Despite their enthusiastic participation in social media, it’s a mistake to think that young people don’t care about privacy. MediaSmarts’ 2014 study Young Canadians in a Wired World, which surveyed over 5,000 students across Canada on their experiences with and attitudes towards digital media, found that they do have very strong feelings about their privacy, and take significant steps to control it.

Joe McGinniss’ book The Selling of the President had a shocking title for 1968, suggesting as it did that in the television age the presidency had become nothing more than another product to be packaged and sold. MediaSmarts’ resource, Watching the Elections (a lesson for Grades 8-12), shines a light on how the different aspects of an election – from the debates to political ads to the candidates themselves – are actually media products.

​When we think about the privacy risks that youth face online, we tend to think in terms of teens and tweens oversharing on cell phones and social networks. Increasingly, though, children are facing privacy issues younger and younger: according to a 2014 study from the UK, kids aged 13-14 said they were eight and a half years old when they first went online, kids aged 11-12 said they were eight and kids aged nine to ten said they had gone online when they were just six years old.[1] 

Cette année marque le 20e anniversaire de la Semaine sans écran (4 au 10 mai). Il est frappant de constater à quel point notre relation avec les médias d’écran a changé depuis ce temps. 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Screen-Free Week (May 4th to 10th), and it’s striking to consider just how our relationship with screen media has changed in that time.

Whether it’s to prepare for the future job market or just to manage the lives they already lead online, young Canadians need to be digitally literate. But what exactly is digital literacy, and how can we ensure that all Canadian youth are learning the digital skills they need?

Que ce soit pour se préparer au futur marché de l’emploi ou simplement pour gérer les vies qu’ils mènent déjà en ligne, les jeunes Canadiens doivent avoir les compétences nécessaires en matière de littératie numérique. Mais qu’est-ce que la littératie numérique, et comment pouvons-nous nous assurer que tous les jeunes Canadiens acquièrent les compétences numériques dont ils ont besoin?

The last few weeks have shed an unprecedented light on the use of digital media to spread and inspire hatred. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the perpetrator in the attacks on Canada’s National War Memorial and Parliament buildings, appears to have been motivated in part by exposure to online postings by a self-described member of the Islamic state[1], and the Federal government has already stated that it intends to create tools to remove online content that promotes the “proliferation of terrorism.”[2]

Alors qu’Internet est de plus en plus central dans nos vies, nos identités en ligne et hors ligne sont de moins en moins indissociables. Alors qu’Internet était autrefois un endroit où personne ne savait qui nous étions et où nous vivions une « deuxième vie » sous un avatar personnalisable, nous naviguons aujourd’hui le Web surtout sous notre véritable visage.

As the Internet has become more and more central to our lives, our online and offline identities have become less and less separate. Where the Internet was once a place where nobody knew we were dogs and we lived Second Lives as customizable avatars, today we mostly surf the Web as ourselves.


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