Media Literacy Basics
So what is media literacy? Is it really just as simple as using an interactive whiteboard or a laptop in the classroom, or is there more to it?
Media literacy in an educational context should be about much more than simply putting in a DVD and filling in some classroom time. Teaching media literacy is about informing, extending and developing awareness of literacy and literature via the mediums of film, radio, DVD, TV, electronic media and advertising content. In the highly animated, visually stimulating era of modern media, it is important that young people are given strategies for dealing with the potential visual overload that can bombard them from so many sources.
Media literacy is partly about incorporating learning which is contained within media based forms (reality TV, dramas, documentaries) and partly about learning to manage information which comes via the media (using critical thinking, making informed and balanced judgements, understanding the author - reader/viewer relationship, learning that advertising is a deliberate strategy rather than providing creative content for entertainment).
A useful book to support media literacy is Reading for Media Literacy - Navigating the World of New Texts by Anne Vize (Curriculum Corporation, 2009).