Helpful, free resources for teaching kids about media literacy

Helpful, free resources for teaching kids about media literacy

Media literacy is becoming an increasingly important skill to have in the 21st century.  Our kids spend a large amount of time consuming media and there is a vast amount of information available to them. It’s imperative that they have the basic skills to evaluate what they are reading, seeing, and hearing and think critically about its impact on them and the world.

Educators increasingly see media literacy as a key component of education today because they recognize that the ability to think critically about what they see, hear and read is essential for their success as adults.

Media literacy is a topic merits discussion both at school and at home around the dinner table  (or in the car on the way to the next practice, or wherever you can have your kids’ attention.) Here are some favorite resources for parents and educators to help with teaching kids media literacy fundamentals.

  • The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) is a national organization in the U.S. dedicated to fostering “critical thinking and effective communication for empowered media participation.” The third annual Media Literacy Week will be November 6-10, 2017 and it serves to bring attention and visibility to media literacy education. It is sponsored by NAMLE, and you can follow along on social media using #MediaLitWk.

Favorite resource: They recently released a guide for parents on teaching media literacy. It encourages parents to teach their kids to consistently ask questions. It also covers conversations parents can have about fake news, scams, ads, and needing permission to use original content.

  • The Newseum offers several media literacy resources, including lesson plans, activities and case studies here.

Favorite resource: E.S.C.A.P.E. Junk News is an acronym that stands for evidence, source, context, audience, purpose, and execution. They also have nicely categorized tools aimed at middle schoolers and high schoolers.

  • Media Smarts is Canada’s centre for digital and media literacy, and their resources for parents are available here.

Favorite resource: The Digital Citizenship Guide for Parents covers how to talk with kids about respecting people’s feelings, privacy, and property, and includes helpful conversation starters for parents on the topic of media literacy.

Favorite resource: How do I teach my tween about clickbait? answers the question and I appreciate that it is about helping kids learn how to spot clickbait as well as how to resist clicking on it.

Check out this TEDx talk by Andrea Quijada, who was the executive director of Media Literacy Project until it unfortunately closed its doors.

You May Also Like: Teaching kids about hoaxes online

Prior Post: What happened when I commented on my Senator’s Facebook page

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