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Media Literacy Tools

Digital Literacy Curriculum for Wellness and Safety

This free 3 hour course is designed for ue with grades 6-9.everfi

Ignition: Digital Wellness and Safety is a digital literacy curriculum designed to provide students with the information they need to safely and confidently navigate the digital world.

By learning digital literacy skills including how to evaluate content for accuracy, perspective, and motive, Ignition’s digital literacy curriculum helps students acknowledge the benefits of digital communities and resources while guiding them to successfully navigate potential pitfalls in their digital lives.

Media Literacy Video Library
Key questions for developing critical thinking skills

Learn to think critically. As students learn to evaluate media, they must decide whether the messages make sense, why certain information was included, what wasn't included, and what the key ideas are. They learn to use examples to support their opinions. Then they can make up their own minds about the information based on knowledge they already have. To help them master these skills try using these questions [Developed by Common Sense Media] to talk about types and examples of media.

  • Who created this? Was it a company? Was it an individual? (If so, who?) Was it a comedian? Was it an artist? Was it an anonymous source? 
  • Why did they make it? Was it to inform you of something that happened in the world (for example, a news story)? Was it to change your mind or behavior (an opinion essay or a how-to)? Was it to make you laugh (a funny meme)? Was it to get you to buy something (an ad)? 
  • Who is the message for? Is it for kids? Grown-ups? Girls? Boys? People who share a particular interest? 
  • What techniques are being used to make this message credible or believable? Does it have statistics from a reputable source? Does it contain quotes from a subject expert? Does it have an authoritative-sounding voice-over? Is there direct evidence of the assertions its making? 
  • What details were left out, and why? Is the information balanced with different views -- or does it present only one side? Do you need more information to fully understand the message? 
  • How did the message make you feel? Do you think others might feel the same way? Would everyone feel the same, or would certain people disagree with you? 

Follow-up question for any of these: Why do you think that?

Media literacy student goals
  • Become a smart consumer of products and information. Media literacy helps students learn how to determine whether something is credible. It also helps them determine the "persuasive intent" of advertising and resist the techniques marketers use to sell products.

  • Recognize point of view. Every creator has a perspective. Identifying an author's point of view helps young people appreciate different perspectives. It also helps put information in the context of what they already know -- or think they know.

  • Create media responsibly. Recognizing your own point of view, saying what you want to say how you want to say it, and understanding that your messages have an impact is key to effective communication.

  • Identify the role of media in our culture. From celebrity gossip to magazine covers to memes, media is telling us something, shaping our understanding of the world, and even compelling us to act or think in certain ways.

  • Understand the author's goal. What does the author want you to take away from a piece of media? Is it purely informative, is it trying to change your mind, or is it introducing you to new ideas you've never heard of? When you understand what type of influence something has, you can make informed choices.

It's our responsibility

Monday, September 17, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to encourage media literacy in public schools, ensuring students can discern legitimate information sources from advertising, political propaganda and falsehoods that abound on the internet. Press ReleaseRead the bill.

Why it's important

For students to be informed and engaged in a digital society they need to be able to understand, inquire, create, communicate and think critically.

As consumers, we all constantly take in a huge amount of information from a wide array of sources: text messages, memes, viral videos, social media, video games, advertising, and more.

All media shares two things:

  1. Someone created it.
  2. It was created for a reason.

Understanding that reason is the basis of media literacy. To be successful in school and in life students must be media literate.