OTTAWA – The 11th annual Media Literacy Week kicked off today in Ottawa with students from across Canada coming together to learn new digital media production skills. The event, held at the Canadian Museum of Nature, was hosted by MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF), with opening comments by the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women.
Media Literacy Week, which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, celebrates the theme of “Makers and Creators” this year: parents and teachers are encouraged to help kids become more creative, innovative and entrepreneurial by embracing media production, remixing, maker and do-it-yourself culture and coding.
Students from the Historica Encounters with Canada program attending the launch had the opportunity to do just that during hands-on workshops presented by Instagram, Twitter, Actua, and Ladies Learning Code.
“This year’s Media Literacy Week promises to be the largest yet,” says Cathy Wing Co-Executive Director of MediaSmarts. “We’ve seen tremendous interest from our collaborators on the theme of making and creating. They understand if we want to cultivate future innovators in Canada a key step is to encourage youth to move beyond being media consumers to becoming media creators.”
For her part, CTF President Heather Smith underscores the importance of creativity in media literacy. “Playful and creative learning experiences allow students to increase their critical thinking skills in terms of deconstructing, evaluating and creating media messages. Canadian teachers firmly believe in the importance of media literacy at every grade level.”
Media Literacy Week is an annual event, co-hosted by MediaSmarts and the CTF, which highlights the importance of teaching children and teens digital and media literacy skills. Over 80 collaborating organizations are involved in activities across Canada this year, including in Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Whitehorse and Vancouver, in addition to online events such as tweet chats and webcasts.
Media Literacy Week’s Gold Sponsors for 2016 are YouTube, Bell, Facebook and Twitter.
For more information on Media Literacy Week events, collaborators and resources, visit www.medialiteracyweek.ca, or use hashtag #medlitweek.
The week was officially adopted in the U.S. in 2015, where it is led by the National Association for Media Literacy Education. UNESCO’s Global Media and Information Literacy Week coincides this year with the Canadian and U.S. week.
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 offers hundreds of digital and media literacy resources for librarians, parents and educators on its website http://mediasmarts.ca. @mediasmarts
Founded in 1920, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is a national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations that represent over 231,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada. CTF is also a member of Education International. @CanTeachersFed
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