Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Digital Literacy In The Classroom

Technology should be part of the daily routine in schools, writes ASCD EDge user Celina Brennan. "Students should have frequent access in an authentic manner," says Brennan, adding that tools such as blogs and digital cameras can help students share their thoughts and foster collaboration. In her recent blog post, Brennan explains what digital literacy is, how to incorporate it into the classroom and professional development, and more.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Center for Media & Info Literacy Launched

The School of Communications and Theater at Temple University has broadened its effort to ensure students, teachers and parents are aware of the power of the media in their lives and the important role it can play in the classroom and beyond in society at large. The Center for Media and Information Literacy (CMIL) is the new hub for the school’s initiatives to research and improve the awareness, access and use of media both locally and nationally. Further details here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

These Amazing Shadows: The Movies That Make America (Dec 29, PBS Independent Lens)

These Amazing Shadows: The Movies That Make America is the story of the National Film Registry. The documentary is scheduled to air on PBS December 29 (check your local listings) as part of the Independent Lens series. The documentary weaves clips from America's most-beloved films (and many rarer treasures) with moving personal tales of how specific films have reflected our culture and changed lives. It documents the passage of the National Film Preservation Act of 1988 and how this law set in motion a system to identify notable films.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Center for News Literacy (Summer Teacher Institute)

Applications are now being accepted by the Center for News Literacy, Stony Brook University, Long Island NY, for its annual summer teacher's institute, July 9-July 20.  Details can be found here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blu Ray Edition of "To Kill A Mockingbird" To Be Released

Universal Studios is set to release a new, 50th anniversary DVD edition of "To Kill A Mockingbird." Details of the January 2012 release are here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

How Ten Schools Are Incorporating Cell Phones Into Instruction

There is a growing trend in schools that are lifting the ban on smartphones and instead asking students to use their phones and mobile devices as learning tools. profiles the schools and the cell phone applications.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Making of Hugo

Scholastic has published "The Hugo Movie Companion" book, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Martin Scorsese directed film "Hugo."  From the publisher's website:  "Lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs from the movie, and filled with fun, informative interviews of the cast and crew, comparisons of artwork from the book alongside people, props, costumes, and sets from the movie, plus fascinating information about automatons, filmmaking pioneer Georges Méliès, and an essay on the birth of movies written by Martin Scorsese, The Hugo Movie Companion beautifully extends the experience of the book and the movie, and is a must-have for fans of all ages."

Interviews with Scorsese are featured in the current issue of
Fast Company magazine and The Hollywood Reporter

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaching The Language of Film

The Holiday Movie Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine (November 18) contains several items that might be of value to film educators. An entire page is devoted to the costume designs for creating the character Lizabeth in "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." In addition, this issue contains excerpts from several screenplays.

Recent issues of The Hollywood Reporter (October 14, November 11) may also be useful. Choosing the wardrobe for the main characters in "The Ides of March," is covered in a full page spread in the October issue
; while the make-up to transform Leonardo DiCaprio in "J Edgar" is featured in the November issue. The makeup is also a feature in the November 11th issue of Entertainment Weekly. A sidebar references other films (Citizen Kane; Back To The Future; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) in which the main characters age.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New Site for Film Teachers and Fans

FILMBUFFET.COM is a Social Networking & Movie Cataloging site dedicated to movie fans. As a common destination for movie lovers everywhere, it was designed to provide a place to meet, share and build virtual film collections

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Register now for Media Literacy Webinar

ISTE, the publisher of my latest book, has invited me to conduct a webinar on media literacy and I hope you might be interested in participating. The date/time is Thursday January 19th, 2012 from 4pm-5pm ET.

