Teens using social media for good celebrated at Media Literacy Week launch

November 03, 2014

Toronto, ON High school students from the GTA – joined virtually by youth from across Canada – came together this morning to learn how to leverage the power of social media platforms for advocacy, activism and peer support.

The event, held at the Facebook Canada office, marked the launch of Media Literacy Week. This national event, which runs from November 3-7, is hosted annually by MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. This year’s theme – Youth & Social Networking: Creative, Connected, Collaborative – encourages adults to work with young people to explore the opportunities that social networking tools provide for contributing positively to society and building digital skills for the future.

Today’s launch event featured youth speakers discussing the inspiring and empowering work they have done using social media, including: promoting volunteerism in their communities; advocating for global change; spreading positive and accessible sexual health information, and; helping build networks for mental health support.

“We are pleased to spotlight the amazing contributions of these exceptional youth. Their projects demonstrate how these powerful social tools can be used by young people for their own local and global engagement and to inspire other youth to do the same,” says Cathy Wing, Co-Executive Director of MediaSmarts.

“It’s heartening to watch these young leaders use their imagination and creativity to bring about positive transformation and civic engagement through social networking,” explains CTF President Dianne Woloschuk. “The world is literally at their fingertips.”

Attending students also took part in hands-on workshops hosted by Kindness Counts and Facebook Canada, Ladies Learning Code, Mozilla, National Film Board of Canada and Twitter Canada.

The week has the support of over 100 organizations, including Gold Sponsors Bell, Instagram, Facebook Canada and YouTube and Silver Sponsors, TELUS and Association des enseignantes et enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick.

Resources for parents, teachers and youth can be found at www.medialiteracyweek.ca. Follow along using hash tag #medlitweek.

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MediaSmarts is a Canadian not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy. Its vision is that young people have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens. mediasmarts.ca @mediasmarts

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) is an alliance of nearly 200,000 elementary and secondary educators from 17 organizations (15 Members, one Affiliate Member and one Associate Member across Canada). CTF is also a member of Education International, a global alliance of educators. Follow CTF on Twitter: @CanTeachersFed and @EnseigneCanada.

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Contacts:

Maya Shoucair
Communications
Officer MediaSmarts
613-224-7721 ext. 231
mshoucair@mediasmarts.ca

Francine Filion
Director of Communications
Canadian Teachers' Federation
613-688-4314
ffili@ctf-fce.ca