Teaching Media Fluency skills is crucial to the educational environment. All students should be able to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a number of forms. This shapes their understanding of how media affects society. They also learn why Media Fluency is essential in the digital age.
In the classroom, teaching Media Fluency skills fulfills a number of needs:
- It helps develop critical thinking capacity
- You can better identify target markets
- It helps students recognize bias and misinformation
- It reates the ability to distribute personalized media messages
Technology continues to reshape how students think and react to digital media and the messages they receive. This is an important aspect of teaching that cannot be ignored.
Effective Ways of Teaching Media Fluency Skills
These are just a few effective lesson ideas that can be taught focusing on Media Fluency. They will have a definitive impact on shaping the minds of students. These will certainly broaden their critical thinking skills. They’ll also provide an alternative perspective on media and how it is used.
Students can look forward to building other important learning skills as an added bonus. These include things like writing, researching, and analytical thinking skills.
Picture Thought and Discussion
Students view an image of some sort. They then brainstorm about the events and characters that could be a part of the image. Next they write from a character point of view. They share their thoughts, feelings and the events that led up to the picture, or events that will take place after. This also supports narrative writing.
Fact or Fiction
Using Snopes.com, students will learn about urban legends and investigate why people believe in them. This happens through a discussion about sources of information. The focus is how to determine whether or not those sources can be identified as credible.
Introduce students to Snopes.com and to urban legends found on the site. Next, let them survey the information and identify additional sources to confirm whether the legend is true or false. Lead a discussion on how media can shape perception, whether true or false.
Naming in a Digital World
This is about creating a safe persona on the Internet. For this Media Fluency lesson, students discuss online personas and profiles through researching and discussing their names. Have them investigate the role that situation and audience play in using a nickname or full name. Determine what name would be most appropriate for social media and email.
They can use the online tool What’s in a Name to find resources about naming conventions. They discuss what name they would choose and why it would best represent them online. More importantly, they discuss how it can be perceived by that platform’s audience.
How Does Media Represent Men and Women?
Haver students explore representations of men and women and discuss their findings. They would construct a collage of images that represent men or women and discuss how each one is depicted in the media. The idea is to deconstruct those messages by identifying the source and how it may have influenced audience perception.
This Media Fluency lesson explores issues of copyright infringement through the discussion of downloading music from the Internet. Students will call upon prior knowledge and experiences on how they retrieve music online. Next they conduct Internet research to understand the history and legalities of copyright infringement. They would then synthesize the information and evaluate the content and their points of view. They will end up taking a stand on their beliefs of whether downloading is right or wrong.
Reviewing a Technology
Students get to employ analytical thinking in this one by reviewing a technology of their choice and researching reviews of that technology. The students will then use a list of evaluation and review questions to think about why the technology is used and why people choose one over the other. Have them write a personal evaluation of the technology and offer recommendations on the audiences it is best suited for.