The title is: Engaging The Eye Generation: Visual & Media Literacy for the 21st Century
Webinar description: Join nationally recognized media educator/teacher trainer Frank W. Baker (author of the new ISTE text "Media Literacy In The K-12 Classroom") for this engaging and interactive webinar. Frank promises to provide a multitude of ideas for engaging 21st century learners in both critical thinking and critical viewing. You will be left with many ideas, lesson plans and resources for incorporating media literacy education into the classroom.
Registration is now open; I look forward to "seeing" you online.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wuthering Heights (film study guide)

The excellent resource site from the UK has just posted its film study guide and other resources for teaching the new "Wuthering Heights" film.

Students become the teachers in digital-media experience

Students from the Crenshaw High School  (Los Angeles CA) Digital Media Team used technical, as well as critical-thinking, problem-solving and other skills, to teach an eight-week course in podcasting and digital photography to a group of adult students at a local university, teacher Daphne Bradford says. In this blog post, Bradford describes the project and offers suggestions for creating such an experience at other high schools.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Two November TV Specials on Film

AFI's Master Class: The Art Of Collaboration (Turner Classic Movies) November 15, 8pm ET
This new series opens with a look at the four-decade friendship and working relationship between filmmaker Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams, one of the most prolific and influential artistic collaborations in film history.

Woody Allen: A Documentary (American Masters/PBS) November 20-21 (two parts) 9pm ET (both nights)              

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Copyright Survey: An Invitation to Participate

Forwarding for Renee Hobbs
Dear Colleagues:

You may be aware that every three years, the U.S. Copyright Office enables users who believe that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) limits their fair use rights to use copyrighted material for socially beneficial purposes to apply for an exemption. In order to prepare a comment for consideration on behalf of educators and students, we seek your opinions and experiences. Please take five minutes to complete this survey.

Click here:

Educational Use of Copyrighted Movies and Videos
Your opinions are important! Thanks for helping to advance the legal interests of educators and students who are eager to use copyrighted materials for teaching and learning.

Renee Hobbs

Temple University, Media Education Lab

Monday, October 24, 2011

New book goes behind the scenes of Harry Potter: Page to Screen

For the first time, the story behind the making of the eight Harry Potter films is told in one complete volume.  Publisher is Harper Design. SRP: $75.00

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Understanding What Youth Gain through Media Literacy Education Programs

In this National Writing Project "Digital Is" blogpost, we learn that young people are recording, interviewing, writing, rehearsing, editing, and presenting throughout media literacy programs...but, the essay asks, what else are they learning?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Keeping Literate in the Internet Age

Keeping Literate in the Internet Age is the theme of a recent issue of ASCD's Express newsletter. This issue examines the challenges of developing traditional literacy in an age of evolving new literacies.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Digital literature comes to the classroom

A news story about a senior-level English class at the University of Saskatchewan is broadly named Digital Literature and New Media. It's the first of its kind. The class is part history, part cultural studies and part literature studies, dealing with the advent of computers and the impact of the Internet on literature

Monday, October 10, 2011

Digital library aims to expand kids' media literacy

Excerpt: "We are in one of these rare moments in time where what it means to be literate today, what it meant for us, is going to be different from what it means to be literate for our kids," says DePaul University's Nichole Pinkard, who first envisioned the space. Just as schools have always pushed teens to read critically and pick apart authors' arguments, she says, educators must now teach kids how to consume media critically and, ideally, to produce it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's not so easy to establish the study of film in our schools

The UK's Cary Bazalgette pens this response to a recent op-ed (We're All Filmmakers Now). She says most teachers feel they don't have permission to use film and most haven't been trained. Sounds familiar. Can we change that in the US? I hope so.

