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Theme 2.2: Social Pedagogical Tools to Promote Critical Digital Literacy

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Research projects under this theme are at the forefront of adopting principles of social pedagogy to create curricular and public pedagogical interventions that promote increased critical thinking, opportunities to engage in pluralistic dialogues, and increased sensibilities to the importance of media literacy in present-day society.


Digital Visual Learning Networks (DVLN)

In collaboration with Juan Carlos Castro, Dr. Pariser’s research on the DVLN project aims to transcend the negative reputation digital technologies in the classroom sometimes receive. The DVLN project investigates how youth use mobile media and social networks to create art and how these practices can become facilitating mechanisms in art classes. This research strives to increase teacher comfort in adopting digital technologies in art classrooms or other settings and place more profound importance on using such technologies for creative endeavours.

ResearcherDavid Pariser

Director and Founder of the Canadian Practitioners Network for the Prevention of Radicalization and Violent Extremism (CPN-PREV, funded by Public Safety Canada)

This evidence-based network aims to address violent radicalization in Canada by recommending and highlighting effective practices in a variety of fields and by creating a community of experts from a variety of practical backgrounds. This is done through systematic reviews that include mapping available services in Canada to determine what practices are effective and why, as well as organizing projects and events that strengthen connections between members of communities of practice from all backgrounds (e.g., community work, education, social work, law enforcement, etc.). Thus, education is at the heart of its mission, which is defined by a goal of ongoing personal and professional development for all those working in a practical way to prevent radicalization, based on their experience and research.

This training is not limited to communities of practice, c also generates accessible content such as videos, posters and newsletters for the general public. In addition, the CPN-PREV team works with members of the student community who are not yet in the field to connect them with different people from the fields of research, practice, and policy to help them develop and share their own ideas. In addition, the tools and field knowledge that Ghayda Hassan develops and organizes through this network are added as contributions to the UNESCO-PREV Chair, of which she is a co-holder with Vivek Venkatesh, David Morin and Marie-Ève Carignan, also members of the CSLP.

ResearcherGhayda Hassan

Landscape of Hate, Landscape of Hope

Annabelle Brault regularly participates in the projects Landscape of Hate/Hope, created by Vivek Venkatesh and Owen Chapman, respectively director and member of the CSLP. As an artist and music therapist, she uses her expertise to design interventions and ensure that participants feel safe in vulnerable situations. In 2019, Brault moderated a panel discussion on racial and social profiling, which was part of a Landscape of Hate event. Here, she heard the experiences of diverse community stakeholders, including artists, which informed her belief that artists can contribute tremendously in denunciation and finding solutions to some of society's darkest problems. She later organized a panel for the Canadian Music therapy Association Annual Conference on the Power of Pluralistic Artistic Dialogues Against Systemic Discrimination.

ResearcherAnnabelle Brault

Selfie Orchestra

Dr. Chapman is the creator of Selfie Orchestra, a mobile audio art project involving cell phones to collect sounds and other data from a location. The data then becomes values that change music, much like the turning of a knob on a keyboard, and software is used to create a visual avatar for the participants. The research focuses on agency and how what we choose to listen to can mould our interpretation of our lives. In collaboration with Peter Sinclair, Chapman soon hopes to continue this research that has been on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, the article On Listening as Analysis: The Selfie Orchestra Project builds on previous literature in the field of sound studies, articulating a conception of practices of close listening as forms of analysis. In so doing, Chapman explores the etymological roots of “analysis,” discussing it as a type of loosening, or freeing up of associations, instead of reducing complex phenomena into their parts.

Chapman uses musical sampling to explore alternative ways of thinking through and communicating complex issues. His projects encourage participatory educational meaning-making and promote nonlinear dialogues. To Chapman, media exploration is a tool to access nuanced lived experiences that can be difficult to articulate directly. Dr. Chapman is also the co-creator of Landscape of Hate and Landscape of Hope.

ResearcherOwen Chapman

Social polarization during the COVID-19 “infodemic”

This project, funded by Canadian Heritage’s Digital Citizen Contribution Program, aims to explore the ways in which disinformation and conspiracy beliefs online have evolved since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to do so, Miconi and her team have launched this longitudinal research project investigating the evolution of COVID-19 related disinformation and how it relates to time spent online and online experiences, psychological distress and support for violent radicalization over a six-month period. This project will inform future prevention programs to combat disinformation and the associated legitimation of violence, which will, in turn contribute to making the post pandemic world safer and more democratic.

ResearcherDiana Miconi

Study on radicalisation prevention tools in the francosphere

This project, in the context of the UNESCO-PREV Chair’s FrancoPREV arm, has the objectives to study the status and the issues of radicalisation prevention tools in various francophone countries (Canada, Belgium, Tunisia, Morocco, Cameroun, Mauritania, Niger, and Togo), to identify promising practices and lessons learned in the field, and to present conclusions and paths of action leading to the establishment of definitive and common recommendations to improve these tools.

ResearcherDavid Morin

Young adult expressions of anger and hope

Still in its early stages of development, this is a large SHRC Partnership project done across multiple cities in Canada and Europe. With the goal of developing a considerable variety of co-creations – from journals to radio shows to hip-hop music to social media posts – with young adults between 18 and 25 years old for them to express how they live and conceptualize anger and hope, this endeavor will include collaborations of multi-disciplinary talent, such as musicians, journalists, and professionals working in and studying media. Though Dr. Mekki-Berrada’s expertise entails that a crucial element of the project will be dealing with Islamophobia, it will not be limited to it, instead exploring experiences of anger and hope in all their complexity all while developing critical media skills.

ResearcherAbdelwahed Mekki-Berrada

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