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Media Literacy in Action

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At the Los Angeles Memorial Gathering for Elizabeth (Liz) Thoman, CML’s Founder, on February 12, 2017, Jeff Share, from the Faculty of Education at UCLA, passed out “feminist money” and told a story about how Liz used this money in a way that exemplifies media literacy in action, living out the Empowerment Spiral of Awareness, Analysis, Reflection and Action.  Liz took the “money” (see page 12 February newsletter) when she attended church services and if she observed that the pastor used sexist language or that there was discrimination against women evidenced in the service, she would fill in the amount of a donation, and place it in the collection basket, then she would make the donation in real money to the Women’s Ordination Conference, instead.  After the service, Liz would approach the pastor, introduce herself, and inform the pastor that she had placed a special note in his collection plate.

Have your students create their own currency.

AHA!: I can value my own beliefs and create my own “currency."

Grade Level: 10-12

Key Question #5 (Consumers):  Why is this message being sent?

Key Question #5 (Producers):   Have I communicated my purpose effectively?

Core Concept #5: Most media messages are created for profit and/or power.

Key Question #4 (Consumers):  What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in, or omitted from this message?

Key Question #4 (Producers):  Have I clearly and consistently framed values, lifestyles and points of view in my content?

Core Concept #4: Media have embedded values and points of view.

Materials: “Feminist Money” and “My Own Currency” template found on page 12 of February newsletter.

Activity: Break students into pairs.  Hand out examples of the “feminist” currency for each pair of students to examine.  Have students discuss Key Questions #5 and #4 for Consumers, and then share their observations.  Next, hand out the templates for each student to create his/her own “money.”  What would they choose to feature on their money?  Why?  Have students answer Key Questions #5 and #4 for Producers, and then share their perspective with the class.


*All Tributes to Elizabeth Thoman, including the one referenced here, are available on CML’s YouTube channel.

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2017, Center for Media Literacy, www.medialit.com.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 February 2017 10:43 )
 

Telling Fact from Fiction

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A recent Stanford University study of more than 7,000 middle school students has documented that most students have trouble telling fact from fiction, whether they are reading online or not.  To media literacy teachers, this is no surprise: students are not taught the foundational skills of media literacy from an early age, even though in this world of online instant access to all media, these skills are essential. (For the details of the study: https://sheg.stanford.edu/upload/V3LessonPlans/Executive%20Summary%2011.21.16.pdf )

Help your students learn the difference between fact and opinion, and inference and evidence.

AHA!: Everyone has an opinion and sometimes it’s presented as fact!

Grade Level: 5-7

Key Question #2: What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?

Core Concept #2: Media are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

Key Question #5: Why is this message being sent?

Core Concept #5: Most media messages are created for profit and/or power.

Materials: Fact vs. Opinion worksheet available to print here, or make your own. Be sure to cover the answers at the bottom of the worksheet. Process skills associated with Close Analysis of media texts provides another avenue for teaching this topic. Find out more in Literacy for the 21st Century (http://www.medialit.org/literacy-21st-century).

Activity: Use an on-line news source or even an Instagram photo with a caption to show students how news is captured and circulated every day. Then give them the Fact-Opinion Worksheet to fill out individually.  Work with the students to see how they responded and to help them understand what constitutes fact vs. opinion and evidence vs. inference.

Here are some helpful definitions:

Fact: something known with certainty that can be objectively verified. A journalist covering a news story is sent out to gather facts – who, what, where, when. (The question of why? Is often based on opinion). Facts are descriptive in nature and can be supported by evidence.

Opinion: a belief or conclusion not necessarily substantiated by positive knowledge or proof. This is where the person relaying the story guesses, speculates, or fabricates the details about what happened by interjecting his or her own interpretations or judgments.

Evidence: tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.

Assumption: the belief that something is true and taken for granted without proof.

Inference: arriving at a conclusion based on assumption.

Denotation: a direct, specific meaning.

Connotation: a meaning suggested by a word or an expression in addition to its exact meaning.


The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com

Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 January 2017 10:33 )
 

"Fake" News

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All media should be questioned including the news because someone constructed the news, someone made it for a purpose, selected it, and edited it, put some information in and left some information out, and circulated and published it, whether through social media, through bots, or through more traditional distribution channels like television news or newsstands.

But how do we understand the bias?  How do we check the facts?  How do we make some judgments?  Those are the questions – but not all the questions.  In media literacy, we use questions to help each individual or group come to answers that they are personally comfortable with, with the hope that wiser choices will be possible.

AHA!: All news has bias.

Grade Level: High School students.

Key Question #1: Who created this message?

Core Concept #1: All media messages are constructed.

Key Question #4: What values, lifestyles and points of view are represented in – or omitted from – this message?

Core Concept #4: Media have embedded values and points of view.