How Animation & Poetry Can Improve Literacy

On this literacy blog, an educator reflects on how combining the writing of poetry and the film-making process could improve student's literacy skills

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Learning in a Digital Age: Teaching a Different Kind of Literacy

Excerpt: "The literacy of the future rests on the ability to decode and construct meaning from one's constantly evolving environment -- whether it's coded orally, in text, images, simulations, or the biosphere itself. Therefore we must be adaptive to our social, economic and political landscape. Those of us living in this digital age are required to learn, unlearn and learn again and again." Full essay here.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Truth, Lies & The Internet: A Report On Young People's Digital Fluency

This is a free, downloadable pamphlet from the UK. Among the findings:
-too many digital natives don't apply checks on the info they access
- many consider the looks of a website rather than the caliber of the content
- few young people are being taught info literacy skills

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hobbs Responds to Potter

Media educator Renee Hobbs finds much wrong with James Potter's recent essay on media literacy in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. According to Renee's blog post (Picking A Fight) "it omits so much of the innovative and important work that has emerged in the last ten years from scholars across the fields of communication, education and public health."  Read Renee's response as well.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New High School Digital Ethics Curriculum Unveiled

Everyone is talking about the opportunities and risks of new digital media, especially for young people. Research suggests that young people often lack mentorship in their online lives, especially from adults who are savvy about the ways of the web and can offer them guidance into what it would mean to take an ethical course through their digital lives. Many young people want to do the “right thing” online, even as they are confronted with a range of dilemmas, but may need some help identifying good courses of action.

In an effort to address this gap, researchers at Harvard, MIT and USC spent three years developing a casebook of curricular materials called, Our Space: Being a Responsible Citizen of the Digital World. Our Space is a curriculum designed to encourage high school students to reflect on the ethical dimensions of their participation in new media environments such as Facebook, YouTube, online games, and blogs. The curriculum contains role-playing activities and reflective exercises that invite youth to consider the ethical responsibilities of other people online, and whether and how they behave ethically themselves online. These are raised in relation to five core themes and units in the curriculum: identity, privacy, authorship and ownership, credibility, and participation. All curricular units and lessons are free and available for download.

For more information, visit:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Most teachers think digital media literacy should be taught

The Knight Foundation's just released report on social media and the US Constitution has an interesting fact buried in it. If you look at Key Finding #7, the report finds support among educators for teaching digital media literacy.  (see page 18)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Film In The Classroom Webinar/ New Film Study

Register now to participant in this free webinar (September 22) hosted by NCTE consultant/author John Golden. The event is connected to the PBS series Masterpiece and includes John's revised film study guide online.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Transmedia and how it can be used with students

Students are learning to create stories through transmedia, a genre that encompasses video, animation, images and various media all at the same time, the writers of this blog suggest. Laura Fleming, a media specialist and teacher, and John Connell, an education strategist for Cisco, cite the example of Inanimate Alice, a site in which students can interact with the protagonist and help advance her story, which is told through interactive media such as puzzles, games, video and special effects. More from KQED/MediaShift,

NJ schools embrace social media in the classroom

More New Jersey teachers are seeing the academic benefits of social media, using it as part of classroom instruction. The Freehold Regional High School District has its own Twitter account, and several teachers use the tool to post class assignments, communicate with students about their work or encourage more concise writing. "This technology makes it so much easier for teachers to engage students. ... It's taking the school out into the real world," curriculum administrator Jeff Moore said.  Details here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Teaching The iGeneration

Our children and youth are immersed in technologies that give them opportunities no previous generation has enjoyed. How will schools respond? Read Larry Rosen's essay from the current issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Developing student’s visual literacy through scaffolded image inquiry

This blogger features the web site "Image Detective" as another one of the tools teachers could use to help build student critical thinking/critical viewing skills, as well as visual literacy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Is Photography Art?

In this Cable In The Classroom blog post, the author explores interesting questions about art as photography and how important it is to apply critical thinking to images.

Friday, July 15, 2011

New Book Series Teaches Visual Literacy Through Historical Photographs

I have just reviewed one of the books in a new series entitled CAPTURED HISTORY. Each title in this series provides the background, history and context of a photograph that went on to have a place in American history.
Since visual literacy is part of many state's art standards, this series will certainly be a valuable resource in support of those standards, as well as the existing ELA standards for non-print texts.

