Media literacy - understanding how media persuades
. The concept of media literacy has evolved over the years. It consisted primarily of teaching ourselves and our children how to protect themselves as consumers against the power of mass media to persuade our thinking, behavior and buying habits. The new, improved media literacy, "Media Literacy 2.0," occurs within the context of social media, during a time when we can just as easily create media as consume it. So, media literacy is still very concerned with how media persuades, but it also interested in how we use media to make persuasive arguments ourselves.
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Organizations, Resource Websites
- Center for Media Literacy. From their website: "...the Center for Media
Literacy (CML) is an educational organization that provides leadership,
public education, professional development and educational resources
nationally. Dedicated to promoting and supporting media literacy
education as a framework for accessing, analyzing, evaluating, creating
and participating with media content, CML works to help citizens,
especially the young, develop critical thinking and media production
skills needed to live fully in the 21st century media culture." Some free materials from the CML site:
- Commonsense Media. From their website: "We started this organization because we
know families need trustworthy information to help manage their kids'
media lives. We're posting our beliefs here so that all our users
know the underlying principles that guide our philosophy and mission."
- Just Think. From their website: "Just Think teaches young
people to lead healthy,
responsible, independent lives in a culture highly impacted by media. We
develop and deliver cutting-edge curricula and innovative programs that
build skills in critical thinking and creative media production."
- Media Awareness Network. From their website: "MNet is a Canadian non-profit organization that has been pioneering
the development of media and digital literacy programs since its
incorporation in 1996...MNet focuses its efforts on equipping adults with information and
tools to help young people understand how the media work, how the media
may affect their lifestyle choices and the extent to which they, as
consumers and citizens, are being well informed...More than 80 per cent of MNet’s programs and resources are a public
asset and are freely available through MNet’s Web site in both official
languages and to urban, rural, remote, northern and Aboriginal
communities. The resources are developed to reflect Canadian values and
culture, current public policy, and education frameworks and are
supported by original research." Their free resources include:
- Media Education Foundation. From their website: "The
Media Education Foundation
produces and distributes documentary films and other educational
resources to inspire critical reflection on the social, political, and
cultural impact of American mass media."
Media Smart. From their website: "Classroom (CIC) is the U.S. cable industry’s education foundation.
Our mission is to foster the use of cable content and technology to
expand and enhance learning for children and youth nationwide. Working in partnership with and on behalf of the cable
industry, CIC advocates for the visionary, sensible and effective use of
media in homes, schools, and communities."
- Media Studies.com. From their website: "MediaStudies.com helps advance research and education in media analysis and critical thinking. The site serves a hub by providing links to world news, media studies sites, and other resources for educators, students, researchers, and the wider community."
- NCTE's Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education. From the website: "This document is a code of best practices that helps educators using
media literacy concepts and techniques to interpret the copyright
doctrine of fair use." By National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), Student
Television Network (STN), Media Commission of the National Council of
Teachers of English (NCTE), Action Coalition for Media Education
(ACME), and Visual Communication Division of the International
Communication Association (ICA).
- New Mexico Media Literacy Project. From their website: "The Media Literacy Project, founded in 1993, cultivates critical
thinking and activism. We are committed to building a healthy world
through media justice...Our media
literacy curricula and
action guides are used in countless classrooms and communities and
programs have empowered thousands of people to be advocates and
activists for media justice. is a long-established K-12 media literacy resource. Some resources
are free, others can be purchased." Some free materials from the NML
- Project Look Sharp. From their website: "Project Look Sharp is a media literacy
initiative of Ithaca College to provide materials, training and support
for the effective integration of media literacy with critical thinking
into classroom curricula at all education levels." Their materials are quite extensive.
Liographies (including bibliographies, webliographies, linkliographies)
- Youth Media Network. From their website: "The mission of Youth Media Network is to develop fun, safe, entertaining websites that allow teens to create compelling content to share with their friends or with the masses."
Advertising and persuasion, articles and resources
- Admondo, advertisting literacy maintained by the Federal Trade Commission.
media literacy campaign teaches ‘tweens’ about advertising,
(eSchoolNews, 4/28/2010). From the article: "the Federal Trade
Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency,
is launching a new campaign, called Admongo, that aims to educate
“tweens” (kids ages 8 to 12) about advertising, so they can become more
discerning consumers of information...The centerpiece of this
multimedia campaign is a new web site, Admongo.gov, that teaches core
ad literacy concepts through game play."
- Shaping Youth, by
Amy Jussel. Media and marketing's influence on kids.
Digital photo manipulation resources
- The Photoshop Effect. This video features an interview with a professional photographer who talks about the prevalence of digital photo retouching in his profession and walks us through the process of digitally retouching the photograph of a model.
- Girl Power. This interactive site allows you to deconstruct a digitally retouched photo. Be sure to click on the picture until you get the menu of photo changes. Then, step through the changes to see how the picture was retouched.
- Dove's Evolution of Beauty. This very popular video shows a time lapse series of a woman's face being prepared for billboard publication.
- Photoshop Disasters. A website dedicated to showing the public how images of celebrities (and others) are manipulated prior to publication.
- Video gaming. This wiki has another page devoted to this topic. Click here to go to it.
- Center for SCREEN-TIME Awareness.
From their website: "Making screen-time-reduction a vital and integral
part of all plans that improve health, education and wellness while
building stronger families and communities...Center for SCREEN-TIME Awareness provides information
so people can live healthier lives in functional families in vibrant
communities by taking control of the electronic media in their lives,
not allowing it to control them."
- Media Matters for
America. Media Matters for America is a Web-based,
501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to
comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative
misinformation in the U.S. media.
- Pat Elliott's Media Literacy master resource list. From the website: "I am pleased to present this collection of web sites for use in your classrooms. Although my focus of site selection is the Ontario, Canada curricula, many teachers and students throughout the global network find the links useful for their studies."
- A Critical Framework for Media Education, by the Media Awareness Network. From the website: "This section of Rick Shepherd's article: "Elementary Media Education: The Perfect Curriculum" describes a critical framework for media education that teachers can use with students."
- Media Education Lab, School of Communications and Theater, Temple University. From the website: "Founded by Renee Hobbs, a
pioneering leader in the media education field, we have two primary goals: (1) Providing community outreach, public programs, and educational services and multimedia curriculum resources targeted to the needs of youth and local school and after-school educators; and (2) Developing a multidisciplinary research agenda to explore the broad educational impact of media and technology, with a focus on media literacy education. To accomplish these goals, we offer workshops, staff development and partnerships that bring media literacy education to children, young people and adults.
From the Media Education lab: Case Study Video
, featuring elementary school students
at P.S. 124, The Silas B. Dutcher School in Brooklyn, New York. Use this video to discuss the fair use of copyrighted materials in conjunction with the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education."
- The Teach ACT, from the copyright crash course by the University of Texas Library. An explanation of the The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act.
- Center XChange, Fall 2009 Issue: Critical Uses of Media & Technology: Teaching for Social Justice with and about 21st Century Tools. This is an online repository for articles written by people at UCLA working on critical media and technology. The website includes articles by Douglas Kellner, Ernest Morrell, Jane Margolis, Leah Lievrouw, Richard Beach and more.