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Media Literacy is Elementary

Teaching Youth to Critically Read and Create Media- Second Edition

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Jeff Share

This book provides a practical and theoretical look at how media education can make learning and teaching more meaningful and transformative. This second edition includes more resources, photographs, and updated information as well as two new chapters: one exploring the pedagogical potential for using photography in the classroom and the other documenting a successful university course on critical media literacy for new teachers. The book explores the theoretical underpinnings of critical media literacy and analyzes a case study involving an elementary school that received a federal grant to integrate media literacy and the arts into the curriculum. Combining cultural studies with critical pedagogy, critical media literacy aims to expand the notion of literacy to include different forms of mass communication, information communication technologies, and popular culture, as well as deepen the potential of education to critically analyze relationships between media and audiences, information, and power. This book is a valuable addition to any education course or teacher preparation program that wants to promote twenty-first century literacy skills, social justice, civic participation, media education, or critical uses of technology. Communications classes will also find it useful as it explores and applies key concepts of cultural studies and media education.
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Chapter 1. Introduction

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INTRODUCTION

A media culture has emerged in which images, sounds, and spectacles help produce the fabric of everyday life, dominating leisure time, shaping political views and social behavior, and providing the materials out of which people forge their very identities. (Kellner, 1995, p. 1)

The world we live in today is very different from the one that most of us remember from our childhood. The 21st century is a media-saturated, technologically dependent, and globally connected world. However, most education in the U.S. has not kept up with advances in technology or educational research. In our global information society, it is insufficient and irresponsible to teach students to read and write only with letters and numbers. We live in a multimedia age where the majority of information people receive comes less often from print sources and more typically from highly constructed visual images, complex sound arrangements, and multiple media formats. Almost every U.S. household has at least one television set,1 and over half have computers with Internet access. In just the past decade, there has been an enormous growth in the availability and use of new information communication technologies, from smart phones with a plethora of apps and web access to computers that can network people around the world for playing virtual games or organizing social movements.

← 1 | 2 → Technology’s exponential growth rate with the convergence of media corporations and new media platforms are changing society and students to...

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