The title I have just reviewed is: "Migrant Mother: How A Photograph Defined the Great Depression." The publisher is CompassPointBooks (a Capstone imprint) The series homepage is:

The other titles in this series are:

Birmingham 1963 How A Photograph Rallied Civil Rights Support
Man On The Moon How A Photograph Made Anything Possible
Raising the Flag: How A Photograph Gave A Nation Hope in Wartime

If I could author another book in this series it might be entitled:
The Oil Stained Pelican How A Photograph Raised Awareness of the Gulf Oil Spill.

Frank W. Baker

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Media Literacy in Nieman Reports

A TV news story about Powerful Voices for Kids provided a potent lesson for the 9- to 11-year-olds enrolled in the media literacy program. They wondered: Why was the phrase “flash mobs” repeated so often? And why did the reporter give the wrong location? In the current issue of Nieman Reports, NCTE Media & Digital Literacies Collaborative member Renee Hobbs writes about Powerful Voices for Kids and suggests dos and don’ts for teaching children to be savvy media consumers.
Find this and related stories in this issue:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Arab Images on Film (TCMs July Series)

On Tuesday and Thursday nights starting at 8pm ET in July, Turner Classic Movies host Bob Osborne and Dr. Jack Shaheen (an authority on images of Arabs and Muslims in American pop culture) talk about that night's slate of movies. Here Shaheen talks about stereotypes. Each night (listed below) will also focus on a different topic. The TCM series homepage lists the films and includes other background.

July 5 Early Images
July 7 Arabs as Villans
July 12 Epics
July 14 Arabs as A Subject of Ridicule
July 19 Arab Maidens
July 21 Arabs as Sheiks
July 26 Even Handed Potrayals
July 28 Images from Outside Hollywood

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another reason for media literacy education

NPR's recent story on the power and influence of advertising on the brain indicates how important critical thinking and questioning are when hearing, seeing and experiencing ads.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why Core Standards Must Embrace Media and Digital Literacies

A commentary published by Education Week, co-authored by Rick Beach and Frank Baker--members of the NCTE Media &  Digital Literacies Collaborative.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Top 10 Movies Based On Kids' Books

Films adapted from popular books have always found a place in the classroom.  This list, published online by TIME Magazine, takes a look at 10 of them.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

English Classes Use Facebook, Social Media to Teach Writing

The growth of social media and online publishing tools has helped innovative teachers align curriculum and instruction with new technology. (details at

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pushing Back Against Legal Threats by Putting Fair Use Forward

This Chronicle of Higher Education story profiles the efforts of Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi who are revolutionizing education by clarifying  fair use copyright guidelines. Their new book, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright, aims to help clarify rights for educators.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Media Literacy Educator Award

Each year, the National Council of Teachers of English, in association with the "Media And Digital Literacies Collaborative" recognizes one educator for excellence in media literacy education.

The winning teacher will receive a $2,000 check underwritten by the Beck Foundation. And the check will be awarded in time to use for reimbursement to attend the November NCTE Chicago conference where the award will be presented! The deadline to apply is June 30. Award details as well as the application procedure can be found here:

To see the previous year's recipients, click on this link

As usual, thanks, in advance, for helping NCTE get the word out.

Frank W Baker
NCTE Consultant
member, Media And Digital Literacies Collaborative

Friday, May 6, 2011

Digital Storytelling: A Tool for Teaching and Learning in the YouTube Generation

In this Middle School Journal article (May 2011) Oliver Dreon and Jon Landis, ed tech professors, and Richard Kerper, a children's and young adolescent literature professor, explain the emergence of a first-year teacher's use of digital storytelling in his middle school classroom.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

PBS Teachers Launches New Digital Media Resources

from PBS teacher newsletter:
Digital media content and tools provide educators and students with tremendous opportunities to be media creators as well as media consumers. How do you help your students understand the ethics and etiquette of this landscape? How savvy are you about integrating media production projects into your work with students? We've gathered a range of resources and references on these topics and more to help you foster digital media literacy in your classroom. Check out these two new areas of the PBS Teachers site: Digital Media Literacy
and Project VoiceScape

Monday, May 2, 2011

Another media literacy moment: the death of Osama Bin Laden

The death of Osama Bin Laden offers educators another teachable moment.
Since we all get our information from "the news," this recommendation might be useful.

