Media Literacy Week is an annual event that takes place every November in the US and Canada. The week puts a spotlight on the importance of digital and media literacy as a key component in the education of children and young people.
Working with schools, libraries, and educational associations and organizations, Media Literacy Week participants seek to inspire a leap in Canadian and US citizens’ thinking towards media education as an important – and innovative – approach towards creating thoughtful, engaged and informed young people.
This initiative provides online citizens with a focal point for media-related activities and, at the same time, showcases the creative ways that digital and media literacy are being integrated into classrooms and communities across the world.
To celebrate this year’s Media Literacy Week, Twitter joined a number of initiatives with our partners @MediaSmarts and @MediaLiteracyEd for the third consecutive year. Last year, we held a Digital Citizenship Summit that brought together educators from around the world.
We started the week unveiling a dedicated Twitter Emoji with the hashtags #MediaLitWk, #MLW17 and #getsmartonline:
In the US we collaborated with the National Association for Media Literacy Education to host the closing Media Literacy Week event to celebrate the positive ways that US youth are using social media and to share best practices recommendations between educators and civil society experts.
In Canada, Twitter partnered with @MediaSmarts at their annual opening event at Lisgar Collegiate Institute in Ottawa, where over 100 high school students participated in a number of hands-on workshops including one on Twitter and online empowerment.
Beyond our contribution to this week, at Twitter we have the immense privilege of working with safety organizations who are experts on Media Literacy like Common Sense Media, Connectsafely, or Childnet. With their input, we have been able to develop a guide for educators. As people turn to Twitter to find and share ideas about teaching and learning, we wanted to create a resource geared to help educators make the most of Twitter in the classroom by connecting them to lessons, ideas, and experiences that can support their vital work. We unveiled the resource at NAMLE’s annual conference in Chicago earlier this year and it is available for download in English and French.
In EMEA, @TwitterDublin hosted UNICEF Ireland and 50 high school students for a special all-day event focused on digital literacy and active citizenship. Students were taught how to verify information sources, safeguard their online reputation and break down digital divides. Guest speakers talked about their learning experience with online platforms and how they’ve come to develop the knowledge required to effectively leverage Twitter to advocate on issues they’re passionate about.
To ensure the students came away with practical guidance, we gave the group some worksheets featuring web pages and stories that appeared on real sites. We then asked them to distinguish between advertorial and editorial content, and to say whether claim stated as fact gave any evidence to that fact.
The event received national media attention. TV, press, and radio reporters attended and quizzed the students and facilitators on the importance of digital literacy education.
While online engagement continues to get more complex, we hope to contribute to the media literacy effort by empowering users to build critical thinking abilities and connecting them to resources. Our ultimate goal is for any user –within Twitter or anywhere online– to have control over their online experience within the ever-changing digital landscape.
If you are interested in learning more about Twitter’s media literacy efforts, check our Neighbor Nest where we provide digital literacy workshops to address the needs of low-income users who lack crucial computer skills. While the digital literacy classes cover basic computer and Internet search skills we recognize this is a critical first step to understand how we consume information. No matter the level of digital literacy, we recognize that everyone can benefit from guidelines about constructive online behavior and also provide a digital citizenship workshop to address these needs. In this workshop, Neighbor Nest staff and Twitter volunteers cover topics such as online abuse, media literacy, account security, and reputation management.
You can see the best content and tweets in this Moment: Celebrating Media Literacy Week.