Using Media Literacy to Meet State Standards

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  • Using Media Literacy to Meet State Standards Frank Baker, media educator Media Literacy Clearinghouse


Kids & Media

Need for media literacy

  • “Our students are growing up in a world saturated with media messages…yet, they (their teachers/parents) receive little or no training in the skills of analyzing or re-evaluating these messages, many of which make use of language, moving images, music, sound effects. Source: R.Hobbs, Journal Adult & Adolescent Literacy, February 2004

“Results That Matter”

  • Today's graduates need to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators who are proficient in both core subjects and new, 21st century content and skills.  These 21st century skills include learning and thinking skills, information and communications technology literacy skills, and life skills.  Twenty-first century skills are in demand for all students.

Recognizing Media Literacy

  • American Association of School Libraries

  • National Council for Teachers of English

  • International Reading Association

  • National Council of Social Studies

  • National Middle Schools Association

  • WH Office of Natl Drug Control Policy

What is media literacy?

  • Write a definition:

  • What does media literacy mean to you? OR

  • Why should students be media literate?

Media literacy

  • Media literacy is concerned with helping students develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of mass media, the techniques used by them, and the impact of these techniques. More specifically, it is education that aims to increase the students' understanding and enjoyment of how the media work, how they produce meaning, how they are organized, and how they construct reality. Media literacy also aims to provide students with the ability to create media products. Media Literacy Resource Guide, Ministry of Education Ontario

State teaching standards

Media literacy in state standards

  • 1999 2006

  • English/Language Arts 46 50

  • Social Studies/History 30 34

  • Health 30 45

  • Source: Has media education found a curricular foothold?

  • 10/27/99 Education Week

Standards: English/Language Arts

Standards: Social Studies

Standards: Health

Media literacy: key concepts

  • All media are constructions

  • The media construct reality

  • Audiences negotiate meaning

  • Media have commercial implications

Media literacy key concepts

  • Media contain ideological & value messages

  • Media have social & political implications

  • Form and content are closely related

  • Each medium has unique aesthetic form

Media as constructions

Media as languages

Media: value messages

Audiences negotiate meaning

Media as businesses

Critical thinking questions

  • Who produced and/or paid for the message?

  • What is the purpose of the message?

  • Who is the ‘target audience’ ?

  • What techniques are used to both attract attention and increase believability?

  • What lifestyles are promoted and why?

  • Does the message contain bias or stereotypes?




Critical thinking questions

  • Why is this message being sent?

  • Who stands to benefit from the message?

  • Who or what might be omitted and why?

  • How might different people interpret the message differently from me?

  • What can I do with the information I obtain from the message?

  • What do you know; not know; like to know?

Where The Girls Aren’t:

  • A February 2006 study

  • examined G rated films

  • from 1990-2004: 72% characters male

  • 22% characters female

Visual literacy

Student produced media

  • Single camera production

  • Animaction- anti tobacco animated PSA


  • Media Literacy Clearinghouse


  • Center for Media Literacy

  • Media Awareness Network (Canada)


Media Literacy Clearinghouse


  • Frank Baker media education consultant

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