A timely and interesting news and media literacy activity would be to have students compare and contrast the front pages of their local newspaper (or news web site) with others.

Students could:

- examine the headlines, font sizes, layout and photos

- list the sources quoted in the story or stories
- compare a US paper/website with one from Canada, Europe, Asia, S. America, etc.

The Newseum (in Washington DC) features a daily display inside their museum and online of newspapers, so today's papers are getting a lot of attention.

This compare and contrast could also be conducted using news organization's web sites.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

For More Students, Working on Wikis Is Part of Making the Grade

From The New York Times: "...a handful of Singapore universities are using the wiki platform as a way to engage students. "....(one professor) "asked the students in his Digital Media in Asia class to document the digital communication landscape of a given country, build a wiki page, and then conduct a one-week public relations campaign to promote it. "

Saturday, April 23, 2011

FilmSkills: New mutimedia film education resource

Focal Press announces the launch of FilmSkills, a transformational educational tool that takes film education into the 21st century. Adapted for both individuals and film school instructors, FilmSkills brings Hollywood insiders directly to the computers of a new generation of film students. FilmSkills covers the entire process from writing to distribution and expertly organizes each lesson into 93 multimedia modules.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Storyboarding With iPads

A second grade teacher from California, and his students, explain how they're incorporating ipads into instruction.....creating storyboards and stories.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beyond blogging: teaching students 21st century skills

Teachers often focus too much on the technology tools used in the classroom, rather than teaching essential skills to students, says teacher and Teacher Leaders Network senior fellow Bill Ferriter. He writes that educators should focus on abilities students will need in the 21st century, such as collaboration, persuasion and how to present information clearly to their peers. Technology should be used to help students hone those skills, Ferriter added. He is the author of: Teaching the iGeneration

5 Great Media Literacy Programs and How to Assess Their Impact

The Center for Social Media's Public Media 2.0 Showcase profiles a series of  media/digital literacy initiatives, examining in particular how project leaders evaluate their impact.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Role of the Media During The Civil Rights Period

Mark your recording calendars for May 16 when PBS' American Experience presents "Freedom Riders." Once again the accompanying website is content rich and will provide classroom teachers many ideas and resources for incorporating this event into instruction. Be sure to see the teacher guide and related materials located here. Of particular interest to media educators:

- The World is Watching: The Media and the Freedom Riders (starting on page 17 of the teacher guide)

- Issues: The Media (which provides additional background as well as streaming clips)

Other related resources:
-Ray Arsenault's book "Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice” (2006)

-Teaching Visual Literacy Through Civil Rights Photography (a web page describing a workshop I conducted for social studies teachers--it also includes additional resources and reading suggestions)

-Time of Change, Bruce Davidson, Civil Rights Photos 1961-1965 (exhibit)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Award To Recognize ML In Teaching

The Fair Media Council's Media Savvy Teacher Award is designed to recognize 4th, 5th and 6th grade teachers who are using news and promoting media literacy inside their classrooms.  Teachers anywhere in the United States may enter.  Entries must explain the idea or concept behind the program, how the concept was implemented and how results were measured.  Entries are annually due by June 15 and will be judged by community leaders. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Media Literacy Game: Cover Girl

Cover Girl is described as an online "consumer self-esteem" game designed to expose "how glossy magazines can subtly tweak images for effect and how you shouldn’t always trust what you first see."

Cover Girl has players joining a fictional "ethics-less" media publisher called Glossip Publications, where they're asked to airbrush and manipulate celebrity photographs to push whatever questionable agendas the editors have in mind.

Players are taken through a series of minigames with each image, toying around with simplified version of photo editing tools to get the desired effect -- slimming arms/thighs/stomachs, removing wrinkles under eyes, increasing someone's bust size, etc.

