The Importance of Media Literacy: Helping Children be Media and Life Wise


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POP! Teachers and Concerned Children’s Advertisers (CCA) are proud to present Canadian educators with a FREE Media Literacy webinar from the CCA. This webinar will help educators engage their students in learning the important skills needed to make safe and informed decisions about media in their lives and will help to promote Media Literacy Week taking place November 2nd to 5th, 2011.

The FREE resource is available to you in three 10 minute segments so educators can take part at their leisure. Visit and click the webinar link to access this great resource!

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  • Welcome to Concerned Children’s Advertisers first webinar, entitled, “The Importance of Media Literacy: Helping Children to be Media and Life Wise”
  • This webinar is being launched as part of the Media Awareness/ CTF “National Media Literacy Week” which runs from November 2-5 this year. Although celebrating media literacy is important, it is not something that happens in one week, or even one term. The skills learned to help children understand, interpret and balance their media choices are life-long skills that are becoming increasingly more important as our young people find themselves immersed in a world that revolves around technology.
  • My name is Linda Millar and I’m the Education Specialist for Concerned Children’s Advertisers.
    In partnership with Paton Publishing, we are able to bring you some important information, lesson plans and creative ideas to help you address some very important issues in your classrooms.
    Today, we are going to talk about children’s healthy, active living and the role that media literacy plays in helping children to be “media and life wise.”
    We will share an exciting new public service message with you and then take you on a tour of our microsite where you can interact and download some innovative strategies for your classroom!
  • There is no doubt that children today are living in a different world than even ten years ago. Immersed in a digital society, kids today learn, communicate and relate via technology.
    As educators, we need to embrace the opportunity to teach kids how to use media safely and responsibly as they navigate their way through their learning years – and that calls for some creative and exciting new ways to reach and teach young people!
  • A webinar is a series of mini workshops that will get you thinking about an issue and provide you with some valuable tools for your classroom.
    This particular presentation is divided into 3 ten minute sections that can be viewed separately or as a unit.
    These webinars will be archived on this website so that you can revisit them at your convenience.
    Following this presentation we invite you to ask questions or provide us with feedback on the materials.
    Later in this presentation I will give you the feedback link for this purpose.
  • At this point, you may be asking, “Who is Concerned Children’s Advertisers?”
    CCA is a unique collaboration of industry, NGOs’, government, advertising agencies, broadcasters and issue experts that have joined together to address issues of importance to children.
    Since 2005, we have been focussing on children’s healthy, active living through our Long Live Kids initiative which looks at the importance of healthy eating, active living and improved and balanced media literacy.
  • Concerned Children’s Advertisers has a long and successful relationship with children and families across Canada. Children of all ages know our public service messages and when asked what CCA does, they reply, “They are the people that help kids.”
    Being able to reach children across Canada is a great privilege, but along with that comes a great responsibility. Our members and partners work with leading issue experts in Canada and beyond to ensure that all of our campaigns are based on the most current research available.
  • As an industry-funded, non-profit organization, CCA has a committed group of members who contribute their time, resources, and expertise to demonstrate a concern and commitment for today’s children.
  • Combine that with over 20 partners and you end up with the opportunity to impact children and families across Canada by providing critical information, skills and resources to adults who work with, care for and live with children.
  • Since 1990, CCA has produced over 40 public service messages addressing many of the issues our children face on a daily basis.
    To extend the learning beyond the screen, we also develop and distribute education/parent materials, and provide these valuable resources free of charge to a variety of audiences across Canada.
    Let’s take a look at some of the PSA’s we have produced to date…
    To see the demo reel on your screen, click on the link below, entitled, “CCA Demo Reel.”
  • As you can see, the PSA’s are child centered, child directed and focus on research that helps us to reach kids at their own level.
    Kids everywhere know our messages and we want these PSA’s to be catalysts for important discussions that will lead to more in-depth exploration through the lesson plans and parent programs provided on the microsite.
  • So- what exactly, is a microsite?
    Essentially, it is a web-based vehicle for kids, educators and parents to go to and explore important issues about children’s health and well being.
    We will take you on an in-depth tour of the site shortly, where you will see games and activities for kids, lesson plans for educators and tips, tools and strategies for parents on how to help kids be “media and life wise.”
  • At this point, you are probably asking, “What does the research say about the importance of media literacy and how is it connected to the health of our children?”
