This is the beginning of a list of sites, organizations, and resources that may be useful as we explore how to best navigate media in a digital age.
Alliance of Civilizations: Media Literacy Education Clearinghouse
The Media Literacy Education Clearing house at the Alliance of Civilizations website serves as a repository for papers and articles on the subject of media literacy. They describe their goals this way:
Our goals are to build dialogue and analysis in an active, participatory manner for researchers and policy makers; while providing easy access to teaching tools and resources for educators interested in implementing media literacy education in their classrooms.
Center for Media Literacy
The Center for Media Literacy has a repository of guides covering their namesake’s topic.Here, one will find help for educators looking for ways to teach media literacy in their classrooms and introduce the topic to their classrooms. In their words:
A pioneer in its field, the Center for Media Literacy (CML) is an educational organization that provides leadership, public education, professional development and educational resources nationally.
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
The Center for Social Media at American University has developed a guide to help educators understand fair use as it applies to media literacy education. They describe the guide’s goals this way:
This guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials, wherever and however it occurs: in K–12 education, in higher education, in nonprofit organizations that offer programs for children and youth, and in adult education.
Another media literacy site focusing specifically on youth, Just Think offers free classroom curricula as well as curricula for purchase. Their programs cover a wide range of approaches to teaching media literacy and the visitor may find a variety of ideas. Just Think says this about itself:
Founded in 1995 as a concerned response to the ever-increasing deluge of messages youth receive from television, radio, film, print media, electronic games, and the Internet, Just Think teaches young people media literacy skills for the 21st century.
KQED Education Curriculum Bank
Northern California Public Media network, KQED, offers lesson plans on the topic of media literacy. These plans are designed around KQED’s content and are available for all school levels, as well as adult education.
Here’s an example of a lesson plan description:
Analyzing a Newspaper: Editorials and News for ESOL Learners – Drawing on key media literacy concepts and strategies, these five media literacy lesson plans are designed for ESOL students and show how media literacy can enrich the ESOL curriculum. The lessons are appropriate for different levels of student competence in English and can be adapted to suit different student groups.
Media Awareness Network
Media Awareness Network (MNet) is a Canadian-based non-profit focused on media literacy as it applies to youth. They describe their big idea this way:
MNet’s work is based on the belief that to be functionally literate in the world today – to be able to “read” the messages that inform, entertain and sell to us daily – young people need critical thinking skills.
Media Literacy Clearinghouse
Frank Baker’s Media Literacy Clearinghouse is a robust collection of media literacy resources for K-12 teachers. These include writings, links, lesson plans on a range of literacy topics to aid educators in classroom instruction and their own understanding of the subject .
Media Literacy Database
The Media Literacy Database is hosted by the International Clearinghouse of Children, Youth & Media a project of Nordicom at Göteborg University Sweden. The project has been developed with funds from UNESCO and the Swedish government. The database’s content is described this way:
The database offers a collection of research, knowledge and useful resources in the field of media literacy from all parts of the world. The database contains facts and links to organisations and networks, research projects, bestv practices and information about publications, reports, activities and events.
National Association for Media Literacy Education
The National Association for Media Literacy (NAMLE) works to encourage the practice of media literacy education and organize its practitioners. The organization hosts annual conferences and publishes resources on the its namesake’s topic. According to their page:
The National Association for Media Literacy Education (formerly Alliance for a Media Literate America) is a national membership organization dedicated to advancing the field of media literacy education in the United States.
Based in Maryland, the project “is mobilizing seasoned journalists to help middle school and high school students sort fact from fiction in the digital age.” It creates partnerships among journalists and educators to help students understand what they need to do to sort through the information flood.
The project’s primary aim is to teach students the critical thinking skills they need to be smarter and more frequent consumers and creators of credible information across all media and platforms. Students are learning how to distinguish verified information from raw messages, spin, gossip and opinion and are being encouraged to seek news and information that will make them well-informed citizens and voters.
Generated in partnership with Bank Street College of Education in New York City, the Daily Lesson Plan offers teaching materials based on the content of the New York Times. Among these plans are materials designed around the topic of “Media Studies.” Plans are designed for middle school and high school levels.
Project Girl describes their mission this way:
The purpose of PROJECT GIRL is to enable girls to look at all media forms with smart eyes so that they control the interpretation of what they see and hear rather than letting the interpretation control them. Adolescent girl advisors, leading scholars, educators, media activists, health experts and artists all helped create the PROJECT GIRL media literacy curriculum, and traveling Art Exhibition.
Project Information Literacy’s goal:
to understand how early adults conceptualize and operationalize research activities for course work and “everyday life” use and especially how they resolve issues of credibility, authority, relevance, and currency in the digital age.
World Wide Workshop
The World Wide Workshop is a global foundation for developing open-source applications of social media technology and game production, to enhance learning, innovation, entrepreneurship, and an understanding of the world in economically-disadvantaged and technologically-underserved communities.
Project New Media Literacies
Project New Media Literacies (NML), a research initiative based within MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, explores how we might best equip young people with the social skills and cultural competencies required to become full participants in an emergent media landscape and raise public understanding about what it means to be literate in a globally interconnected, multicultural world.
Stony Brook Center for News Literacy
The Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University is committed to teaching students how to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports and news sources. It is the only such center in the United States.
Temple University Media Education Lab
The Media Education Lab at Temple University has a good collection of teaching resources and research for those interested in media literacy education. The mission is described this way:
The mission of the Media Education Lab at Temple University is to improve media literacy education through scholarship and community service.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
This is an evolving list. Please offer recommendations for other individuals thinking and writing about news and media literacy.
Christy Dena studies and teaches about cross-media and interactive storytelling.
James Paul Gee is a professor at Arizona State University who has written about linguistics and new literacies. His recent work focuses on the use of game principles in the classroom.
Renee Hobbs is a professor and founder of the Media Education Lab at Temple University.
Henry Jenkins is Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at USC and the principle investigator of Project New Media Literacies.
Howard Rheingold writes, theorizes and critiques on technology’s influence on society and culture.
Michael Wesch is a professor of cultural anthropology and digital ethnography at Kansas State University. He focuses on explaining new media’s effect on culture.