Not all of Cover Girl's minigames involve making a star look better, though -- in one job, users are asked to touch up an image just enough to make a promiscuous celebrity look pregnant, though not so much that the magazine will be sued. Yeah, it's a pretty despicable job!

Nurturing Student Interest Through Digital Tools

from MacFound blog: Reading World of Warcraft; How online courses can promote deep learning; Peer critique on the Lauryn Hill/ Charlotte Perkins Gilman mash-up; and what kids say is their biggest obstacle to technology in school.

Friday, April 8, 2011

10 Tips for Using Social Media In The Classroom

Teachers should use social media in classroom lessons, writes English professor Todd Finley in this blog post, and banning such tools will stifle learning and lead students to question teachers' relevance. Finley provides 10 guidelines for incorporating social media tools in the classroom. He offers several resources and suggests that teachers: create social media rules that are directive, but unrestricted; draw a distinction between academic and informal writing; and promote constructive online discussions

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Visual Literacy Reading Recommendation

It's not often that I link to another blog, but I've just read two wonderful posts (on Literacy, Families and Learning) that I recommend to every K-12 educator. The first post is an introduction to visual literacy; while the second takes its cue from Frank Serafini's recent essay in JAAL on the same topic. This second post, Visual Comprehension, offers educators some excellent guidelines for how to approach visual texts.

Visual Learning--The Infograph

reposted from the MiddleWeb newsletter "Using infographics is a great way to present information or data in a unique, visual way," says middle grades teacher J. Bartlett. "An infograph can convey information in way that can be quickly understood and absorbed." It can also "emphasize certain points from a lesson or allow content to 'hit home' when students see it visually." Barlett points us to the great blog Free Technology for Teachers where the infographics tag reveals lots of examples across the curriculum. Other resources: The New York Times is famous for its infographics and is teacher-friendly. And for sheer awesomeness, see this infograph on the impact of mobile tech on our lives and these 10 jaw-dropping graphics about education.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Newseum Unveils News Literacy Online Website

The following was announced Thursday March 17 at the Center for News Literacy Conference:

The Newseum (Washington DC) has just announced a new online site for teachers.
The Digital Classroom utilizes 12 of the most popular videos (and accompanying resources) from the museum..The videos and resources are designed to bring news literacy, journalism and history to students.
The URL is
You will be directed to register where you will be sent a password and a Survey Monkey evaluation. The 12 videos cover the following topics:
the First Amendment, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bias, Edward R Murrow, Getting It Right, The Digital Revolution, News Apps, The Press and Civil Rights, Running Toward Danger, Sources, Watergate, What's News

Resources include: introductions, essential questions, links NCTE standards, links to web sources, and an extensive viewing guide.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Helping Students Deal with Images and News from Japan

Helping Students Deal with Images and News from Japan
by Frank W. Baker (
Media Literacy Clearinghouse)

We are all overwhelmed by what we see in the news. For many of our students,

taking the time to help them better understand those images and where they originate is another step toward visual and media literacy.

Images can be frightening and unsettling—on that we can all agree. For your students here are some questions that might help get a discussion started and ease some of their concerns.

1. What did you hear, see, or read about the disasters?
2. Did you understand what you heard, read or saw?
3. Are news people using words/phrases you might not understand?
4. Do you know the source of the news, image or other information?
5. What sources do you currently use to determine what is happening in Japan?
6. How reliable are your sources?
7. Are there other reliable sources? For example, are all of your sources US based; or are you reading sources from Asia, Europe, etc.?
8. How might international sources differ in style and tone from the US?
9. Why might it be important to “turn off” the news?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Online Media Literacy Professional Development Opportunities

