What impact has the development of new media and communications technology had on the CBC and the development of culture or identity in Canada?
In the classroom, working with the essential question in mind, students will explore the history of Canada’s national public broadcaster from its foundations in 1932 to today. Students will then travel to CBC Ottawa’s Broadcast Centre for a tour to see the latest broadcast technology in use as they visit the sets for various TV and radio programs. Students will also interview some of the CBC’s content producers, journalists, and media personalities and ask how they leverage various technologies to communicate with audiences locally, nationally and internationally. This experiential experience provides students with deeper connections to their public broadcaster as both citizens and historians, as they are able to observe and interact with cutting-edge broadcast technologies, discuss a variety of issues with content producers who shape daily narratives that could become part of history, and are part of a legacy of broadcasters that have documented Canadian experience for over 80 years. Upon returning to the classroom, students will have interacted with real-life sources to enrich their historical research, and are able to more fully consider the role of the CBC and how it has evolved along with new media and communications technology, and what its role is, or should be, today and in the future.
The lesson and its essential question and success criteria directly follow curriculum expectations within strand E of the university preparation course “Canada: History, Identity, and Culture” (CHI4U). The specific expectations followed are E1.1, E1.2, and E1.3.
Today I will…
- identify key technological developments within the historical timeline of the CBC;
- evaluate new media and communications technology used at the CBC today;
- analyse ways in which technological developments have contributed to the development of the CBC.
After the lesson, students can…
- analyse key social/cultural trends and developments in Canada from the founding of the CBC onward, including changes in social attitudes/values, and assess their significance for the development of Canada, including the development of identity in Canada;
- analyse efforts by the CBC, and by extension the Canadian government, to promote and protect Canadian culture in the past, present, and future .
Prior knowledge activation
Resources and materials
Standard classroom setup for direct instruction and reading and writing activities.
Instructor will have pre-arranged a half-day trip (either morning or afternoon) involving travel to-and-from their school to the CBC Ottawa Broadcast Centre at 181 Queen Street, arranged for the a CBC Ottawa tour guide, and prepared appropriate itinerary information for experiential learning experience based on their respective school board field trip policies.
Projector (in classroom), slideshow with multimedia elements (including audio/video), paper, pencils/pens. Students will require a notepad if they do not have access to a smartphone to take notes while at the CBC Ottawa Broadcasting Centre.
Student technology integration
Internet connection, smartphone, Chromebook or laptop with access to a word processing program for note-taking (shared among students if necessary and as required for those with Individual Education Plans).
Accommodation-differentiation (In classroom)
Assistive technology, computer options (audio/video), multi-sensory presentation, extended time for processing, oral responses, predictable environment, ability grouping, strategic seating.
Three-act lesson plan
Hook (5-10 minutes)
Game-based learning activity / Multimedia
Main activities (165-250 minutes)
Direct instruction (5-10 minutes)
Writing-research-discussion (30-50 minutes)
- 1. Assign or allow students to select different decades in the timeline either individually, in pairs, or in small groups.
- 2. Ask students to prepare a set of notes that detail any new media or technological developments that occurred at the CBC in their decade, and to note which year they appear in.
- 3. Students will choose a timeline point to further explore.
- 4. Using search engines or online library resources, their research must address the essential question: “What impact has the development of new media and communications technology had on the CBC and the development of culture or identity in Canada?”
- 5. Suggest that students can address the essential question by searching for other significant Canadian historical events that took place around the same time, look comparatively at other countries’ history of broadcasting (via Wikipedia), and incorporate their own understandings of the history and media of their assigned decade.
- 6. Students will review the have the option to produce a short written report about their decade and chosen technological development point, and will present them to the class in order, beginning from the 1930s and counting up all the way to the 2010s.
Assessment and tour preparation (5 minutes)
Collect students’ written reports for evaluation. Let students know that they will be producing a CBC-related research project in conjunction with their experiential learning experience, and the research question will be based on today’s lesson success criteria. Answer any project- or tour-related questions that students may have.
Explain to students that, on the way to the CBC, students will be expected to generate questions related to the lesson’s essential question for the tour guide and personalities that they will meet and interview. Remind students that they will be expected to take notes while on the tour in relation to the requirements of their post-tour project.
CBC Ottawa Broadcast Centre Tour (2-3 hours, including travel time)
Have students get organized according to the instructor’s itinerary for the experiential learning experience at the CBC Ottawa Broadcast Centre. Students will be provided with an hour-long guided tour from a content producer or journalist at CBC Ottawa Broadcast Centre and will to see the latest broadcast technology in use as they visit the sets for various TV and radio programs. Students will also interview some of the CBC’s content producers and media personalities and ask how they leverage various technologies to communicate with audiences locally, nationally and internationally. In addition, if CBC programming opportunities align with the tour, students can interact with broadcast technology first-hand, such as using green screen technology in their studios to do a weather forecast.
Closure (5-10 minutes)
Upon the return to class, ask students to reflect and share with fellow classmates about their experience and what they learned. Also, ask students to consider the role of the CBC and how it has evolved along with new media and communications technology since its foundation, and what its role is, or should be, today and in the future. As the course continues, they will be producing a research project to answer this exact question, incorporating the Through the Years timeline, their notes from CBC Ottawa, and additional research.
- Game-based learning activity (see hook)
- Writing-research-discussion timeline task (see main activity)
- Research project (see closure)
CBC. (n.d.). Go behind the scenes at CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/1.4106671
CBC/Radio-Canada. (n.d.). Through the years. Retrieved from https://cbc.radio-canada.ca/en/your-public-broadcaster/history
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2015). The Ontario Curriculum Grades 11 and 12: Canadian and World Studies. Retrieved from http://edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/2015cws11and12.pdf
Wikipedia. (n.d.). CBC Ottawa Broadcast Centre. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBC_Ottawa_Broadcast_Centre