Making Media Literacy Central to Digital Citizenship
While we often get distracted by the latest device or platform release, video has quietly been riding the wave of all of these advancements, benefiting from broader access to phones, displays, cameras and, most importantly, bandwidth. In fact, 68 percent of teachers are using video in their classrooms, and 74 percent of middle schoolers are watching videos for learning. From social media streams chock-full of video and GIFs to FaceTime with friends to two-hour Twitch broadcasts, video mediates students’ relationships with each other and the world. Video is a key aspect of our always-online attention economy that’s impacting voting behavior, and fueling hate speech and trolling. Put simply: Video is a contested civic space.
We need to move from a conflation of digital citizenship with internet safety and protectionism to a view of digital citizenship that’s pro-active and prioritizes media literacy and savvy. A good digital citizen doesn’t just dodge safety and privacy pitfalls, but works to remake the world, aided by digital technology like video, so it’s more thoughtful, inclusive and just.
1. Help Students Identify the Intent of What They Watch
equip students with some essential questions they can use to unpack the intentions of anything they encounter. One way to facilitate this thinking is by using a tool like EdPuzzle to edit the videos you want students to watch by inserting these questions at particularly relevant points in the video.
2. Be Aware That the Web Is a Unique Beast
Compared to traditional media (like broadcast TV or movies), the web is the Wild West.
Mike Caulfield’s e-book is a great deep dive into this topic, but as an introduction to web literacy you might first dig into the notion of reading “around” as well as “down” media — that is, encouraging students to not just analyze the specific video or site they’re looking at but related content (e.g., where else an image appears using a reverse Google image search).
3. Turn Active Viewing into Reactive Viewing
For this content, students shouldn’t just be working toward comprehension but critique;
using aclassroom backchannel, like TodaysMeet, during video viewings
4. Transform Students’ Video Critiques into Creations
Digital citizenship should be participatory, meaning students need to be actively contributing to culture. Unfortunately, only 3 percent of the time tweens and teens spend using social media is focused on creation.
facilitating video creation and remix, but two of my favorites are MediaBreaker and Vidcode.
5. Empower Students to Become Advocates
more on Media Literacy in this IMS blog
more on digital citizenship in this IMS blog