Media and Technology Literacies: From Standards to Practice
This online workshop focuses on the construction of standards-based curriculum and supporting uses of technology to achieve educational goals. Participants operationally define the standards and definitions of media literacy and technology literacy from a national (USA) perspective. Participants align and integrate educational standards/goals and media and technology literacies according to the National Educational Technology Standards (ISTE) and relevant state and local standards.
Summer Session (Online) runs May 16-June 3, 2011. [fee structure]

Media Literacy Through Social Networking
This workshop provides a framework for practicing media literacy education online through the uses of social networking tools to acquire digital literacy skills and understanding of media literacy principles. Includes a tour of a social network as an online classroom where participants acquire these digital literacy skills and enact the core principles of media literacy. Participants will create their own online community and customize their media literacy efforts according to their own education, community, or professional context. Summer Session (Online) runs August 8-26, 2011. [fee structure]

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Student news programs aim to foster skills, communities

T.H.E. Journal reports: Several schools are using Flip cameras and video-production technology to create school news programs they say are teaching students 21st-century skills, as well as helping fortify their school communities. News and feature segments incorporate cross-curricular skills.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Journal of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE)

The Journal of Media Literacy Education has just published its latest issue. NAMLE invites you to review the Table of Contents here and then visit our web site to review articles and items of interest. Articles are also available to read and discuss on the JMLE blog at

Also NAMLE has announced its 2011 Research Awards. It offers two awards: the Emerging Scholar Award and Established Scholar Award. NAMLE members are encouraged to submit a work of original research (4500-6000 words) on a range of media literacy-related topics. The deadline for submission is May 15, 2011. Winners will be privileged to present their work at the 2011 NAMLE conference and be published in JMLE. For more information visit

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Students Use iPads to Study Shakespeare

Students at a New York high school are taking advantage of an iPad pilot program to study Shakespeare in the classroom. In one English class, they used the devices to read and recite scenes from "Romeo and Juliet," and were able to look up definitions, bookmark passages as well as take notes. A related application offered students animated versions of the story and character maps to better understand the tale.

CSM's Digital citizenship curriculum targets fourth and fifth graders

eSchool News reports: Common Sense Media has launched a new version of its free digital citizenship curriculum, Digital Literacy and Citizenship in a Connected Culture. The new version adds student, teacher, and parent resources, including comprehensive lessons on cyber bullying, for fourth and fifth graders. The program, which empowers students to think critically and make informed choices about how they live and treat others in today’s digital world, covers topics from internet safety and security to privacy, with a deep focus on cyber bullying and responsible digital behavior.

Study Examines Impact of Digital Media on Youth Civic Participation

Youth who pursue their interests on the Internet are more likely to be engaged in civic and political issues, according to a new study of student Internet usage by a group of civic learning scholars. Youth who use the Internet are also more likely to be exposed to diverse political viewpoints.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

From 'Gatsby' to Dante, Great Literature Gets the Video Game Treatment

Atlantic Magazine online reviews some of the current videogames that are based on popular literature texts.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Technology and Schools: Should We Add More or Pull the Plug?

from HuffPost: This is the moment, according to the authors, to pause and consider whether we want to sacrifice our kids' last remaining hours of non-screen time by incorporating Facebook, iPads, and other devices into the curriculum.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Archive of ASCD February 9 Media Literacy Webinar

The February 9 hour-long webinar is available here.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Report: Game-based learning 2-3 years to mainstream adoption

Thursday,February 10, the New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) jointly released the 2011 Horizon Report. This eighth edition conveys annual findings from the NMC’s Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching and creative inquiry in higher education. Six emerging technologies are recognized across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for discussion and planning.

