Media Literacy: One of the 21st
Century Literacy Skills
All Students Need
Frank W. Baker
media educator
Media Literacy Clearinghouse
“Best Practices” Workshops
December 6 (elementary)
December 7 (secondary)
Brooklyn Baptist Church Conference Ctr.
Registration: SDE Website
Multi-modal literacies (NCTE)
“From an early age, students are very
sophisticated readers and producers of
multi-modal work. They can be helped to
understand how these works make meaning,
how they are based on conventions, and how
they are created for and respond to specific
communities or audiences.”
2005 Declaration, NCTE Executive Committee
Media literacy 101
“It would be a breach of our duties as
teachers for us to ignore the rhetorical
power of visual forms of media in
combination with text and sound…the
critical media literacy we need to teach
must include evaluation of these media,
lest our students fail to see,
understand, and learn to harness
the persuasive power of visual media.”
NCTE Resolution on Visual/Media Literacy
Endorsing media literacy
American Association of School Librarians
Annenberg Public Policy Center
Carnegie Commission on Adolescent Development
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
International Reading Association
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
National Council for Teachers of English
National Council for the Social Studies
National Middle School Association
National PTA
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Partnership for 21st Century Skills
SC ELA Standards: Viewing
“Every day, students come in contact
with media and technology. The
challenge is to help them make sense of
it all and respond personally, critically,
and creatively.The inclusion of viewing
recognizes the powerful force of visual
media in the 21st century. ..”
SC ELA Standards: Viewing
“…..Teachers must be comfortable with
integrating viewing into instruction. This
can be achieved by teaching, for
example, how to read a photograph,
the techniques of persuasion in
advertising, the language of film, critical
television viewing skills, information/
technology literacy and more.”
Generation M
What are they doing on line?
87% of U.S. teens between 12 and 17
years of age use the Internet;
just 66% of adults do so;
81% of teen Internet users play games
76% get news online;
51% of teen Internet users say they go
online on a daily basis;
43% have made purchases online; and
31% use the Internet to get health info
Source: “Teens and Technology: Youth Are Leading the Transition to a Fully Wired and Mobile
Nation” (2005) & "Life Online: Teens and Technology and the World to Come," (2006)
“Our students are growing up in a
world saturated with media
messages…yet, they (and their
teachers) receive little or no training
in the skills of analyzing or reevaluating these messages, many of
which make use of language, moving
images, music, sound effects.”
R.Hobbs, Journal Adult & Adolescent Literacy, February 2004
“While more young people have access to the
Internet and other media than any generation in
history, they do not necessarily possess the
ethics, the intellectual skills, or the
predisposition to critically analyze and evaluate
……. these technologies or the information
they encounter. Good hand/eye
co-ordination and the ability to multitask are
not substitutes for critical thinking.”
Dr. David Considine, Appalachian State Univ.
Writing activity
What is media literacy?
Defining 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
Media Literacy Resource Guide, Ministry of Education Ontario, 1997
All media are constructions
of reality
Media literacy’s rules
Media are constructed using unique
languages with their own set of rules
Language of Instant Messaging
BRB= be right back
HW= homework
TTYL= talk to you later
LOL= laughing out loud
Media literacy’s rules
Media convey values and points of view
Media literacy’s rules
Audiences negotiate meaning
Media literacy’s rules
Media= power & profit
FOX (News Corp)
NBC (NBC/Universal)
ABC (Disney)
CNN (AOL/Time Warner)
Media literacy’s rules
Media contain ideological and value
 Media have social and political
 Form and content are closely related
 Each medium has a unique and
aesthetic form
Source: Media Literacy Resource Guide, Ontario Ministry of Education, Toronto
Critical inquiry: asking questions
Who produced/created the message?
 For what purpose was it produced?
 Who is the ‘target audience’?
 What techniques are used to attract
attention; increase believability?
Katie Couric “slimmed” for CBS promo
How do you know this is a fake website?
Product placement techniques
Critical inquiry: asking questions
Who or what is left out; why?
 Who benefits from the message
being communicated in this way?
 What lifestyle is promoted?
 How do you know what it means?
 Where can you go to verify the info?
Let’s take a look at some images
Media lit in SC Teaching Standards
Language Arts
Demonstrate the
ability to analyze and
evaluate the
effectiveness of the
techniques used in
non-print sources for
a particular
Mass media
the influence of
advertising on
consumer choices
Food Selection
Body Image
Alcohol & tobacco
advertising and
marketing techniques
Teaching in the 21st century
"If video is how we
are communicating
and persuading in
this new century,
why aren't more
students writing
screenplays as
part of their
Heidi Hayes Jacob
April 2004
The languages of TV & Film
a) Movement b) positioning c) use of lens
 Lights
 Audio (includes music, sound effects)
 Editing (post production; special effects)
 Set design
 Actors: wardrobes; expressions
Cell phone ad
Toy ad
writing activities
Bush Kerry
Because of Winn Dixie
Tuck Everlasting
To Kill A Mockingbird
Using the newspaper
What is the role of the
school library media
specialist in promoting
media literacy?
Help students learn how to be critical
Help students learn how to use critical
inquiry skills- questioning
Help teachers appreciate teaching WITH
media, but also teaching ABOUT media
Consider writing about media literacy in
school and/or parent newsletter
Acquire materials which correlate to
Include media literacy in teacher training
Create bulletin boards which promote
better understanding of media literacy and
media issues
Start files on ads or news stories on media
Contact info
Frank Baker
[email protected]
Media Literacy Clearinghouse

Now That You Know What Media Literacy Is….. How Do …