  • All you have to do is watch a group of young people during the course of a typical day. They are anatomically attached to their cell phone, texting messages with incredible speed and dexterity. They have invented their own digital language to communicate efficiently on-line. They are plugged in turned on or tuned in to just about any digital device you could imagine and according to the latest research, this is just the tip of the ‘Virtual Iceberg’ as all indicators point to increased usage down the line.
  • Kids today not only use media in its various formats, but they create it and distribute it as well. Sadly, this is often done while they are alone, without the guidance of adults.
    That is why it is so important for us to actively engage our students in learning important skills related to making safe, informed and balanced choices about media and life.
  • Clearly, kids are spending too much time engaged in “screen time” and not enough time being active.
    Whether it is watching television, playing a hand held video game, surfing the net, engaging in social networking, kids are spending more than 7 hours every day in a sedentary mode.
  • According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Generation M2 Media Study, released in January 2010, the past 5 years has shown an increase in the use of almost all media as you can see on this chart.
    Since 2005, young people have increased the amount of time they spend consuming media by an hour and seventeen minutes daily, from 6:21 to 7:38—almost the amount of time most adults spend at work each day, except that young people use media seven days a week instead of five.
    Moreover, given the amount of time they spend using more than one medium at a time, today’s youth pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those daily 7½ hours—an increase of almost 2¼ hours of media exposure per day over the past five years.
  • However, according to a new study by Netpop Research in the U.S., the greatest increase is in mobile media with activity on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook showing an increase in usage of 93% between 2006 and 2008.
    “Social Networkers U.S.: Who They Are and What They Mean for Next-Generation Online Advertising.”
  • And how are our kids communicating with each other? As you can see from this recent U.S study, of the over 75% of kids that own cell phones, 88% of them use texting as their primary means of communication, sending between 50 and 200 text messages per day.
    But face-to-face communication is favoured by only 33% of kids 12-17, which raises some additional important questions.
  • Have our kids lost the ability to communicate with each other in the same room? Does this affect the elements of empathy, tolerance or understanding when talking or texting about someone else?
    Is it easier to express yourself without the recipient seeing your face?
    Clearly, there are arguments for both sides, but what is really important is that in today’s world, kids conduct their relationships digitally and therefore, we need to make sure that we are arming our children with the tools to do so safely and responsibly.
  • On the health side, the latest research from Active Healthy Kids Canada tells us that over one fourth of our kids are overweight or obese and 88% of them are not meeting the 90 minutes of recommended physical activity to promote optimum health.
    It also reminds us that this issue is affecting even the younger children with a combined total of over 21% of children aged 2-5 being overweight or obese.
  • Both the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine have highlighted healthy eating, active living and media literacy as important strategies on the issue of childhood obesity. For information and lesson plans regarding healthy eating and active living, visit
    This webinar is focusing on the third pillar, Media Literacy and will discuss how improved media literacy can play a role in reducing childhood overweight and obesity as well as contribute to the general health and well being of our kids.
  • What is concerning is that although media can actually be a wonderful teaching tool and can connect people all over the world, the way young people are using it can have huge implications for their physical, emotional and social health.
    When kids believe everything they see on the screen and when they become close to a set of virtual friends that they have never met, it is time to intervene.
  • It is important for us as adults to help our kids to learn about balancing sedentary activities with physically active times.
    It is important for us to help kids see what goes on behind the scenes to create media so they can distinguish between what is real and what is not.
    We need to help kids learn how to understand and interpret media messages; how to ask questions and use critical thinking to make wise decisions.
    In other words, we need to teach Media Literacy
  • There are many definitions for the term media literacy, but for the purposes of this webinar let’s think of it as the ability to deconstruct, analyse, evaluate and reconstruct media messages.
    If kids understand that all media is constructed and directed to a specific group for a specific purpose, they will be in a better position to make informed, healthy choices.
  • By partnering with the Media Awareness Network who provided us with valuable information and research about the connections that exist between kids’ media use and health, CCA embarked on a social marketing campaign called, “Media Monkey.”
  • The first step was to use this research to create and air the “Media Monkey” PSA to remind kids that they have the ability and the know how to make choices that are right for them.