Friday, February 4, 2011

DVD Set Pulls Back The Curtain on The Making of A Classic Shakespeare Production

"Discovering Hamlet" is a one-hour documentary (included in a 2 DVD set from Athena Learning) about the 1988 production of the classic Shakespeare play, starring Kenneth Branagh and directed by Derek Jacobi, with Patrick Stewart narrating. The filmmakers follow four weeks of rehearsal with an up-close look at how the cast members tackle their iconic parts. The DVD includes three hours of extras, including an in-depth interview with Jacobi and background details about the Danish prince.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

National Research Indicates Lack of Technology Infrastructure in Classrooms

Research released Wednesday February 2, on teacher’s media usage, entitled "Deepening Commitment: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology," indicates an insufficient capacity of computing devices and technology infrastructure to handle teachers’ Internet-dependent instructional activity. The national study also found that more than half of K-12 teachers report continued cuts in their school media budgets, increasing their reliance on free, quality content. Teachers spend 60 percent of their time using educational resources in the classroom that are either free or paid for by teachers themselves. Details in this press release, with link to the study.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Meet BiblioBouts, an online sourcing game for academia that offers lessons on media literacy

Karen Markey had a fairly straightforward idea: Teach students to steer clear of unreliable sources of information through the use of a game. What the University of Michigan professor wants her students to focus on navigating is academic research. But instead of citing credible references on the rise of the Medici family, what if we could apply a similar game to distinguishing the credibility of news sources? “The problem is today’s students still don’t know where to go for authoritative, good information that is trustworthy,” said Markey. “But they sure do know how to go to the web.” If we swapped out “students” for “readers,” you’d have the basis of an argument for media literacy and the importance of finding a way for readers (and journalists themselves) to find good information. The game Markey created, BiblioBouts, could potentially be an example to educators, j-schools or nonprofits on how to teach media literacy. Details here.

Growing Up Digital: Do Teens Pay A Price for Texting?

From the school- based Scholastic/Upfront magazine: Wired to their cellphones and computers, students are having more trouble focusing on other things. Will a generation of teens end up with brains that work differently?

Apps Alter Reading on the Web

The New York Times reports: applications like Readability and Read It Later are changing how people read on the Web, putting articles and blog posts into cleaner or more attractive visual displays.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Top 10 Historically Misleading Films

With The King's Speech leading this year's Academy Award nominations, critics were quick to point to the film's inaccuracies. TIME takes a look at films that, while they may entertain, also fall short of the truth.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Premieres: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 10:30-11:30 p.m. ET(check PBS station for exact day and time in your area)
Targeted at parents, teachers and anyone concerned with education in America, this one-hour documentary takes viewers to the front lines of an education revolution. DIGITAL MEDIA: NEW LEARNERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY examines how mobile devices and digital media practices can empower young people to direct their own learning. Documenting five success stories both inside and out of the classroom, the program demonstrates how digital media, games, smart phones and the Internet are fundamentally transforming the way young people communicate, collaborate, participate and learn in the 21st century. Featuring leading experts, thinkers and practitioners in the field, DIGITAL MEDIA is a startling preview of a 21st century education.

Viewing/Visual Literacy Represented in DRAFT of New Early/Middle Grade NBPTS

A draft of the newly revised early childhood and middle grades ELA standards of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards includes a large section devoted to viewing and visual literacy. (The specific section on viewing and visual literacy can be found on pages 47-52.) The document is now open for public review and comment.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaching Digital & Media Literacy Requires Teaching Skepticism

The newly restarted online Carnival of Journalism asked bloggers to respond to recent recommendations from the Knight Commission to promote journalism education in higher education and to “integrate digital and media literacy as critical elements for education at all levels through collaboration among federal, state, and local education officials.” Specifically, discuss: “how do we actually make it happen?”

Craig Silverman, managing editor of PBS MediaShift and Idea Lab, took up the challenge and put his response in colorful terms: “Universities — indeed all educational institutions — should build bullshit detection into the basic curriculums.” Read more here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Action Coalition For Media Education (ACME) National Conference

Action Coalition For Media Education (ACME) National Conference,
Boston Park Plaza Hotel, April 7, 2011
Media Education for Health, Democracy and Reform.
To register for ACME, go to:
Questions about the ACME Annual Conference should be directed to Bob McCannon at

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Improving Literacy With Technology

The writer offers educators a number of useful ideas, including website resources for considering using in literacy instruction.