Thankfully, there are now thousands of readings on the topic of digital and media literacy education. Some are better than others, however. PLAY privileges resources that acknowledge individual agency while also recognizing the imbalances that exist within and across the social, political, and economic environments in which we live. From this perspective, we provide the recommended reading list below.

We chose the educational resources below for their genuine inquiry-based approach, which is the center of gravity for critical thinking and learning in general. The list contains a mixture of old and new publications, but ultimately we think all of these texts are foundational to understanding and promoting media literacy.

Note: Although we have our favorites, you won’t be able to tell since we group them below by targeted audience(s) and then organized them chronologically by publication date.

Elementary Level Educators

Media Literacy is Elementary: Teaching Youth to Critically Read and Create Media by Jeff Share (2008, Peter Lang)

The Teacher’s Guide to Media Literacy: Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World by Faith Rogow and Cyndy Scheibe (2011, Corwin Press)

Discovering Media Literacy: Teaching Digital Media and Popular Culture in Elementary School by Renee Hobbs and David Cooper Moore (2013, Corwin)

Secondary Level Educators

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (2008, McArthur Foundation)

Digital and Media Literacy: Connecting Culture and Classroom by Renee Hobbs (2011, Corwin)

University-Level Instructors

Media Literacy: New Agendas in Communication by Kathleen Tyner (Ed.) (2010, Taylor & Francis)

Mediacology: A Multicultural Approach to Media Literacy in the Twenty-First Century by Antonio Lopez (2008, Peter Lang)

Questioning the Media: A Critical Introduction by John Downing (Ed.) (1995, Sage)

Community Leaders and School Administrators

Healthy Teens, Healthy Schools: How Media Literacy Education Can Renew Education in the United States by Vanessa Domine (2015, Rowman & Littlefield)

Media Literacy and the Emerging Citizen: Youth, Engagement and Participation in Digital Culture by Paul Mihailidis (2014, Peter Lang)

Digital Media Literacy: A Plan of Action by Renee Hobbs (2010, Aspen Institute)

Parents of Young Children

Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens by Lisa Guernsey and Michael H. Levine (2015, Wiley)

Screen Smarts: A Family Guide to Media Literacy by Gloria Degaetano (1996, Mariner Books)

Parents of Teens and Tweens

Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence by Laurence Steinberg (2014, Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by Danah Boyd (2014, Yale University Press)

The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption by Clay A. Johnson (2012, O’Reilly)