    To watch, Just click the link on your screen entitled, “Media Monkey”
  • Following the key learning from the research, “Media Monkey” was designed to get kids to stop and think about their media use. We want them to start talking about media time and usage with the adults in their lives and we want to empower them to make smart, informed choices that are right for them.
    Clearly, a 30 second commercial aired across Canada is an effective tool but you can only say so much in 30 seconds!
  • CCA recognizes the importance of reaching all Canadians with these important messages. In this regard we are working to try to speak to as many cultures as possible.
    We have already translated our Media Monkey PSA into several languages, including:
    Cantonese; and
  • And that is why we created the on-line educational micro-site. By providing opportunities for kids, parents and educators to actively engage in meaningful discussions and activities, we are extending the learning into the schools, homes health and child care facilities across Canada.
  • Okay, let’s take a closer look at the educational microsite! This site houses everything you need to follow up the “Media Monkey” PSA when using it as an educational tool…and then some.
  • What you see in this slide is the microsite Home Page.
    Let’s take a moment to familiarize you with all of the components.
    Starting at the upper left corner, you will see a link to Log In. In order to access the lesson plans and activities, we ask you to log in so that we can track the number and types of users who visit the site. It’s important to note that the information is for our statistical purposes only and that none of your personal information will be shared.
  • The navigation bar across the top centre lists all of the components of the site. The Learn and Lead sections are highlighted on the right side of the screen for easy content access.
    Down the left side, there is a poll for kids to vote on, a rotating series of facts about healthy, active living, an explanation of how to use the site and a list of partners who have been instrumental in helping us bring these resources to you.
  • The POST section, found in the centre of the Home Page has a series of interesting and time sensitive events. It includes special interest days and holidays as well as viewing opportunities for our new public service messages. By checking the site regularly you can access important information and ideas that you can incorporate into your existing curriculum.
  • The CREATE button will lead you and your students through a series of steps to create your own music video, helping them to realize some of the elements that go in to creating media.
  • The PLAY section in the main navigation bar is where you and your students can go to play games and take part in activities that test their knowledge in the areas of health and media literacy. These activities rotate on a random basis so students can engage several times while learning new information.
    The SHARE section will provide you with an opportunity to send along some of the work that your students create in the lesson plans. It is also a place where you can send us an inspirational poster or picture that focuses on healthy, active living.
  • The LEARN section is designed for educators. It contains comprehensive lesson plans that align to provincial curricula in each province and are available in both English and French.
    The lessons are activity based, fun and interactive and encourage the important skills of empathy, empowerment, critical thinking and decision making.
    They can be down loaded from this site and are virtually ‘classroom ready’ with activity ideas and everything you need to deliver comprehensive lesson plans.
  • The teaching materials are divided into three sections.
    Module One: Learning About Media focuses on the importance of learning the elements of media literacy and takes students through a series of fun and engaging experiences where they construct, deconstruct analyse and evaluate various forms of media.
    Module Two: Improving Self Confidence recognizes the importance of helping young people to realize that they are capable, and unique individuals who have the ability to make smart, safe, balanced and informed choices about media and life that are right for them.
    Module Three: Planning for the Future helps children to apply the information, skills and knowledge they gained in the first two modules to their own lives. They engage in a series of activities in and out of the school setting where they can see the value of being “media and life wise.’
  • Let’s ‘deconstruct’ a typical lesson plan.
    This particular lesson is designed to take 2 or more classroom sessions, depending on the skill level of your students. Like all of the lessons, all of the students worksheets are provided on-line and any additional teacher information you may need is also provided for you.
    In this lesson, students participate in a fact-finding mission to discover what goes on behind the scenes to create and produce media.
  • First they EXPLORE their own lifestyles to determine what portion of their day they typically spend engaged in sedentary activities vs being active.
    A class DISCUSSION ensues where they talk about what media they use and how much time they spend engaged with it .
    The LEARN section of this lesson provides the students with current research about media use of kids their age and provides opportunities for the teachers to talk about the benefits and draw backs of media use.
    The ACTIVITY section provides the students with a hands on group work experience where teams of students work together to explore several forms of media that surround them. Among other things, students learn how the media constructs reality, and the roles of several of the behind the scenes people who construct media
  • In this lesson, the FOCUS is Media Literacy, the PURPOSE is to provide students with the information they need to see how media is constructed. The Objectives are to identify several forms of media, describe how media constructs realty, identify various behind the scenes roles and share this new information with their classmates.
