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An Open Letter to the Ministry of Education of the Government of Ontario: Why Ontario students are missing out on the essential skill of media literacy

AML is concerned about the position of media literacy in the current Ontario curriculum. Written in 2005, the content lacks any references to smartphones or social media, the driving forces in communications culture today. These factors are shaping our current language, actions, culture, and politics – the way we live …

Podcasts—the new old medium

Podcasts have become an interesting new/old media phenomenon. While they seem to be the new de rigeur form, they arguably date from electronic media’s second-oldest form: radio. (The first is the telegraph.) Radio talk shows—in the form of interviews, dialogues or monologues—have been industry staples forever.

Can media literacy education nurture active agency? Or, my argument with Mark Surman – by Carol Arcus

I attended one of the McLuhan Salons recently – talks/discussions that are co-sponsored by St. Michael’s College at U of T and the Estate of Marshall McLuhan. On November 9 at the ROM, we heard Mark Surman, President and Executive Director of Mozilla, a not for profit technology company that …

The Art of the Apology

By Diana Maliszewski Practically everything is media, and that includes apologies. An apology is defined as “a regretful acknowledgement of an offence or failure” (www.dictionary.com). Traditional apologies involve the giver and the receiver of the apology, unless you include the adult that might be forcing an apology between children, like …

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 …