Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cool pics from our Instagram Challenge

Media Literacy Week may be over, but there are still lots opportunities to discuss marketing to students - and participate in our Instagram Challenge.

A digital literacy class at Mary Duncan School in The Pas has posted some wonderful pictures for the challenge and we thought we'd show off a few of them. We love the creativity and hard work that went into these images. The students even made hashtags out of this list of 12 we posted earlier in the week. Great work!

A student from George Waters Middle School in Winnipeg also gave us two cool contributions that speak directly to our theme of marketing to students. We're featuring her work below as well. Really nice images, Meghan!

Post your creative pics and we'll feature some of them on this blog. There's a picture of our 12 prompts at the end of this post. You can make up your own as long as they fit with the theme and are in good taste. Complete information on the theme and the challenge is here and in our previous posts.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Media Literacy Week 2013 - Manitoba Launch

Want to impress Manitoba's education minister? Deliver a knockout presentation.

That's exactly what eight Grades 6-9 students from George Waters Middle School and Henry G. Izatt Middle School did this morning as they launched into insightful presentations about how youth are marketed to and how they feel about it.

James Allum, Manitoba's Minister of Education and Advanced Learning Media, praised the students for their intelligence, thoughtfulness, wit and creativity - all of which were abundantly displayed on stage at the Winnipeg Free Press News CafĂ©.

George Waters students Amalie Herath and Meghan Fast kicked off the event with a smart, colourful slide deck showing how pop culture queens lend their images to ads that promise to rid teens compexions of acne.

They proceeded to dissect everything from women's fashion ads to a truly tasteless Axe "Chocolate" video. The duo intelligently tag-teamed the audience with their many insights and opinions on how marketers target youth.

Next up were six students from H. G. Izatt - Loizza Aquino, Danica Grierson, Davis Koga, Matt Murphy, Alan Nguyen and Ryan Wahl. They took turns sharing video and slides that would have made any media arts teacher proud. The video, which they produced in just a day, had slick production values of its own and was loaded with examples of big, loud, dumb marketing campaigns directed at youth. Analysis? Yes, and plenty of it.

During the Q & A that followed, Minister Allum engaged the students with questions of his own. The students, now onstage together, took turns fielding questions from the audience. And there was nothing that left them stumped.

Paul Olson, President of The Manitoba Teachers' Society brought the powerful message that, rather than products, students themselves are the ones being sold to advertisers. Andy McKiel, Past President of ManACE, was emcee.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Is Your Class Up for Our Media Literacy Week Instagram Challenge?

It's Media Literacy Week 2013 and since this year's theme is What’s Being Sold: Helping Kids Make Sense of Marketing Messages,” we thought we'd work up a little Instagram challenge for Manitoba classrooms. We want to get adults and kids talking and thinking critically about the marketing directed at youth. So our questions are: 1) how are students being marketed to, and 2) just how do they really feel about it?

What's the challenge?
We'd love your class to express themselves on these two questions by posting to Instagram this week and beyond. You are not limited to one post a day. Just make sure to tag every pic with both the English hashtag #whatsbeingsold and the French equivalent #onvendquoi.

Once we get going, you can draw inspiration from other classes and use the images as a springboard for discussion throughout Media Literacy Week. You may even find some of your contributions highlighted in this blog and on our @mlwmb Instagram account.

So, what does my class post?
You can see our 12 suggestions below, but they're only that. Feel free to follow those prompts for this week and beyond, or make up your own as long as they're tasteful and you never post pictures or video of people without their permission. Teachers, make sure you have releases and follow your divisional social media policy.

Media Literacy Week 2013 - IG Prompts
November 4 - 8 - and beyond

1) Stuff I like
2) Stuff you want me to like
3) So many ads
4) Fast food is the only kind?
5) Is this what you really think of me?
6) Are you trying to make me feel insecure?
7) NOT cool!
8) What's wrong with my old ones?
9) Who says?
10) I've got enough stuff, thanks
11) I'm a guy - much more than how you portray me
12) I'm a girl - much more than how you portray me

If these don't spark ideas, be creative and develop something else that's tasteful and relates to the theme - then post them to the hashtags we've mentioned above.

And if I have questions?
We'd love to help. Just leave a comment on this post and we'll get back to you.

Media Literacy Week 2013 - IG Challenge
Twitter: @mlwmanitoba
Twitter hashtag: #MLW2013
Instagram: @mlwmb
Instagram hashtags: #whatsbeingsold #onvendquoi

Getting Started on Our Instagram Challenge

Getting your students started on our Media Literacy Week Instagram challenge is easy. You can use any of the 12 prompts we've given on this blog or even develop your own.

Stuff I Like
Our first prompt will likely get a lot of contributions. Students are passionate about the things they like at home or at school: from smartphones, pets and food, to fashion, free Wi-Fi, sports equipment and instruments.

We know your kids will find creative ways of showing and describing the things they like. If you could make sure they tag each post with #whatsbeingsold and #onvendquoi it would help us see all their contributions and we'd really appreciate it.

Try video, too
How would your students demonstrate the stuff they like through a 15-second video? Think about it. A guitar or piano riff, feeding a pet, a comfy chair, even a montage of things they love, would lend themselves so well to Instagram video. If you've never created an Instagram video, you're in for a treat. They are super easy to create and you don't have to take time to upload them to YouTube. They can be created from your iPhone/Pad/Touch or Android device.

If you'd rather start your students on another prompt, there are lots to choose from. You can even make up your own as long as they're tasteful and promote discussion on how students feel about the ways in which marketers target them. Again, this year's Media Literacy Week theme is What's Being Sold: Helping Kids Make Sense of Marketing Messages.

Just a final reminder to always have the proper media releases for your students and make sure to follow your divisional social media policies.

Contact us:

Twitter: @mlwmanitoba
Twitter hashtag: #MLW2013
Instagram: @mlwmb
Instagram hashtags: #whatsbeingsold #onvendquoi

As always, if you have any questions let us know!