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Posts Tagged ‘PBS’

Slide1Perhaps school started for you recently or you are in the first days of a new school year — here’s a reminder that I have posted earlier pieces for starting off the year, including ones that feature links to media literacy coursework slideshows with linked videos, activities, and other useful resources.

Generation LikeMeanwhile, I was recently reviewing trending topics and reference points for new media, and I laughed when I saw the opening video to Tyler Oakley‘s YouTube page in which he gushes about the wonderful year he’s had  and that PBS “did a documentary about me!”  I guess it says it all about “Generation Like” that he declares it’s a documentary just about him when Douglas Rushkoff and the FrontLine producers create a new, insightful piece about “how the perennial teen quest for identity and connection has migrated to social media — and exposes the game of cat-and-mouse that corporations are playing with these young consumers.”  As Alissa Quart adds, “today, coolness is … like you have to be constantly selling yourself, showing yourself and marketing yourself… Instead of turning your back to the audience or wearing sunglasses at night, you’re taking off those sunglasses and you’re smiling into the camera.  The currency now is one of constant approval and a constant hum of self-assertion…”  Get it, Tyler?

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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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Common Core State Standards Initiative

Many educators across the country have been, are, or will be busy reading, dissecting, evaluating, and debating the Common Core State Standards as a new guide to developing benchmarks, lessons, and assessments across K-12 curricula.

The development of higher order thinking – as reflected in reading and writing, analysis and creation – is at the core of the CCSS.  As one reads through the standards, it is clear that the development of a framework for evaluating and creating media – whether print or non-print – is at the core of the skills highlighted in the standards.  These skills are the cornerstones to every chapter in Moving Images, and this should be seen as welcome news by the National Association of Media Literacy Education and other groups that have developed standards for media literacy based on higher-order skills.

Specifically, in the Anchor Standards, media educators must note a standard listed under “Integration of Knowledge and Ideas”:  “(7) Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.”  In addition, the use of technology is noted in numerous anchor standards, particularly “digital sources,” and comparison and contrast with visual media is noted in multiple anchor standards.  In the Speaking and Listening Standards, under the section of “Comprehension and Collaboration” students are asked to “(2) Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g. visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.”  This mirrors common media literacy education standards such as those established by NAMLE, and these goals reflect many of the essential questions posed in Moving Images, such as those investigated in Chapters 1, 5, and 6.

There are clearly countless questions and challenges that exist and will arise for educators as they wrestle with this major new mandate.  In particular, the stress on non-fiction texts already has many English teachers concerned about the effects of implementing these goals on the study of literature, and the lack of effective integration of creativity in these goals is also a source of profound frustration for many educators.

Update: here are articles and perspectives from Education Week on current status of CCSS.  And here is a Common Core photo blog.

Update 2: Here is a more recent blog post about the CCSS for a presentation I made at the 2013 Northeast Media Literacy Conference.

Update 3: Here are resources by PBS’s LearningMedia initiative that provide information and materials related to media literacy and implementing the Common Core.

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