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Media Awareness Network Helps Youth Earn their Passport to the Internet

Published on: 05.01.09
Source: Press Release of the Media Awareness Network

The Canadian Media Awareness Network (MNet) launched on November 24, 2008 the Passport to the Internet, a new online tutorial funded by Inukshuk Wireless Learning Plan Fund and Telus, to help students in Grades four to eight develop the critical thinking skills they need to navigate the Web in a secure and ethical manner.

"The internet is such an integral part of young people’s daily lives—communicating with friends, doing homework, playing games. It’s up to educators and parents to ensure that they have the necessary critical thinking skills to navigate the Net safely and wisely" says MNet Co-Executive Director Jane Tallim. "With Passport to the Internet we have built on our previous web literacy games and developed a more comprehensive, more interactive, and more technically sophisticated resource that allows students to interact with environments based on the ones they use daily."

Passport to the Internet is designed to give youth a World Wide Web experience without having to actually navigate on the Internet. Using simulations of the most popular Internet environments, the tutorial teaches students about online safety, authenticating online information, recognizing online marketing ploys, protecting their privacy, managing online relationships and dealing with cyber bullying.

MNet’s 2005 research report Young Canadians in a Wired World illustrated the need for a comprehensive Internet literacy resource for use in Elementary and Intermediate classrooms. The findings showed that students as young as nine were active Internet users who wanted to learn skills to manage their online experiences, including: how to make informed choices about what kind of content they see; how to protect their online privacy; and how decipher good online information from bad.

Passport to the Internet is available as a stand-alone program or as a component of MNet’s licensed professional development program the Web Awareness Workshop Series. It is a Web-based resource accompanied by an extensive teacher’s guide that features detailed instructions, backgrounders, classroom activities and handouts.

About Media Awareness Network
Media Awareness Network is a Canadian not-for-profit centre of expertise in media education. Its vision is to ensure children and youth possess the necessary critical thinking skills and tools to understand and actively engage with media. MNet's programs are funded by its public and private sector sponsors, donors and partners, who include: Bell Canada · CTVglobemedia · TELUS · Microsoft Canada · National Film Board of Canada · Government of Canada.

For more information, contact:

Ann Marie Paquet
Communications Officer
Media Awareness Network
Tel: (613) 224-7721, Ext. 231

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