Posts Tagged ‘Media Education Foundation’

Photoshopped WomenSince it’s the end of the year, there are lists all over the place of the best, the worst, and all in between of the year’s movies, shows, games, news stories, vines, live feeds, and everything else from the worlds of moving images and sounds.  I will share one that I find particularly useful for media literacy educators, which is a short piece from BuzzFeed in the vein of the work done by the Media Education Foundation.  Titled Photoshopping Real Women Into Cover Modelsit’s succinct, well produced, and eye-opening for teens (and will be for quite a few older people as well).  For me, this is one of the most important visual literacy themes for our students today because kids have been so skillfully conditioned by our media environment to believe unconditionally in popular culture’s models of behavior, of consumption, of what is supposed to attract and repulse us.  As a result, many young people never even start to question these forces while they have been simultaneously led to believe that they are absolutely independent in their choices, tastes, and values.

For longer pieces on this and related topics, Media Education Foundation also offers many titles investigating these forces from numerous angles, including gender roles, violence in the media, ethnic stereotypes, and more.  For younger students, here is a page from Canada’s MediaSmarts with short videos and lesson plans establishing the basics of media literacy.  Finally, on mediateacher.net, check out these posts  Generation Like or Digital Nation/Merchants of Cool for materials, lesson plans, and further reading.

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Admongo: Deconstructing Commercial Messages

As mentioned earlier in this blog, at the 11th Annual Northeast Media Literacy Conference at UConn I am presenting a talk titled “CCSS and Media Literacy in the Classroom: Communications and Critical Thinking through Promotional and Public Service Messages.”  As a service to those attending the conference and to followers of this blog and the Moving Images textbook, here are notes and links included in my presentation.

First, it is important to review principles of media literacy: here are the essentials at the NAMLE website.

Then, on to what educators face as principal challenges in curriculum development today: the Common Core State Standards.  For media literacy professionals, the following descriptions are the essentials.  For Reading Literature:  Analyze the representation of a subject or key scene in two different artistic mediums (RL/9-10:7); Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (RL/11-12:7).  For Reading Informational Texts:  Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (incl. multimedia).. (RI/9-10:7); also, integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g. visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem (RI/11-12:7).  For Speaking and Listening, students must make strategic use of digital media (incl. audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.  (SL/9-12:5)  Finally, in History/Social Studies and Science/Technical Subjects, learners have to make strategic use of digital media (incl. audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.  (SL/9-12:5)

MerchantsCoverFor resources specific to the investigation of commercials, one of the best places to begin is at Frank Baker’s Media Literacy Clearinghouse, where there is a homepage for materials on critical thinking about advertising.  For educators of elementary and middle grades, there is the Federal Trade Commission resource Admongo, which features many exercises and lessons.  From my own materials related to Moving Images, there is an extended interview on this blog with advertising copywriter Kevin Goff, and links to commercials can be found.  These can be evaluated using such models as those of the Instructor’s Resources with Moving Images or this lesson from the MLC pages: Deconstructing a TV ad.  Recent ads have come under quite a bit of scrutiny, such as the commercials during this year’s Super Bowl.

Other examples used during the presentation are for investigative work done by students using such exposes as PBS’s Merchants of Cool and Digital Nation and Media Education Foundation’s Killing Us Softly and The Bro Code .   Using selected parts of these media reports as a basis, students must research topics offered by their teachers and create presentations based on the media questions that are most appropriate.  The attached Unit Activity GuideCritical Analysis 5b Lesson Plan – was drafted for work with Merchants of Cool and Digital Nation in conjunction with Chapter 5 of Moving Images.

As for examples from my classes that are shared during the presentation, those are for attendees – so I look forward to seeing some of you media literacy educators there!

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