    The TOOLS include all of the Student Activity Sheets required for the group work as well as answer sheets for the teachers.
    SETTING THE STAGE for this lesson includes talking about advertising and playing the CCA PSAs House Hippo and Media Monkey and engaging the students in a discussion about what they learned in these messages.
    The WORKING IT OUT section is where the students engage in the group work to explore the job descriptions of people who work behind the scenes. SHARING THE NEWS provides an opportunity for each group to share their research with the larger group.
    Finally the CLOSURE AND REFLECTION section provides opportunities for the students to reflect, assess and evaluate the experience.
    Each lesson plan is set up with the same headings, just the content and objectives vary.
  • At the end of each lesson there is an Extension section which provides opportunities to extend the learning beyond the lesson plan. Students are engaged in a series of activities across the curriculum, both in and out of the school which demonstrate the learning they have acquired and gives them an opportunity to incorporate this learning into their daily routines.
    In the “Media Sleuths” lesson, some suggestions include:
    Inviting a media person in to discuss their roles; taking a field trip to a local television or radio station or inviting a video programmer in to discuss how they construct media for their games.
    So…as you can see the lesson plans are fun, engaging and very comprehensive!
  • Research shows that parents are instrumental in shaping children’s attitudes towards healthy choices.
    The LEAD button will take you to the parent, care-giver and community page. This is where tips, tools and strategies are found that will parallel the in-class curriculum and support healthy, active living and improved media literacy.
  • We hope you have enjoyed this webinar series and have learned more about this important issue and the materials that have been developed to help you address it with your students.
    At CCA we see this as the beginning of a great relationship with you!
    We are presently planning our next PSA that will focus on empowering, exciting and motivating kids to take an active role in making healthier living choices.
    As always, we are constantly thinking about the best ways we can help you as you address the Learning Outcomes identified by your province. Our goal is to make your job just a little bit easier by providing you with the resources you need to reach and teach your kids.
  • It’s important to remember that children’s health is a complex issue with no simple solutions. As the world continues to change and new challenges emerge, we need to step up to the plate and do our part.
    Hopefully, what you have seen and heard today will help you to feel confident that together we truly are helping our kids to grow to become healthy contributing citizens.
    We encourage you to visit the Long Live Kids microsite, create an account and explore and utilize the resources available to you, your students and their caregivers.
  • To ask questions or provide us with some comments on our first webinar, please log on to the site below. We will answer your questions at our earliest convenience
  • Thanks for tuning in. I hope to talk with you again soon!
  • The Importance of Media Literacy: Helping Children be Media and Life Wise

    1. 1. The Importance of Media Literacy: Helping Children to be Media and Life Wise A webinar produced by CCA and Paton Publishing, November 2010
    2. 2. PART ONE Introduction
    3. 3. What’s Up? • Introduction • The Issue • Media Monkey • Just For You
    4. 4. 01/30/15 “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow” ~ John Dewey New Ideas, New Approaches Images From Microsoft Clip Art
    5. 5. Webinar • Online mini workshop • Three 10 minute sections • Archived on • Q&A available Images From Microsoft Clip Art
    6. 6. What is CCA? • Unique collaboration • Over 20 years • Focus on positive prevention • Long Live Kids
    7. 7. Concerned Children’s Advertisers CCA MISSION: • As committed Canadian advertisers, our goal is to be the credible, caring and authoritative voice of responsible children’s advertising and communications. CCA MANDATE: 1. To contribute to the health and media literacy of Canadian children through innovative and effective social marketing and education programs. 2. To promote ethics and responsibility in advertising to children.
