In the eight years that EGUSD’s digital citizenship program has been in place, new challenges and new resources have necessitated regular updates to this website, which is organized around our four main themes: cyberbullying, digital footprint, protecting privacy and intellectual property.

Dig Cit Graphic

While these four themes still remain at the heart of our program, we recognize that we are now living and teaching in a “post-truth” era. Accordingly, we have been gathering and curating media literacy resources to prepare students – and teachers – to deal with the escalating onslaught of fake news and disinformation.

We like Common Sense Media’s definition: “Media literacy is the ability to identify different types of media and understand the messages they’re sending. Kids take in a huge amount of information from a wide array of sources, far beyond the traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines) of most parents’ youth. There are text messages, memes, viral videos, social media, video games, advertising, and more. But all media shares one thing: Someone created it. And it was created for a reason. Understanding that reason is the basis of media literacy.”

And we are not alone in this growing effort to justify bringing media literacy into the classroom …

“A curriculum rich in media literacy has benefits that are clearly tied to the development of participatory digital citizens who can make meaningful contributions.” Kristen Mattson, Educator/Author

“Of course, media literacy is more than asking questions and deconstructing media messages. It also involves reflecting on the meaning-making process, creating messages, and taking action in the world. Renee Hobbs, Center for Media Literacy

“Media literacy education doesn’t teach students to “doubt” what they see; it teaches students to interrogate what they see, and to do it routinely. We call it “inquiry.”  Faith Rogow, Educator/Author

“I do believe there is a new hope in student voices and new ways to teach media literature effectively. This is not the time to tell any teacher that we should take off our capes. It’s just time to remind kids that with great power comes great responsibility.” Jonathan Rogers, Journalism Teacher

Through our research and lesson creation, we realized that media literacy should not be added as a separate theme in our graphic/program, but rather as the overarching structure supporting our digital/global citizenship program. We believe media literacy is the key to unlocking the critical thinking skills needed to confront online bullying and hate speech, to build and maintain a positive digital footprint, to respect and create intellectual property, and to protect online privacy.

Our website now includes a Media Literacy section and we have updated our graphic to reflect the integral part media literacy will now play in our workshops, lessons and resources.

Dig Cit foci with Media Literacy

In Recent News…

As we read through current news articles, we are feeling validated in defining media literacy as the overarching structure for our digital citizenship program. In an effort to confront fake news, Facebook recently added an “i” (info button) to articles posted in users’ news feeds. The button includes a link to Wikipedia for more information on the author and publisher and displays a section of recent stories from the publisher, a “share count” to show where in the world the story has been shared, and a list of the user’s friends who have shared the story. Other social media organizations are also implementing some changes. YouTube’s new feature, “information cues,” will help fight hoaxes by linking to Wikipedia articles for any conspiracy-related videos. Their goal is to fight misinformation through stories that offer a differing point of view.

We warmly invite you to share what media literacy looks like in your classroom. If you have links to articles, websites, or videos you recommend adding to our new media literacy resources, please leave us a comment below.