MediaBreaker Encourages Critical Media Literacy and 21st Century Skills With Easy-To-Use Online Video Editor

The MediaBreaker tool is a great resource for teachers looking to give students a hands-on project that will allow them a chance to critically look at and engage with media messages. 

In what began as a project to engage students in NYC, The LAMP expanded its non-profit reach with a recent Knight Foundation Grant to create its MediaBreaker tool. Essentially, MediaBreaker is an online video editing program that allows users to comment, edit and remix media messages. The video above does a great job at explaining how the site works and how to get videos from Youtube to edit. Following their instructions, within a matter of minutes I had downloaded a video clip from Youtube, uploaded it to the MediaBreaker software and performed a variety of edits from cutting out parts of the video and moving clips around to overlaying text and adding sound effects.

I see this tool as a great resource for media teachers everywhere. Not only is it simple to use, but it’s web-based so any student can use it and create a video as long as they have web access. This could easily be an in-class project (assuming Youtube isn’t blocked or select video clips have been downloaded) or an assignment that can be done from the comfort of one’s own home. 

One of the most interesting parts of this tool is that once videos have been transformed by the user, they are submitted to the MediaBreaker legal team to ensure fair use has been met before they are posted live to Youtube. According to DC Vito, Executive Director of The LAMP, while the legal team has had claims against some of what has been posted, they have successfully defended each challenge.

If you’d like to see some of the videos that have already been created using the software, check out their Youtube channel or here on their site.

When you’re ready to give MediaBreaker a test, you can login by inputting your email and a password at the bottom of this page.

For those of you who are JEA members and interested in news literacy resources, you will definitely want to login and check out the two-week, four-week and seven-week news literacy curriculum modules on the JEA site.

For more information about The LAMP check out their website and if you use MediaBreaker in your classroom, we’d love to see some videos linked in the comments below.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 20th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on Twitter and Instragram @manfull and on Snapchat as aaronmanfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

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