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Exploring Media Literacy

Our students today spend the majority of their free time influenced by media. The TED talk below states many students are spending 7.5 hours a day viewing media. This is unlikely to change. As educators and parents we can attempt to shelter our children from the possible harm that may come or we can teach our children to view media with a critical eye.

Quijada is the executive director of Media Literacy Project In her TED talk she stresses the importance of teaching youth to ask critical questions while viewing media.  Through the deconstruction of media, students can find “the untold story”.  The skills required to deconstruct media need to be explicitly taught.

Quijada outlines several critical questions students must have in their tool-belt in order to decode media:

  • What is the text and subtext of this message?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What is the collective impact that this message has on our culture?

Media is a powerful tool when used in a positive way. The benefits associated far outweigh risks when students are taught to navigate safely and view media critically. It is my hope that through this class I learn more about media literacy that will benefit my students in the classroom. Students need to know the internet can give them a voice to inspire change but that using the internet negatively can impact their futures. Not only do I hope to help them acquire critical thinking skills that will allow them to see through things like ads but also to navigate the internet appropriately.

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