Friday, March 08, 2019

Heads up: Contribute to the UN's upcoming General Comment on Children's Rights in Relation to the Digital Environment

Heads up: The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has announced that they will be drafting a new General Comment on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment. In addition to holding consultations with children around the world, they are inviting interested parties to contribute comments on aspects of the concept note. Details are as follows. The deadline is May 15 (2019), 6 pages max.

Concept note for a General Comment on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment

Call for submissions
The Committee on the Rights of the Child will draft a General Comment on children’s rights in relation to the digital environment.  
The Committee invites all interested parties to comment on the concept note of the General Comment. Submissions are welcome on all aspects of the concept note for the General Comment, with a particular focus on the following:
  • The purpose and scope of the General Comment;
  • The structure of the General Comment; 
  • General measures of implementation by State parties needed to realise children’s rights in relation to the digital environment; 
  • Views on the issues and questions raised in the concept note; and 
  • Suggestions for new issues for inclusion in the General Comment.
In particular, the Committee welcomes relevant research evidence; knowledge of the sector; findings from consultations with children; examples of laws, policies or programmes; or evidence of good practice that would contribute to the drafting process.
All submissions:
  • Should be submitted in one of the official languages of the Committee - English, French or Spanish; 
  • Should be in one concise document focusing explicitly on the implications of the digital environment for the realization of children’s rights and must not exceed 6 pages
  • Should include a short statement introducing the submitting organization or individual;
  • Should be submitted electronically in WORD format to the following email address:
  • Shall not be translated; and
  • Shall be posted on the Committee’s webpage devoted to this draft General Comment.
The deadline for submissions is 15 May 2019 No submissions received after this deadline will be considered or posted on the webpage.
In parallel, consultations with children in diverse contexts across multiple countries, as well as with experts from relevant fields, will be undertaken to ensure that their perspectives are fully reflected in the General Comment. After due consideration of all inputs provided, the Committee will prepare a first draft of the General Comment for additional consultation with relevant stakeholders.
The concept note is available.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Awesome Event Alert: MediaSmarts @ the KMDI-Semaphore Speaker Series

Kara Brisson-Boivin, the Director of Research at MediaSmarts will be presenting at the KMDI-Semaphore Speaker Series. 

When: Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Where: Room 417, Claude T. Bissell Building, 140 St. George Street, Toronto
This is a FREE event.  Light refreshments, coffee, tea and cookies will be served.

Please RSVP on the link below.

Title: “Use, Understand, Create: Cultivating Digital Literacy In Young Canadians”


As increasing numbers of businesses, services and even democratic processes migrate online, citizens who lack digital literacy skills risk being disadvantaged when it comes to accessing healthcare, government services and opportunities for employment, education and civic participation. In order to be literate in today’s media-rich environments, Canadians (especially young Canadians) need to develop knowledge, values and a whole range of critical thinking, communication and information management skills for the digital age. MediaSmarts is a Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization for digital and media literacy with a vision to ensure that children and youth have the critical thinking skills to engage with digital media as active and informed digital citizens. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of the emerging issues we see in the areas of technology, information, and society as well as MediaSmarts’ recent and upcoming projects that aim to promote digital literacy in Canada. In particular, I will discuss our community-based research framework including who our stakeholders are, how we disseminate our research, and what our research is used for and by whom.

About Our Speaker

Dr. Kara Brisson-Boivin is the Director of Research at Mediasmarts, Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy. Kara oversees all of the planning, methodology, implementation, and dissemination of key findings from original MediaSmarts’ research studies. She researches the various impacts of digital technology and digital culture on Canadians broadly and youth in particular. Kara's current research projects examine digital citizenship and the intersections of digital publics and democracy, digital well-being among families, and what life online looks like for young Canadians. Kara also holds an appointment as an Adjunct Research Professor in the Sociology Department at Carleton University. 

Details for the KMDI-Semaphore Speaker Series are posted on our website link below.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

RESCHEDULED Awesome Event Alert: Critical Gaming Night on Super Smash Bros. Melee. NOW on Feb. 13 @4pm


I am so happy to announce the revival of Critical Gaming Nights, a student-run initiative that has yielded many fantastic conversations and play sessions in previous years. Here are the details:

"Bonds Between Players in Competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee" 
- presented by Augusto Schmitt

In this presentation Augusto Schmitt, international Master's student from Brazil, will be talking about the competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee player subculture, and analyze it through the lens of media studies, cultural studies and communication theories. Come to talk about this community and how they have managed to withstand the test of time, build themselves into something that wasn't intended by the developers, and grow stronger than the game's successors in the franchise.

Critical Gaming Nights are an occasional series of events that combine presentations of works-in-progress by digital game researchers (students, faculty, practitioners), informal group discussions, and game play sessions. Each game night focuses on one particular game (or game-related activity), and considers how that game can be analyzed using critical theories drawn from multidisciplinary fields of study. It is sponsored by the Critical Games Lab, a part of KMDI-Semaphore. 

These events are not only for academics, but for anyone interested in games, such as game developers, players, modders or enthusiasts who want to engage with new perspectives and questions relating to the social, cultural and technical dimensions of digital games and gaming. 

This event is more of a conversation than just a traditional talk, so take this as an opportunity to discuss and engage. There will also be a setup available for everyone to play and learn about the game firsthand in the later part of evening.

The event will be held in room 417 in the InForum, on the 4th floor of Bissell Building (140 St George St) from 4PM to 9PM on February 13th, 2019 (REVISED DATE). 

Monday, January 07, 2019

Spread the News: Seeking an RA to assist with preparing a big grant application for KMDI + Semaphore


Professor Sara Grimes, Director of the KMDI and Semaphore, and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, is seeking to fill a Research Assistant position focused on preparing a literature review and assisting with a large grant application. 

The RA will assist with research and activities relating to an upcoming grant application led by the Institute, its Director and Lab Heads, which will seek to establish a sustainable model for engaging in cross-sector, responsive research aimed at improving the lives of humans within an increasingly technologized information society. 


- Previous experience with both research and grant writing
- Formal training in common qualitative social science research methods
- Excellent written/communication skills
- Excellent organizational skills (including scheduling, note - taking, categorizing digital files and
  folders, etc.)
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

Preference will be given to PhD students (current or recent graduates), but Master’s students are also welcome to apply if all other criteria and qualifications are met. Qualified applicants must be available to complete a majority of the work in person at the University of Toronto St. George campus. 


- Conducting a literature review that incorporates both theoretical works as well as relevant
   previous academic research in the areas requested
- Assisting in the design and coordination of workshops and meetings aimed at establishing
   common themes, goals and methodologies among project partners;
- Assisting in writing portions of the grant application(s) (LOI and full application)
- Assisting in the supervision and coordination of Master’s and undergraduate level RAs
- Assisting in coordinating, communicating and liaising with project partners (e.g. ensuring partner
   access to project documents and online components, providing timely feedback to and from
   partners on deliverables, ensuring partners are reminded of upcoming due dates, etc.)

The successful applicant will be offered an initial contract of 200-275 hours, to be completed over the course of the Winter 2019 semester (with a possibility of renewal for the Summer semester, and beyond). Salary will be commensurate with experience, projected between $35-$39/hour. 

Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.

To apply, email a CV and cover letter to Dr. Sara Grimes at by January 16, 2019. Questions may be directed to Dr. Grimes or to the KMDI Administrative Coordinator, Rekha Morbia