Computer Literacy / Digital Revolution

Media Literacy and Early Childhood Education

This issue offers a wide variety of resources for parents and educators interested in media literacy for early childhood education.  We follow a team of library researchers who discover that the accessible information technologies are helpful but not sufficient to spur early literacy development, whereas parental involvement is crucial if young children are to acquire early literacy skills.  We also review the research on the quality of literacy-focused applications for young children on the market today.

Community Media

Active participation by citizens.  Local community engagement.  Expanding media access to all.  Empowerment through education.  Tackling tough issues in communities.  Freedom of speech.  Storytelling. Citizen journalism.  Understanding media and how it operates.  Where do all of these important undertakings – essential to media literacy -- happen?  In community media centers around the U.S. and the world.  In this issue we provide two case examples of community media centers and their commitment to media literacy education: one in Dublin, Ireland and one in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Media Literacy for Grown Ups

Since few adults in any part of the world grew up learning media literacy concepts or indeed, even knew the words “media literacy,” there is a large gap in understanding about what media literacy is and why it is important. As digital media prevails more and more in most adults’ lives, the imperative for media literacy has become more urgent, and there is more recognition of the need for media literacy education.  Includes reports from Australia, UK, and US. 

Where Are We Now? Institutionalizing Media Literacy

Media literacy is now recognized as a skill-set that should be at the center of education today – but change management continues to be needed to realize this vision.  John Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School and a change management expert, introduced a series of eight steps – considered classics -- in his 1995 book, “Leading Change.”  New media tools can amplify these steps towards faster adoption of new ideas and processes.  Includes an interview with leaders of NAMLE. 

What's in a Name?

In 2006 Henry Jenkins published a white paper identifying the challenges and opportunities for media literacy in our 21st century media culture. Since then, new ideas, new technologies, and new names have emerged bringing with them misunderstandings and rifts among educators. It’s time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are now.  

Propaganda and Media Literacy

In our first article, two prominent rhetoricians explain the differences between propaganda and persuasive discourse that stimulates engaged citizenship. Next, we review the premise of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's landmark Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, and, with some assistance from media literacy scholar Renee Hobbs, we discuss responses to forms of propaganda which are more pervasive and indirect.

Fair Use and Media Literacy

This issue of “Connections” focuses on fair use of copyrighted works because it is an issue integral to the practice of media literacy education.  Two articles draw from documents produced by media and legal scholars: “The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy Educators” and a “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Educators.” 

Citizen Journalism

The widespread availability of new media has generally encouraged the view that anyone can practice citizen journalism with relative ease.  But without learning the digital citizenship skills which media literacy training provides, citizen journalists may be as likely to engage in self-censorship as they are to incur legal liability for the content they publish. Also introduces Center for News Literacy.  

Cell Phones as Learning Tools

A new study from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at the Sesame Workshop explores the potential of cell phones to revolutionize teaching and learning.  Research from the William and Ida Friday Institute at North Carolina State University outlines the potential of 1:1 technology environments, and The Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston launches “Ask the Mediatrician.”  

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