    8. 8. CCA Members
    9. 9. CCA Partners
    10. 10. Broad Range of Social Issues CCA Campaigns: • Substance Abuse Prevention • Child Abuse Prevention • Self-Esteem – Girls & Boys • Bullying • Healthy Active Living • Media Literacy Let’s take a look… CCA Demo Reel
    11. 11. CCA PSA’s Are Designed To: • Draw attention to an issue • Act as a call-to-action • Provide a catalyst for meaningful discussion • Drive viewers to the website for tools Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    12. 12. What is a Microsite? • Online vehicle • Kids, educators, parents • Games, lesson plans, tips and tools • Many components
    13. 13. PART TWO The Issue
    14. 14. Part 2 - The Issue “In this century, the mass media have come to rival parents, school, and religion as the most influential institution in children's lives.” ~ Media and Values Magazine Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    15. 15. Today’s Children are Media Savvy • Consumers; • Creators; and • Distributors of content. Images From Microsoft Clip Art
    16. 16. *GENERATION M2: Media in the lives of 8-18 yr olds. A Kaiser Family Foundation Study, January 2010 • More than 7 hrs./day screen time • More than 53 hours per week * Media Use
    17. 17. *GENERATION M2: Media in the lives of 8-18 yr olds. A Kaiser Family Foundation Study, January 2010 Big Changes
    18. 18. *GENERATION M2: Media in the lives of 8-18 yr olds. A Kaiser Family Foundation Study, January 2010 Increase in Mobile Media Use
    19. 19. How do kids communicate? Images From Microsoft Clip Art
    20. 20. Implications? • Isolation? • Empathy? • Tolerance? • Values? Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    21. 21. Are They Healthy? • 26% of Canada’s Kids are overweight or obese; • Only 12% of Canadian children and youth meet the 90 minutes/day activity guideline; • 15.2% of 2-5-year-olds are overweight ; and • 6.3% are obese. • Children who become obese before the age of six are likely to: – Be obese later in childhood; and – Have a 25-50% increased risk of being obese as adults Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, 2010
    22. 22. 3 Pillars • World Health Organization • Institute of Medicine Images From Microsoft Clip Art
    23. 23. What does this mean for our kids? • Virtual friends are replacing real friends • Online information has perceived credibility • Physical, emotional, social implications Images From Microsoft Clip Art
    24. 24. What do we need to do? Teach children to : • Ask questions • Learn how to understand and interpret media • Make balanced life choices that are right for them Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    25. 25. • Media literacy education is the key to positive behavioural change, the development of critical thinking skills and the ability to make smart choices. What is media literacy? • The ability to deconstruct, analyze, evaluate, and reconstruct media messages. deconstruct analyze evaluate reconstruct Teach, Don’t Protect
    26. 26. Research Experts • CCA partnered with Canada’s foremost issue expert on media literacy, Media Awareness Network (MNet)
    27. 27. Introducing… Media Monkey
    28. 28. Media Monkey • “Media Monkey” empowers young people to make safe, balanced and healthy choices that are right for them and opens the door for meaningful discussion about media, health and planning for healthy futures. Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    29. 29. Reaching All Canadians • The “Media Monkey” was designed to positively influence Canadian children to develop the confidence to make healthy, informed choices, regardless of their cultural background. • Targets: – English and French speaking Canada • Canadian children, ages 9-12 (boys and girls) • Parents, teachers and other caregivers – Multicultural Canada • Children, ages 9-12 (boys and girls) • Parents
    30. 30. More “Media Monkey” • At School • At Home • In the Community – Child Care – Health Care
    31. 31. PART THREE The Microsite
    32. 32. • Ticker across the top • POST
    33. 33. Long Live Kids Micro site • Navigation Bar • LEARN • LEAD • Poll • Facts • Partners Images From Microsoft Clip Art
    34. 34. POST- Check it out often!
    35. 35. CREATE - Kids
    36. 36. PLAY and SHARE - Everyone
    37. 37. LEARN - Educators
    38. 38. Three Modules • Learning About Media • Improving Self Confidence • Planning for the Future Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    39. 39. Let’s Look at an Example • Module One: Learning About Media Lesson One: Media Sleuths Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    40. 40. Lesson Plan Components • Lesson at a Glance • Explore • Discuss • Learn Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    41. 41. Group Learning- Media Sleuths • Activity – Focus – Purpose – Objectives – Teacher Tools – Setting the Stage – Working it Out – Sharing the News – Closure and Reflection Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    42. 42. Extension Ideas • Across the curriculum • Service Learning • Application of Skills Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    43. 43. LEAD - Parents and Community
    44. 44. Next Steps for CCA • New PSA • New educator lesson plans • New parent/ community program • Updates and new components to online microsite • More webinars Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    45. 45. Next steps for you: • Use the lesson plans and parent program! • Encourage others to use it too • Keep communicating with your kids about health and technology • Use technology as a co-learning opportunity • Keep your students active Image From Microsoft Clip Art
    46. 46. Q&A • Questions? • Comments? • Suggestions? •
    47. 47. Thank you! Image From Microsoft Clip Art