November 5th-9th is dedicated to highlighting the importance of media literacy. Organized by the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), the week is designed to coordinate events across the country to bring awareness to the importance of media literacy education.
What is media literacy?
Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, and evaluate texts (print & digital), communicate ideas, and create digital products to do so. As media becomes a powerful and influential force in the lives of our students, increased attention must be paid to helping them understand how to consume, engage, and produce media in positive and proactive ways. As NAMLE states, “being literate in a media age requires critical thinking skills that empower us as we make decisions, whether in the classroom, the living room, the workplace, the boardroom, or the voting booth.” NAMLE provides an additional rationale for teaching media literacy – that students often aren’t sure what is real news and what is fake.
What happens during media literacy week?
NAMLE has organized events and activities around the country to celebrate, many of which are (you guessed it) digital! For example, the Center for Media Literacy will be filming students from around the country about why they “Commit2MediaLit.” Visit the following YouTube channel to view the videos.
In addition, there is a 2018 Media Literacy Fair that is a virtual fair that will house live “booths” where participants can click through sessions to learn about media literacy resources and programs. This virtual session will go live on Wednesday, November 7th from 12:00-2:00pm. Visit this page to see other events and resources that you can use to help your students understand the importance of media literacy!
Finally, this page of resources offer ideas, lessons, and commentary on why media literacy matters. Suggestions for engaging with your students include:
- Close analyses of political cartoons, advertisements and social media
- Analyzing text sets on the same topic to identify different perspectives
- Examining characters and social issues through a social media lens
- Creating advertisements or other products that highlight counternarratives