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Teens learn new digital skills

November 8, 2016

Media Literacy Week provides plenty of hands-on learning

OTTAWA – Students from across Canada came together to learn new digital media production skills at the 11th annual Media Literacy Week, which kicked off in Ottawa on Oct. 31. The event, held at the Canadian Museum of Nature, was hosted by MediaSmarts and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF).

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,” said Cathy Wing, co-executive director of MediaSmarts. “We’ve seen tremendous interest from our collaborators on the theme of making and creating. They understand [that] 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.”

CTF president Heather Smith underscored 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,” she said.

Media Literacy Week is an annual event that’s co-hosted by CTF and ­MediaSmarts, a Canadian not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy. The event highlights the importance of teaching children and teens digital and media literacy skills. More than 80 collaborating organizations are involved in activities across Canada this year, including in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Whitehorse and Vancouver, in addition to online events such as tweet chats and webcasts. ❚

For more information on Media Literacy Week events, collaborators and resources, visit, or use hashtag #medlitweek.

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