Materials: Lists from: Ron Paul’s Liberty Report (Ron Paul was formerly U.S. Representative from Texas): http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/revealed-the-real-fake-news-list     

and Melissa Zimdars, Assistant Professor, Merrimack College, Andover, MA

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10eA5-mCZLSS4MQY5QGb5ewC3VAL6pLkT53V_81ZyitM/preview

Supplementary: CML comments on Fake News:

http://www.attn.com/stories/13234/how-people-can-combat-fake-news

http://laschoolreport.com/fake-news-isnt-just-an-internet-problem-its-a-classroom-crisis-a-new-push-for-media-literacy/

Activity: Let’s examine some lists of “Fake News” sites from credible sources and decide for ourselves what is “fake” or not. Both of these lists claim to represent sites for “fake news.”  Melissa Zimdars, Assistant Professor at Merrimack College, provides one list; Ron Paul, formerly a U.S. Representative from Texas, provides another list.

Use KQ#1.  What is different about these authors? What is similar?

Use KQ#4.  How are the lists “framed?”  What point of view is represented?  What is left in? What is left out? Are there overlaps? Why or why not?

If you were to circulate this list to your friends on social media, what do you need to keep in mind?  Should you “own” the bias yourself?  Should you think about how your friends might interpret your circulating such a list?  Might they agree with you – or not?  Might they be offended – or not?

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 December 2016 10:53 )
 

The Media and Relationships

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“I love you more than my phone.”  That’s what a popular refrigerator magnet says, but what does that say about our relationship with media and our relationships with those we love, and who love us?  Having a healthy relationship with our media and technology means that we are thoughtful about the amount of media we consume, the type of media we consume, and the appropriateness of how we are consuming media in all its forms.

Ask students to talk about their relationship to media, and to others.

AHA! Meaningful relationships require time and care.

Grade Level: 4-12

Key Question #5 (Consumers): Why is this message being sent?

Core Concept #4: Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power.

Key Question #4 (Producers): Have I communicated my purpose effectively?

Materials: Optional:  Show students pictures or videos of people using smart phones in social situations. You can find stock photos online of people using cell phones in a variety of situations (restaurants, travel, schools…).

Activity: Discuss what students believe the sentence “I love you more than my phone” means to them.  Does using a phone make them feel more connected – or disconnected – from others?  Why or why not?  Then, divide the students into pairs, and ask them to find different ways to identify some concrete ways of showing others love, attention and recognition in everyday life.  Share these ideas with the group.

  

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit Kit™ and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)™ framework.  Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com

Last Updated ( Monday, 17 October 2016 19:45 )
 

Why Be a Maker?

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“Makerspaces” are popping up all over the United States, sometimes in libraries, sometimes not. Sometimes with 3D printers, sometimes with scissors and construction paper. In this MediaLit Moment, your middle grade students will have the chance to explore the motivations of the people who come to makerspaces. Why do they go to them? What makes them want to share their projects online?

Ask students why they think makers post on makerspace sites, and ask them to respond to posts as well.

AHA! Makers want to find an audience. They want to share, be recognized and discovered! 

Grade Level: 6-8

Key Question #5: Why was this message sent?

Core Concept #5: Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power. 

Key Question #3: How might people understand this message differently?

Core Concept #3: Different people experience the same media message differently.

Materials: Access to computer lab with high speed Internet access, or permission to “Bring Your Own Device.”

Activity: Refresh students on the purposes, and perhaps the techniques of advertising. Why do advertisers create ads? How do they hope audiences will respond?

Display the Makerspace Resources page for Miami University in Ohio.

http://www.users.miamio.edu/burkejj/makerspaces.html

Ask students to find maker sites where users have commented, posted projects they’ve completed, or shared directions. If you wish, direct students to a particular page with projects for them to browse.

Ask students: Why are makers motivated to post their work? How are you responding to it? Why? Would you consider posting your creative work? Why? Why not?

Assign students to small groups to discuss their responses.

The Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions of media literacy were developed as part of the Center for Media Literacy’s MediaLit KitTM and Questions/TIPS (Q/TIPS)TM framework. Used with permission, ©2002-2016, Center for Media Literacy, http://www.medialit.com.


Last Updated ( Monday, 12 September 2016 13:23 )
 
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Page 1 of 17
Previous Issues:

 21st century skills
 a day in the life of a media literacy educator
 a year in review 2014
 a year in review december 2012
 advertising consumer debt and media literacy
 big data
 body image and media literacy
 building a strong foundation
 call to action
 cell phones as learning tools
 change management in schools
 children and media literacy part 2
 children and media literacy
 citizen journalism
 citizenship in the digital age part 2
 citizenship in the digital age
 cml media literacy trilogy
 comics and media literacy
 community media
 criteria for media literacy instruction
 crowdfunding and media literacy
 digital britain
 documentary film and media literacy
 education and creative economy
 education creative economy australia
 fair use for media literacy
 faith and media literacy
 frameworks for inquiry
 global citizenship media literacy
 global education
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 heuristics nudge theory and the internet of things
 history of media literacy
 leadership elizabeth thoman
 len masterman and the big ideas of media literacy
 libraries museums and informal learning
 maps and media literacy
 media and body image
 media deconstruction as essential learning skill
 media literacy computational thinking
 media literacy risk assessment
 media literacy and 21st century skills
 media literacy and arts education
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 media literacy and media construction
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 the role of journalism in society
 us department of education
 voices of media literacy
 what media literacy is and is not
 whats in a name
 where are we now institutionalizing media literacy

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