The 2019 Washington State legislature has allocated $150,000 in state funds for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to establish a K-12 media literacy grant program in 2019–2020. Action for Media Literacy Education is pleased to announce this news as another media literacy first for Washington State and the nation.
These funds will be awarded in September through a competitive grant process. Six to ten school teams will receive grants to develop and share openly-licensed curriculum units focused on three subject areas: social studies, English language arts, or health classes. A unique feature of these units is that they will be designed using a media literacy lens to address content commonly covered in one of these three subject areas.
Examples of ideas for curriculum units designed from a media literacy lens:
Exploring media influence on teen perspectives concerning a particular health issue (e.g. teen pregnancy prevention)
Analyzing and evaluating media sources that describe an important historical event
Examining issues of copyright, fair use, and intellectual property as they apply to materials produced for an English language arts class
Submissions may come from a public school, district office, ESD, or a partnership between multiple educational partners. Only one proposal may be submitted per organization. Grant requests may not exceed $25,000; most awards are anticipated to be in the $15,000 range.
Grant application details and information will be available from OSPI in late August, 2019. For more information, contact Dennis Small: firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 725-6384.
Washington State Senator Marko Liias was invited to speak in Jenny Gawronski’s Digital Media Literacy class at the University of Washington on May 28. The class session focused on ground-breaking pieces of media literacy legislation that have passed in Washington since 2016.
Senator Liias played a key role in the passage of this legislation, which has established Washington as a model for the nation. Action for Media Education (AME) board members were there to present Senator Liias with a Certificate of Appreciation for his leadership role in passing this legislation.
Media literacy advocates are currently celebrating Washington’s third piece of legislation which will, for the first time, allocate state funds for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a K-12 media literacy grant program in 2019–2020. For more information, contact Dennis Small: email@example.com or (360) 725-6384.
Thank you Senator Liias, for your work in media literacy!
Farhiya is a 4th grade student in Kent, Washington who is on her school’s Green Team.
Today, on Earth Day, she and other young leaders at her school are hosting a student-led day of Earth-focused activities that remind us to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rethink our actions. These students join people around the world in urging us to make a difference. The 2019 Earth Day theme is Save Our Species!
Farhiya created a PowerPoint presentation for her Earth Day school assignment, and she agreed to share it with us.
Lynn Ziegler, one of Action for Media Education’s founding members, died April 14. Lynn had served as AME’s media critic since the early ’90s. Her long career included writing weekly columns on children’s TV and family films for Northwest newspapers. She was a guest on national and regional radio and TV to promote quality programming for children, and was a television news writer and producer for KOMO-TV.
After leaving KOMO, Lynn created a public service announcement promoting healthy nutritional choices for children. Her MTV-style “Nutri-Rap” featured somersaulting fruits and vegetables and “a rainbow of Northwest children giving a thumbs up for good nutrition.” This spot won several awards: a Telly, two PIXI Awards, and two regional EMMYs.
One of her proudest accomplishments, Spongeheadz: U & Me, is a book Lynn described as “the essential parent handbook for the 21stCentury.” Written when TV was dominant, it still contains valuable tips for parents. In her book, and throughout her life, Lynn celebrated diversity; “That’s why you’ll find drawings by children of every color and nationality inside these pages.” Lynn knew that children need to see “faces that look like his or her own” in books and other media.
She greatly valued her strong connection with Native American communities on the Kitsap Peninsula, and worked as an educator and mentor to many Native American youth.
Her experience as an educator led to her involvement with some of the statewide teen health projects sponsored by the Washington State Department of Health and the Northwest Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, University of Washington. These projects trained high school students to teach younger youth about teen health issues such as pregnancy prevention. Lynn was strongly committed to promoting youth empowerment, and these projects included a subject she was passionate about—media literacy education.
Lynn launched one of AME’s first media literacy projects in the early ’90s. The PIXI awards honored high quality children’s television programming. Teams of professionals and parents across the state established the criteria that judges used to choose PIXI award recipients. The PIXI awards project, under Lynn’s leadership, was one of AME’s major activities throughout the organization’s early years.
Lynn was also a member Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Free Press, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Science (NATAS).
