Navigating the current pandemic requires that young people acquire an increasingly complex set of skills, such as understanding statistical data, evaluating the credibility and truthfulness of health information, analyzing the risks and benefits of a particular treatment or vaccine, and interpreting test results. An essential skill in 2021 is health media literacy.
Reimagining Post-Pandemic Schooling
The impact of virtual schooling en masse will not be felt until we leave it. Like virtual reality we will not be able to truly understand learning during the pandemic until we exit our educational lockdown and return to the brick-and-mortar classroom. But it remains to be seen if and when we will ever fully return.
In this media literacy thought-piece, Dr. Vanessa E. Greenwood contemplates the Oculus Rift as an allegory for reimagining post-pandemic schooling in the United States.
[Full PDF Download Available]
Let’s PLAY Checkers
Rather than simply disregard information as “fake news” media literate individuals are empowered as “critical thinkers and makers, effective communicators and active citizens.” Translation: They actively engage with the media and information ecosystem by adopting the mantra: When in doubt, check it out. Folks at the COMM+MEDIA Research Collaboratory have curated a short list of fact checking web sites that will help kids and adults alike locate truth in popular news stories in the areas of politics, economics, science, and health. A game of fact checkers, anyone?
Just Start a Conversation
The phrase media literacy has accrued a lot of mileage since 2016. It means different things to different people. Diversity of viewpoints applies just as much to the media literacy movement as it does to politics, art, economics, culture—and whether pumpkin flavoring should be added to anything other than pie.
Diversity of views is what fuels (not fumbles) the movement towards media literacy. At PLAY, we think of media literacy as a continuous (lifelong) journey rather than a destination that one finally arrives at. But such a stance can be overwhelming, we know. So, our recommendation during Media Literacy Week (Oct 21-25, 2019) is to share this 2-minute video from Media Smarts with a family member, friend, student, and/or colleague. And then talk. Together. See where the discussion leads.
Use some Common Sense during #MediaLiteracyWk
Common Sense Media is a non-profit, non partisan organization that has been around since 2003. Common Sense caters primarily to three different constituencies: Common Sense Media (parents), Common Sense Media Education (teachers), and Common Sense Action (advocates). Its organizational mission is to “provide education and advocacy to families to promote safe technology and media for children.” While “safe use” can sometimes allude to protectionism rather than empowerment, the Common Sense web site tells otherwise (in both Spanish and English).
We at PLAY think that if there is just one new resource families can add to their media literacy toolkit to commemorate National Media Literacy Week (Oct 21-25, 2019), it should be Common Sense Media. Here are just a few reasons: