October 21, 2022

Media Literacy Week is here! How are you equipping students to consume media in responsible ways?

Ready to huddle up with your students about this topic? Download the Huddle Discussion Questions to have real conversations about this trending news story and more!

Did you know that students are 4 times more likely to get their news from a smartphone, tablet, or computer than from a television or newspaper? Or that students are now turning to social media platforms instead of search engines to find information? Or that misinformation is 70% more likely to be retweeted than the truth? 

Now more than ever, it is important to equip students with the skills to think critically and be effective communicators both online and offline. Now more than ever, media literacy is just as important to teach students as traditional literacy. This is why we’re excited that October 24th marks the start of Media Literacy Week!

What is Media Literacy Week?

Media Literacy Week in the United States was adopted in 2015 from Canada’s Media Literacy Week and is hosted by the National Association for Media Literacy Education. It is a full week dedicated to emphasizing the importance of media literacy education, which 84% of people want to be required in schools.

Media literacy education is essential to empower students to apply critical thinking to any media that they consume and teach them how to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and communicate using media in all of its forms. These five components make up the foundation of media literacy education and aim to help students become successful, responsible citizens. Each day of Media Literacy Week will focus on one of these core principles. Let’s break down those core principles, according to Media Literacy Week:

Access is how, when, where, and how often people have access to the tools, technology, and digital skills necessary to thrive. This means understanding how media, technology, and the internet work and how to locate content that is not censored or biased. We can encourage students to access information in a wide variety of ways, not just one social media platform, to ensure they have access to more diverse information and points of view.

Analysis is the ability to ask questions about a piece of media in order to identify authorship, credibility, purpose, technique, context, and economics. When students analyze media, they are asking questions that help them understand who created a piece of content and why, and what techniques might be used to keep a reader’s attention or make them feel a certain way.

Evaluation is when a student can draw their own conclusions, meanings, and judgments from media based on how they accessed the information and through thoughtful analysis of the information. When a student evaluates content, they ask themselves how credible the information is and if what they are reading is fact or opinion.

Creation is when students use media and other communication tools to express their own ideas and narratives. An important aspect of creation is equipping students to understand their own agenda, intent, and bias as they speak, write, make art, post and share on social media, or communicate with others. 

Action is when we put all of the previous principles together and engage with the world in responsible ways. When students have access to information, analyze it thoughtfully, and evaluate it appropriately, they are then ready to take positive action in response to messages they see or hear in the media. Examples of how students can act are to share reliable content online, report or fight misinformation, and educate others about media literacy.

TSI’s take on media literacy

According to Common Sense Media, students are spending 8.3 hours a day on social media and tech. In fact, more than half of teachers report that their students use digital tools to learn every day, which The Social Institute sees as positive because technology can improve academic performance by improving engagement, allowing stronger collaboration, promoting inclusivity and creativity, and so much more!

This is why The Social Institute is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to make positive and high-character decisions as they consume information online and offline. In our Grade 12 #WinAtSocial Strike A Balance Lesson, Assessing representation in the latest media we’re consuming, students learn how to recognize how the media (movies, shows, ads) that we consume shapes people’s beliefs. If you’re interested in taking your media literacy education to the next level, contact us today for more information.

The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that have a significant impact on student well-being. Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students, while capturing data that provides insights to school leaders to inform school policy and communications, and enable high-impact teaching and a healthy learning environment. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.