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Media Literacy in the 21st Century Classroom


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The more digital technology becomes inseparable from our daily lives, the more chances corporate and political media have to manipulate young people—unless students are taught how to dissect and defend against that manipulation. This program helps educators instill media literacy through an exploration of its basic concepts as well as examples drawn from film and television. Defining media literacy in terms of access, analysis, evaluation, and creation, the video examines race and gender issues, embedded social cues, the prevalence of media bias, and concrete methods for questioning the objectives and studying the techniques of media. Well-known TV commercials are used as case studies.

Video Segments

1. Teaching Media Literacy Students need to understand more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic; they also need to understand how media is used to influence their decisions. 2. What is Media Literacy? Media Literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in all its forms. 3. Understanding Media Literacy: Access We first have to understand how we access media in order to understand how media affects us. Because we access media in different ways, our experiences may also be different. 4. Understanding Media Literacy: Analyze Although we all can access media, not all media is analyzed. When we take the time to analyze media, we become better participants in our own world. 5. Understanding Media Literacy: Evaluate After analyzing media, we can evaluate it by applying media literacy ideas and our own values to each of its elements. 6. Understanding Media Literacy: Create Using technology, students can create their own media by taking what they already know about media and applying it to something new and original. 7. Why Do We Need Media Literacy? Media literacy is a vital skill in today's world. Over-exposure to media influences us on a sub-conscious level. Understanding media literacy allows us to control what media messages we will accept or not. 8. The Head Fake Media shows us one thing, but delivers a different message. This tactic is called a "head fake." 9. Evaluating Information Although searching online for information is easy, we have to be careful to analyze and evaluate the information to ensure it is accurate, factual and free of bias. 10. Media Bias Media literacy allows us to recognize media bias. Some media with obvious biases include television, radio, movies and advertising. Media with biases that are not as obvious include: newspapers, textbooks, and teachers. 11. Analyze, Don't Memorize Students should learn to be critical thinkers rather than rely on memory. 12. Analyzing Media Students can learn to analyze media by asking questions. 13. Media Literacy Concepts and Questions Some specific questions can be asked to help analyze media no matter what the media is. 14. Media Construction Those who create media are responsible for its messages and the values embedded therein. The message varies depending on the creator. 15. Media Techniques Each media uses its own language of construction. Different techniques are used to get the attention of the viewer depending on the medium of the media. 16. Purpose of the Message Media messages are created for specific purposes. There are two main purposes of media: to sell us a product or service, or to sell us on a lifestyle or ideology. 17. Embedded Messages All media messages have embedded values and points of view. 18. Interpreting Media Messages People use their personal skills, beliefs and experiences to determine the meaning of media messages. 19. Influencing Our Perspective Media messages can influence beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, and the democratic process. 20. Social Cues Media is one of the prime influences of culture today. We learn various social cues from an early age. 21. Relevant Media Teachers must use relevant media to teach media literacy to students so that they can relate to the ideas being learned. 22. Summary of Media Literacy In order to be media literate, one should be active in media consumption, learn the concepts and ask the right questions, learn to recognize social cues, and use relevant sources.


Grade: 9-12

Media Literacy in the 21st Century Classroom (DVD)
© 2009
Time: 40 Minutes

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