hope you’ll join us for the spring session of the Media Studies Additional Qualifications Course, Part I. The TDSB will be subsidizing the AQ for teachers in the board (register through Key to Learn). The AQ is open to all teachers in …

On Maps, the New Renaissance, and Media Literacy: A Response to the Ideas of Chris Kutarna

by Carol Arcus “It’s the best possible time to be alive, when almost everything you thought you knew is wrong.” – Tom Stoppard “Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media with which people communicate than by the content of the communication.” – Marshall McLuhan Canadian Chris Kutarna …