Media-SmartsMediaSmarts (formerly the Media Awareness Network) is a Canadian non-profit organization based in Ottawa that focuses on media literacy programs. In particular, it promotes critical thinking via education resources and analyzes the content of various types of mass media. They publish a bilingual, Canadian educational web site containing a wide range of copy-right cleared resources to help teachers, parents and students integrate media literacy and web literacy into their daily lives.

One section of the website comprises a curricular overview for Media Education in Alberta, as well as information about professional development for media education. Included in the sidebar on the website section are curriculum charts for Grades K-12 that feature media education outcomes in the Alberta English Language Arts and Information and Communication Technology curricula, with links to supporting MediaSmarts resources and lessons.

There is also information for parents with topics that include cell phones and texting, cyber-security, cyber-bulling, excessive internet use, online marketing, and parenting the digital generation workshop with powerpoint presentations and tip sheets. And, if you’re trying to figure out what the Pokemon craze is all about, there’s an article called “Parent’s Guide to Pokemon Go.”

In addition to guides and tip sheets, you’ll also find Media Smarts bloggers that post short, topical and informative articles on such things as how to teach kids how to respond if they witness cyberbulling, how to maintain your privacy online and how to talk to your kids about body image during the Olympic Games.

If you’re a teacher or a parent and are looking for information on how to educate yourself so you can protect your students and children while they navigate the digital world smartly, check out the Media Smarts website at: http://mediasmarts.ca.

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