Why and How Should Educators Embrace Media Literacy in Classroom

Tools & Tips for Educators to Embrace Media Literacy in Classroom

Today, we get most of our information through an interwoven system of media technologies. Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media.

Media literate youth and adults are better able to understand the complex messages we receive from television, radio, Internet, billboards, video games, music, and all other forms of media. Media literacy skills are included in the educational standards worldwide not only to provide them the knowledge about its use but also to save them from the potential harm.

Today, students face problems that cant be solved by knowing letters and numbers. Media plays a significant role here as it brings a lot of knowledge to students. We need to understand the information received and the means behind them. Credentials for the delivery of this vast knowledge goes to the media.

Media not only influences us at most levels but also come to us in many forms such as newspapers, internet, radios, television etc..

In the article, The Need for Media Literacy in Digital Age, Seth Ashley quotes,

“Stuart Ewen at Hunter College suggested that media literacy should be viewed as an education in techniques that can democratize the realm of public expression and will magnify the possibility of meaningful public interactions.”

It is highly important that students today have knowledge about media literacy, as they are Studying in classrooms that are digitally equipped, and have access to all the sources of media that can be good for them but also be harmful at times.  Students have access to various tools and online platforms that make it easy for them to get in touch with the world outside the classroom.

With access to this fast pace techy education students can utilize media for successful carriers.

Following are few positive reasons why media literacy holds importance in a student’s life and in this era’s digital learning environment:

  • Students can express themselves properly as there are no barriers for artistic expressions.   
  • There is strong support for creating and sharing.
  • Experienced users pass their knowledge to novices.
  • Contribution matters and you get to contribute easily via media.
  • Opportunity for social connection.

Dan Gillmor, in his blog about “Media LIT: My Media Use” explains how much media has got into our lives. In his words, 

“We are in an age of information overload, and too much of what we watch, hear, and read is mistaken, deceitful or even dangerous. Yet you and i can take control and make media serve us by being active consumers and participants.”

Media LIT is also developing a MOOC on news and media, which will be open to all at no charge.

Media literacy is highly embraced in classrooms now. This can be seen as various institutions, colleges and universities are making it a part of curriculum as well as are providing students with specialized course wholly based on media literacy. Tools such as, Online platforms are being developed so that more and more can reach easily to know about the importance of this significant aspect that is highly penetrating in education sector. The Arizona State University has launched its first Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, on media literacy.

Wagner College is also embracing media literacy in teaching and learning. The college has conducted various workshops to insight teachers and students about how they have to go while using media sources.

Know more about the tools and integration of media literacy into the classroom from this conversation with educators Neil Andersen and Michelle Solomon from the Association for Media Literacy from this video

Article by Will Meeus on “Media Literacy in the Digital Age. How to benefit from media use while protecting against harm – An overview of competencies needed by learners, teachers and teacher educators using ‘Media Didactica’ ” is a must read for all who are looking forward teach and learn in a media literacy class.

In order to utilize media in classrooms we need to develop digital media curriculum that includes new literacies and also it should address privacy and safety concerns. Living in a participatory culture is a lot more fun when everybody is participating; it just makes learning new things become even better!

So what are your views about Media Literacy?


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About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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