10 Benefits of Media Literacy Education

"We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge."   
--John Naisbitt, Megatrends

1. Meets the needs of students to be wise consumers of media, managers of information and responsible producers of their ideas using the powerful multimedia tools of a global media culture.

2. Engages students. . . bringing the world of media into the classroom connects learning with "real life" and validates their media culture as a rich environment for learning.

3. Gives students and teachers alike a common approach to critical thinking that, when internalized, becomes second nature for life.

4. Provides an opportunity for integrating all subject areas and creating a common vocabulary that applies across all disciplines.

5. Helps meet state standards while, at the same time using fresh contemporary media content which students love.

6. Increases the ability and proficiency of students to communicate (express) and disseminate their thoughts and ideas in a wide (and growing) range of print and electronic media forms - and even international venues.

7. Media literacy's "inquiry process" transforms teaching and frees the teacher to learn along with students -- becoming a "guide on the side" rather than a "sage on the stage."

8. By focusing on process skills rather than content knowledge, students gain the ability to analyze any message in any media and thus are empowered for living all their lives in a media-saturated culture.

9. By using a replicable model for implementation, such as CML's MediaLit Kit™ with its Five Key Questions, media literacy avoids becoming a "fad" and, instead, becomes sustainable over time because students are able to build a platform with a consistent framework that goes with them from school to school, grade to grade, teacher to teacher and class to class. With repetition and reinforcement over time, students are able to internalize a checklist of skills for effectively negotiating the global media culture in which they will live all of their lives.

10. Not only benefits individual students but benefits society by providing tools and methods that encourage respectful discourse that leads to mutual understanding and builds the citizenship skills needed to participate in and contribute to the public debate.