Media Smart: Helping Kids through Media Interaction
WHO IS MEDIA SMART?
The Media Smart is a Canadian nonprofit organization whose mission is for “children and youth to have the critical thinking skills to engage with the media as active and informed digital citizens.” The organization’s objective is to encourage children and teens to develop their skills of thinking in situations where the media is involved.
This organization also builds children’s confidence in themselves by showing them the proper tools to use the media and by showing them the positive side and negative side of the media.
The institution also helps parents that are struggling with teaching their children what they need to know about the media by supporting them and providing them with information and tools so they can help children with the right information on how to navigate the media and so that they do not get lost because of its influence.
This organization is focused on three main areas which are education, public awareness, research, and policy.
WHAT DO THEY OFFER?
The Media Smart organization was founded in the early 1990’s. The Organization offers in-school programs and online resources. The organization provided all the educational resources online which are free on their website which include “classroom lesson plans with worksheets, backgrounders, tip sheets, and essays, and multimedia games and quizzes.”
In other words, they provide children and teens knowledge of how to use the media properly. Some of the programs they offer is to teach children how to use the internet and it also raises public awareness of how important it is to get the right information so that they become more aware of the surroundings that they are in.
The Media Smart works with a lot of people to help them create more programs that can teach the youth to know more about the media.
HOW DO THEY HELP?
In this institution, some of the topics that they discuss are gender representation in the media. One example of this is how young girls view themselves, for instance, the popular film and television show message like being taller or thinner is better.
That is the kind of misconception that the Media Smart can help with, which is also a great resource for boys. One of the projects that they do is the awareness events which is a Media Literacy Week that is held once a year in association with the Canadian Teachers’ Federation to engage Canadians in media literacy activities across the country.
Other activities that they provide are Class Tutorials and PD Workshops, the class tutorials are for children 4th to 8th grade students to help them develop their critical thinking skills. Also to show them how to use the online and the websites in a secure way.
Some of the areas that they focus on are “online safety, authenticating online information, recognizing online marketing ploys, protecting their privacy, managing online relationships, dealing with cyberbullying”.
A PD workshop is for teachers to give them information about what they can improve in their teaching skills. The organization provides a lot of assistance to make children’s and parent’s life easy.
Their website is equipped with many resources to inform and educate children about the influences of the media that the younger generations are exposed to nowadays. It also provided advice to children and teenagers that can help them understand the message that is portrayed in the media such as movies, social media, and TV shows.
One thing that I like the most about the Organization is that they give information to parents and children to be aware of the influences of the media that most of the kids these days are engaged with.
I like the fact that the website provides information about the different programs that they offer to teach about different topics that are related to the media and that can prevent kids from being influenced by pop culture that is influencing society.
The institution’s work gives young adults the right information to help them understand the problem deeply so that they can pay more attention to what they hear or watch in movies or any other media influences.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
This Organization is helping a lot of kids understand the danger of the media.
One way to support their mission is to become involved with the organization and we can do that by donating money to the organization, by volunteering, and by supporting their work to help them grow by following the activities and events that take place in classrooms, libraries, and community groups.
Another thing that we can do is take advantage of all the resources offered on their website page and spread the information to people that we interact with. By learning all this I would definitely like to volunteer to work in the organization someday to help with the cause and give awareness to other people.
If you want to read more about current issues and articles like these read our previous post about The Effects of Technological Devices in our Lives: Concerns and Solution post.