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21st Century Literacies

New Teacher Fun Slide Deck

These slides (click here) were part of a presentation by AML Director Diana Maliszewski for newly-hired permanent contract teachers in the Toronto District School Board during their Beginning Teacher Summer Institute. Often, new teachers are uncertain about how to approach teaching media literacy outside of some older approaches (i.e. examining …

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 …

“Hijab Hoax” Case Study

by Michelle Solomon and Neil Andersen Because the primary function of media is to communicate culture, media literacy is a wonderfully compelling blend of media studies and cultural studies. The Hijab Hoax news story case study is exactly that blend, and it provides rich learning opportunities. We have packaged the …

Media Environment Scavenger Hunt

by Neil Andersen and Chelsea Attwell It is useful and fun to think about media in broader terms than books, websites or news. The environment that our students learn in provides rich learning opportunities. For young children this may seem like a challenging notion, but the exploration of environments in …

What is your emoji-name?

by Neil Andersen 🤐👁️🙏⌨️🏊👨‍🍳🎶🍫 Emojis are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and Web pages. (Wikipedia) Their uses are growing rapidly, especially in texting, to graphically represent ideas and emotions. There are hundreds of emojis, with more being added. What might students learn from researching and developing their own …

What’s in a (re)name?

This is a 3-part lesson: research, discussion/presentation; and creation. Students will research the political implications of a named building, statue or highway, discuss/present their results and conclusions, then propose and defend an alternative name. There are many reasons for naming buildings, universities and roadways. Often it is to honour someone …