Media literacy is an expanded conceptualization of literacy to include not only reading and writing, but speaking, listening, viewing, creating, and sharing through all of the media in our lives. Media literacy education strengthens our ability to access information, analyze media messages, create thoughtfully, reflect on our experiences with and through media, and using many forms of media to make our voices heard in the world.
In our IDEAS section, you'll have access to videos, lesson plans, interviews, and other documents to help you develop a plan of action for bringing engaging digital and media literacy learning activities to your students. We use a model of media literacy based on these five processes:
1. ACCESS: Learning to use, comprehend, find information and use digital texts, tools and technologies
When children access messages, they learn to use technology tools well, comprehend what they read and navigate online sources. Children understand how to identify sources and select and use appropriate content. They learn digital tools to complete whatever work they do in the classroom.
2. ANALYZE: Learning to interpret, analyze and evaluate print media, images, video and films, video games, the Internet and social media
Students can bring many traditional strategies of print literacy, including strategies for comprehension and abstraction, to media texts in a variety of formats. Students can develop their abilities to interpret, evaluate, and analyze print media like books and newspapers, visual media like video and photography, audio media like radio and music, and digital media like videogames and websites.
3. CREATE: Learning to compose and create messages to express ideas using collaborative learning experiences with media production and digital tools
Composition in the 21st century involves more than just pencil on paper—which is still a foundational component of student learning. Students can also express ideas and creativity by performing, making videos, recording podcasts, writing online, programming videogames, manipulating images, and creating other media that expand their conceptualization of literacy.
4. REFLECT: Learning to develop the social and emotional skills that help them develop social responsibility and increase their awareness of media and technology as it affects people’s attitudes and behaviors
When students reflect on the ways that their everyday uses, experiences, and knowledge of media connect to classroom learning, they begin to understand how to transfer knowledge and skills developed in the classroom to their everyday lives. Understanding how to use their critical judgment, interact with others responsibly, and provide critique and support for their peers are all important aspects of reflection.
5. ACT: Being inspired to take action and use powerful voices to make a difference in the world
Students’ voices are often heard in the classroom, but they can also make themselves heard outside of the classroom to improve the quality of life in their families, homes, schools, communities, and the wider world.