A Recap of the latest #iteachmsu EdChat
From fake news, targeted advertising and trolls to conspiracy theories, we are exposed to enormous amounts of unfiltered information on a daily basis. Yet, for most of us, the Internet is still our “go-to” resource for any questions we need answered. What does it mean to teach in a society where digital knowledge is accessible at the tip of our fingers?
How do I, as a teacher, help students recognize the reliability of the information they see on their screens and on social media? Why does it matter? How can I do it? Where do I start?
Because these are common questions among educators, we focused our last EdChat of the semester asking our online teaching & learning community to weigh in about teaching Media Literacy–the set of critical thinking skills students need to assess the validity of the information we encounter around us.
The EdChat had a range of participants, form media literacy organizations, library specialists, university professors, to individuals curious about learning more about media literacy. Below are some of the thoughts thoughts they shared about teaching media literacy:
Why should students be media literate?
Media literacy is a skill that is increasingly placed at the center of what students need to navigate the 21st century. From perceptions to evaluation, here are a few of the many reasons why students should be media literate.
How will media literacy impact my role as an educator?
Because of the overwhelming amount of information online, students rely on the Internet to seek answers to questions and to learn about topics they’re passionate about. Learning the critical thinking skills to evaluate this information also implies that teachers adapt to this reality. Some educators shared how they believe media literacy impacts their work.
What challenges should I expect when teaching Media Literacy?
Although media literacy is an important skill to teach, some educators might be weary about teaching it and may wonder about potential challenges it might involve. EdChat participants communicated the challenges media literacy represents, including staying up-to-date, dealing with fake news, and assessing students.
What are some ideas, activities and resources I can use to teach Media Literacy?
Many of the EdChat participants shared resources about media literacy. Here is a selection of them:
http://medialiteracyproject.org/learn/media-literacy/ provides a thorough definition of media literacy
http://en.unesco.org/MILCLICKS is a social media strategy led by UNESCO raise awareness about media literacy
www.commonsensemedia.org provides independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media.
http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/skills-strategies-media-education is home to the Center for Media Literacy, which shares strategies for teaching media literacy.
https://medialiteracynow.org/ is on the advocacy side and aims to spark policy change in every state and at the national level to ensure all K-12 students receive comprehensive media literacy education and skills.
http://www.digitalliteracies.ca/en/register is a link to a summer institute in digital literacies by the University of Ottawa.
What practical next steps can I take to teach Media Literacy?
Finally, we closed the EdChat by asking participating educators what was one thing we could all start the next day to start teaching literacy. Their recommendations are shared below:
Have more questions about teaching and learning? Online EdChats are great ways to get answers to questions you have and to share your own expertise with others.
Join an online community of educators dedicated to supporting each other by adding #iteachmsu to your list of favorite hashtags, and contribute to building this community by sharing your ideas or accomplishments using #iteachmsu. Follow @insideteaching and stay tuned for our next #iteachmsu chat!
* All participants were contacted and agreed to have their tweets published