My 2018 Goal: Teach More Media Literacy

To start off 2018, I had my students create Adobe Spark graphics of their goals because I was taught by an old golf coach that if you don’t write it down it isn’t real.

My goal for 2018 is to teach more media literacy.  A subject I had addressed specifically until a reporter asked me what teachers in Iowa were doing to teach media literacy.  Off the cuff I responded that we are teaching students how to get news online through a variety of sources and to be “truth seeking” reporters.  To be honest, I didn’t have a good idea of how to really teach media literacy in the digital world.

After the interview, I asked students what they had been taught about how to get information online and social media.  Their answer was a resounding… NOTHING.  I believe we as teachers have failed to teach digital media literacy out of a fear of social media and the speed at which the media environment has changed.  I also think none of us have ever been taught how to teach media literacy in the digital world.

So I set out to to learn about how to teach media literacy and present my findings at the NCTE fall conference, Iowa English teacher conference, and this spring to SXSWEdu and the JEA National Convention in San Francisco.  Linked here is the presentation that Stacy Haynes-Moore, Joanne Gage and I created.

Below are the top three things I learned over the past year about teaching media literacy.  Feel free to mention me on Twitter or hashtag #teachmedialiteracy18 on any more good resources

  1.  Teachers don’t have to recreate the wheel.  Checkology, Newseum, Poynter,  News Literacy Project and a host of others have created great resources for teachers to use in their classroom.

  2. Google and Facebook are dumpster fires of bad information.  Google has made changes to their news feed and given resources to Snopes, but they still have a long way to go.

  3. Journalism needs to fight back.  The NY Times, Flipboard, and now Oprah have fought back against the attacks on journalism.  In my classroom we painted a giant SEEK TRUTH AND REPORT IT mural.

    A new mural created by a student in 2109 to promote the values of a journalist. It came from an old journalism professor at Iowa who said he had one lesson plan, “SEEK TRUTH AND REPORT IT.”

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