Canada has been a leader in Media Literacy and Education for decades.

And for next week’s annual Media Literacy Week 2019, this is our country’s time to shine! Please check out MediaSmarts’ list of events and resources to learn more.

So many awesome and inspiring Media Literacy events are taking place across Canada next week, and we are, as every year, thrilled to be a part of the festivities.

Beginning Monday I will be delivering 6 remote Digital Storytelling workshops with 6 Northwest Territories’ communities through the Beaufort Delta Education Council's eLearning English Language Arts classes.

Due to high flight costs when travelling in Canada's NWT, it is impossible for me to fly to each community, so for the last 2 years I have been delivering remote Digital Storytelling workshops with Grade 10 & 11 students living in 11 communities with over 150 students and teachers.

Apple Canada has provided me a MacBook Pro laptop for these workshops that is fast and powerful enough that I can toggle between both Mac and PC operating systems — this helps me immensely, as I get to use my own laptop to show them what they can do on PC laptops. (This is not a plug for Apple — they told me specifically that I don’t need to give them any shout-outs online, but I am really happy they can help the students with their media education workshops, and I feel they deserve credit where credit is due!)

Below an example from a previous workshop, made by the incredibly insightful and well-spoken 15-year old Kyran Alikamik from Ulukhaktok, NT.

We begin the workshop by discussing Youtube videos, who is making them, how, and why. We discuss the ethics of video production and representation in a digital world, along with copyright issues and image sourcing from websites that allow us to download them for our projects, instead of grabbing whatever pics from Google we can find.

Students then learn the basics of video production, including how to storyboard their project, and deciding what they will be focusing on.

One example of structure is to ask them to first describe how they identity, second to describe An issue in their community that affects them, and then finally to provide a suggestion for how they can improve the situation for themselves and their community.

The students then choose which photographs and music they would like to include, and then I demonstrate video editing using software they have access to in their own home community. Once the projects are completed, we screen all the projects together as a group the final day, and upload them all to Youtube as a playlist.

This remote Digital Storytelling Workshop is a perfect example of a powerful Media & Digital Literacy activity, where creation, expression and personal narrative punctuate critical thinking about media messages that we regularly consume.

Allysa Felix from Tuktoyaktuk, NT produced this incredibly powerful Digital Story in a previous workshop, and it still gives me chills

We are shifting our student workshops to a Train-The-Trainer approach, so if you, your school board, library or organization are interested in hosting your own Digital Storytelling Workshops, please contact us today to speak with Jessie about how to get started!