Teaching New Media Literacy

I was delighted to have presented at the Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology conference at the University of Colorado yesterday. This was my second year at this conference, and it was incredibly well attended. As usual, some of the best moments came in the smaller discussions and conversations had over the lunch break.

In Australia, the curriculum in K-12 includes aspects of Media Literacy. In the US, each state has a different set of required things to be taught, and many don’t include media literacy at all. That’s just plain scary.

Today’s media is pervasive. It’s no longer identifiable as something separately held within the bounds of a newspaper or tv set, that you access to inform yourself as you go about your day. Instead today media is everywhere. It’s in your pocket. It’s part of who we are, our culture and identity.

On top of that, we are no longer just receivers of media. Today we create it. Critical analysis is not enough. We must equip ourselves and students, and our own children, with the tools and savvy they must have in order to be responsible creators, receivers and engagers with media in all its forms. As the Daily Camera quoted me from my presentation today on its front page, banning media forms doesn’t make people media literate. In fact, I believe it does the opposite.

I thoroughly enjoyed the session and the response was eager. If you’re an educator or a parent – or a college student – this is a presentation I hope you get some value out of too, so I’ve decided to add it here on my blog as well as on the conference wiki. Please feel free to use it as if it were under a creative commons license (ie just give me credit when you feel it’s due). And of course, your comments, responses and input are worth their weight in chocolate. 🙂

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