Canadian nonprofit industry org The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) has introduced a practical new free resource called the Digital Toolkit to help creators of audio/visual youth content for Canadian and international markets better navigate the ethical and legal complexities of the digital landscape.
The toolkit features six backgrounder sections—Identity and personal information, Contests, surveys and newsletters, User-generated content, Advertising, Sales and monetization, and Social media, online communities and security.
Within each section there are 21 information sheets presenting definitions, excerpts from laws and regulations, and expert advice spanning a range of issues for running an online site or kids app including security, moderation, online payment, advertising, marketing and personal information.
Funding support for the toolkit was provided by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), the Canada Media Fund (CMF), the Bell Fund, the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA), Bereskin & Parr and mbiance.
Sabrina Dubé-Morneau from the Centre for Youth and Media Studies at Université de Montréal is the lead author of the Digital Toolkit and other collaborators include Guillaume Aniorté, Christiane Asselin, Judith Beauregard, Chloé Benaroya, Chantal Bowen, Geneviève Brault, Amy Dam Esq., Sophie Dufort, Nathalie Jackson Esq., Caroline Julien, François Larose Esq., Jean-Phillipe Marin, Lesley McCubbin, Sandrine Pechels de Saint Sardos de Saint Sardos, and André H. Caron.
Information in the toolkit will be updated regularly and the sheets are available in English and French at the YMA website at ymamj.org/digitaltoolkit.
The toolkit was announced in Toronto at this week’s Children, Youth & Media Conference, whose program touched on a number of digital issues including how content creators are incorporating innovative technology into new kids properties designed to promote social change.
Projects presented included Ollie The Boy Who Became What He Ate from Storycake director and author Sheena Macrae and Dougie Noir from Kavaleer Productions CEO Andrew Kavanagh.
The former is a multi-platform project aimed to encourage healthy eating habits in children, while Dougie is an animated detective series that includes a suite of brain-fitness apps for kids with autism and ADHD created in partnership with Irish neuroscience lab Cortechs.
The impact of virtual reality on kids, which may end up needing its own section in the Digital Toolkit, was also top of mind during the conference with presentations from the likes of Quebec City’s Frima Studio (it’s developing a module for the new VR Viewmaster from Google and Mattel) and Toronto’s Sinking Ship Entertainment (it has a new VR project on the go for Dino Dan).