Parents, Kids & Media

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.

Media Literacy Pioneers

In 2010, CML published the Voices of Media Literacy, a collection of interviews with 20 media literacy pioneers who were active in the field prior to 1990. Their views not only shed light on the development of media literacy, but also on where they see the field evolving and their hopes for the future. In this issue, we add one more pioneer to the list.  Dorothy G. Singer  is a media literacy pioneer who studied the effect of television on young children and how they play. 

Media Literacy for Grown Ups

Since few adults in any part of the world grew up learning media literacy concepts or indeed, even knew the words “media literacy,” there is a large gap in understanding about what media literacy is and why it is important. As digital media prevails more and more in most adults’ lives, the imperative for media literacy has become more urgent, and there is more recognition of the need for media literacy education.  Includes reports from Australia, UK, and US. 

Television and Media Literacy

Television in a Networked Age -- marketing suggests that future television sets will be able to assemble an evening of programming based on individual personal profiles. SportsTelevision and the Networking of Nostalgia -- sports occupy a unique place in the world of TV entertainment.  Norman Lear Center at USC released a study of local Los Angeles area TV News offering an in-depth analysis of news coverage in a major metropolitan area.  CML’s Tessa Jolls was a guest panelist at The Cable Show 2010 session on digital citizenship.  

Digital Britain

The British Government releases an ambitious new plan for its media and communications industries, including a national plan for media literacy education.  Also, the British Office of Communications audit entitled Digital Lifestyles.

Comics and Media Literacy

This issue introduces the use of comic books and graphic novels as tools for media literacy.  We demonstrate how readers of comic books and graphic novels make complex choices to construct meaning from text, illustrations as conventions of the medium; demonstrate how comic books can be appreciated as works of storytelling art in their own right; and how writing and producing comics can help students develop complex literacy skills.

Cell Phones as Learning Tools

A new study from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at the Sesame Workshop explores the potential of cell phones to revolutionize teaching and learning.  Research from the William and Ida Friday Institute at North Carolina State University outlines the potential of 1:1 technology environments, and The Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston launches “Ask the Mediatrician.”  

Professional Development

In our research section, we review current research and trends in professional development for K-12 educators, and discuss the opportunities which recently developed models of professional development present for dissemination of media literacy concepts and pedagogy. 

Parents and Media Literacy

The role that parents play in teaching children about the positive, directed use of new media technologies could not be more critical than it is at this time. In May 2010, the Pew Center for Internet and Society released new information on cyberbullying.  Also includes an interview with Anne Collier, editor of NetFamilyNews.org. 

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