June 5, 2013
21st Century Information, Media & Technology Skills
According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, media literacy is a skill that students need to master in order to succeed in work and life in the 21st century. Media literacy involves understanding both how and why media messages are constructed and for what purposes. It also involves applying a fundamental understanding of the ethical and legal issues surrounding the access and use of media.
Here are some ideas for developing your students’ ability to analyze media effectively and create media products.
Habits of Inquiry, Skills of Expression
Project Look Sharp is a media literacy initiative of Ithaca College that develops and provides lesson plans, media materials, training and support for the effective integration of media literacy with critical thinking into classroom curricula at all education levels.
One of Project Look Sharp’s resources is 12 Basic Ways to Teach Media Literacy, a freely downloadable booklet designed for teachers and support staff at all grade levels who are interested in using media literacy in their classroom curricula. The approaches are based on the concept of weaving media literacy training into the curriculum whenever and wherever possible throughout the school year.
The 12 Basic Ways are based on the National Association for Media Literacy Education’s (NAMLE) Core Principles of Media Literacy Education, which you can use along with the booklet as you plan lessons.
In addition, you will find that Project Look Sharp defines media very broadly, to include books, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, movies, videos, billboards, recorded music, video games and everything available via the Internet
Good Work, Good Play, Good Citizenship
Our Space is a set of curricular materials designed to encourage high school students to reflect on the ethical dimensions of their participation in new media environments. Through role-playing activities and reflective exercises, students are asked to consider the ethical responsibilities of other people, and whether and how they behave ethically themselves online. These issues are raised in relation to five core themes that are highly relevant online: identity, privacy, authorship and ownership, credibility and participation.
All curricular units and the full casebook are free and available for download using the links at the bottom of the Our Space web page.
Our Space was co-developed by Project New Media Literacies (established at MIT and now housed at University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism) and The Good Play Project (Harvard Graduate School of Education). The Our Space collaboration grew out of a shared interest in fostering ethical thinking and conduct among young people when they exercise their new media skills. For more background about the collaboration that resulted in this casebook, see “How We Got Here” by Henry Jenkins and Howard Gardner.
Lights! Camera! Action!
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, in cooperation with Young Minds Inspired, has produced a series of teacher’s guides that explore the art and science of motion pictures. The activities are designed to capitalize on students’ natural interest in current films and to teach valuable lessons in critical thinking and creative writing as well as develop visual literacy skills. Each teacher’s guide is available in its entirety to download and print at no charge.
These are ideas teachers need. The support to do a better job is a must.