How to Teach Media Literacy

Citizenship in the Digital Age

This issue focuses on the 2016 presidential election, where technology is going and the challenges that we face in teaching about it. CML interviewed two media literacy advocates – Stephen Balkam from Family Online Safety Institute and Tara O’Gorman, a teacher from a media literacy magnet school in New York. Also includes resources and MediaLit Moments Activity on Fake News. This is Part 1 of a series on Citizenship in the Digital Age.

Education and The Creative Economy: Australia

This month we continue to explore Education and The Creative Economy by featuring exciting initiatives being undertaken in Australia, where media literacy is now embedded in the national curriculum through media arts, and where the Australian government has prioritized supporting and growing the creative economy.  CML interviewed two Australian education/media literacy leaders, one who works in higher education – Michael Dezuanni -- and the other in secondary education, Roger Dunscombe.

Education and The Creative Economy

How is education tied to the creative economy? One of the answers is obvious--the 4 C’s of creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. These are skills encouraged through media literacy and deployed by workers in the creative economy, from publishing and printing to furniture and decorative arts. This issue discusses Richard Florida’s pathbreaking book The Rise of the Creative Classes, and show how workers in the creative industries have shaped the nature of work for many in the U.S.

Media Literacy and Early Childhood Education

This issue offers a wide variety of resources for parents and educators interested in media literacy for early childhood education.  We follow a team of library researchers who discover that the accessible information technologies are helpful but not sufficient to spur early literacy development, whereas parental involvement is crucial if young children are to acquire early literacy skills.  We also review the research on the quality of literacy-focused applications for young children on the market today.

Heuristics, Nudge Theory and the Internet of Things

If the ultimate goal of media literacy is to make wise choices possible, we must ask ourselves, “How do people make decisions?” and “What role can media literacy education play in this decision-making process?” Nudge theory suggests that heuristics can be approached deliberately to encourage/enable helpful thinking and decisions, and that this is more effective in shifting individual and group behavior than by traditional threats, laws, policies, enforcement, etc.

Where Are We Now? Institutionalizing Media Literacy

Media literacy is now recognized as a skill-set that should be at the center of education today – but change management continues to be needed to realize this vision.  John Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School and a change management expert, introduced a series of eight steps – considered classics -- in his 1995 book, “Leading Change.”  New media tools can amplify these steps towards faster adoption of new ideas and processes.  Includes an interview with leaders of NAMLE. 

What's in a Name?

In 2006 Henry Jenkins published a white paper identifying the challenges and opportunities for media literacy in our 21st century media culture. Since then, new ideas, new technologies, and new names have emerged bringing with them misunderstandings and rifts among educators. It’s time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are now.  

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