Inspired by Canada’s Media Literacy Week, the U.S. Media Literacy Week has been hosted annually since 2014 by the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and provide resources for educators and families.
What is media literacy?
The Critical Media Project defines media literacy as the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms.
Why is media literacy an essential part of education?
“The average teenager in the United States engages in about five hours of direct instructional time in his or her high school, five days each day, for a total of about 180 days per year. By contrast, teenagers in the United States engage in about nine hours of media use on an average day, seven days each week, for almost 365 days per year. When we take into account the amount of time spent “media multi-tasking” — with multiple types of media being used at the same time, including social media — that number jumps to about eleven hours of total media exposure for the average teen every single day of the year.” – Critical Media Project
With this high level of media exposure and consumption, it is essential for students to have strategies to access, analyze and evaluate the media they consume. Additionally, students need outlets for media creation and tools to act in response to the media they encounter.
In an age of fake news, we recognize the need to integrate media literacy across subject areas and beyond the school day. We greatly appreciate the many educators and organizations that have stepped up to create and share media literacy resources nationwide.
Where can educators and families find resources for teaching media literacy?
- 4 Ways to Integrate Media Literacy in the Classroom (Common Sense Media)
- Media Monsters Lesson Plan for Grades 3-5 (NAMLE and Makefully Studio
- Parent’s Guide to Media Literacy (NAMLE and Trend Micro)
- News and Media Literacy Resource Center (Common Sense Education)
- Media Literacy for Parents – Explore Questions by Age – Preschool to Teens 13+ (Common Sense Education)
- Legit-O-Meter Poster (Common Sense Education)
- Google Search Tricks for Research (Common Sense Education)
- Civic Online Reasoning (Stanford History Education Group)
- Critical Media Project (University of Southern California’s Annenberg School)
- Ten Questions for Fake News Detection (News Literacy Project Checkology.org)
- Deepfakes: Can You Spot a Phony Video? (KQED/PBS Learning Media)
- Media Literacy The Mysteries of Life w/Tim and Moby Video (BrainPop)
- Media Literacy Page (EGUSD Digital Citizenship Website)
Determining the validity of online sources and information is key to having a clear understanding and pulse point of what’s happening in our own communities and beyond. Additionally, setting up a healthy media relationship with children of all ages, at home and in the classroom, develops the habits of inquiry and skills that are needed to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active global citizens in today’s ever changing world.
We encourage all educators and families to utilize these resources and celebrate Media Literacy Week with us.