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.
The Voices of Media Literacy project, sponsored by Tessa Jolls and Barbara Walkosz, features interviews of 20 early pioneers who shaped the field into what it is today. As Executive Editor Tessa Jolls comments, “These people know what media literacy is, and are able to articulate it and express it because they lived it and helped invent it.”
Last month’s discussion between Tessa Jolls (CML) and Henry Jenkins (USC) focused on What’s in a name? Now, the conversation turns to preparing students for a participatory culture, but what does that mean? This issue tackles Participation in What? We’re all in agreement that students need media literacy education to participate fully in our global media environment but there are a variety of opinions about the tools and methods for making this a reality.
In this issue of Connections, we examine the founding principles and ‘big ideas’ of media literacy which Len Masterman developed to prepare students for life in the 21st century. The Voices of Media Literacy project includes interviews from international pioneers in the field.
The Harrington School of Communication at the University of Rhode Island received the Elizabeth Thoman Media Literacy Archive, a collection of documents spanning three decades of media literacy history. Also includes an interview with Marieli Rowe and Karen Ambrosh from the NTC.