We in AME are deeply saddened by Lynn’s passing. She is survived by her children Chris, Jesse, and Alik. Lynn’s staunch advocacy for all children will remain an inspiration. She will be greatly missed for her wonderful sense of humor, her generosity, and her warm and loving heart, expressed in so many ways to all whose lives she touched.
Two Action for Media Literacy (AME) board members were recently contacted by The 74, a “non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America” and a “voice for the 74 million school-aged children in America.” They wanted to learn more about what’s happening in Washington State, the first state to adopt media literacy into law.
The 74 interviewed Michael Danielson and Shawn Sheller for the article “Media Literacy Is Literacy.” Michael is a high school teacher who teaches a required one-semester media literacy class, and Shawn is an elementary teacher-librarian technology integration specialist.
Shawn, when asked how she became involved and why media literacy is important, mentioned a lesson on media messaging where her elementary students talked about a local political race that called an opponent “Dr. Tax” in political ads. Real-life examples enrich and deepen lessons, and show the everyday need for students to be more media literate.
Adults mistakenly believe that students, growing up in a digital world, have the skills to critically analyze and evaluate what they read and view. The Stanford History Education Group has done important work with this study from 2016 that indicates media literacy for our “digital natives” is still a critical need.
Since 1991, AME has advocated for media literacy as a fundamental literacy skill for students of all ages.
Here’s How Educators and Lawmakers Are Working to Set Students Up for Success Online
Michael Danielson gives students in his ninth-grade media literacy class a simple piece of homework each night: Pay attention.
The assignment is meant to prod them into thinking critically about the countless messages that bombard them every day. They report back to their teacher and classmates at the start of each class with “media literacy moments,” explaining how they discovered hidden motives and attempts to manipulate them or sell them products.
Seeing his students apply five core concepts about media to what they see on Netflix, at the movies and online is Danielson’s favorite part of his job. It’s how he knows he has altered the way they consume media.
“I’ve changed them for life,” he said.
Danielson teaches at Seattle Preparatory School, a private Catholic high school. In addition to the required one-semester media literacy class, he teaches yearbook and theology classes and advocates for media literacy as chair of Action 4 Media Education, a Washington state-based group.
Media literacy is a broad term that encompasses a wide set of skills ranging from thinking critically about news and opinion articles to dealing with cyberbullying to creating and sharing content online. The idea of media literacy is not new, but experts say it gained new momentum following the 2016 presidential election.
Across the country, lawmakers, educators and advocates are working to elevate the issue of media literacy in legislatures and schools. Washington state has been at the forefront of the movement.
In 2016, lawmakers in Washington state passed a bill with bipartisan support that created an advisory council to study media literacy and make recommendations to the legislature based on its research. The following year, legislators passed a law — based on the council’s recommendations — requiring the state superintendent’s office to survey educators and district officials about the state of media literacy in schools across Washington.
Now, lawmakers are considering a bill that would provide grants for educators to create curriculum for media literacy and to allocate money for the state Department of Education to hold two conferences on the subject.
The initial Washington measure to create the advisory council is now the basis of a model bill used by Media Literacy Now, a nonprofit organization that advocates for media literacy, to help lawmakers get the topic on the agenda in their states.
Other states have taken their own approaches to making media literacy a priority, some more forcefully than others. For example, Californialawmakers passed a law that requires the state Department of Education to provide a list of media literacy resources on its website by July 1. In a stronger move, Minnesota in 2017added “digital and information literacy” to its required K-12 education standards.
For the rest of the article and a Media Literacy Legislation map tracking 15 bills in 12 states: The 74
URGENT: Educators are fighting to protect their library programs, and none more so than those in Seattle Public Schools. While WA State recently increased its education budget, it also restricted the levy funds local districts can raise. This means that Seattle cannot fully collect the funds it has already approved! The result is a $39M budget deficit in Seattle Schools, with over $12M of the deficit directed at school budgets. Librarians, nurses, and counselors bear the brunt of the cuts.
How can you help? Spread the word among friends, family, colleagues.
5 MINUTES: Write or call WA State legislator Reuven Carlyle or other members of the Ways and Means Committee to support SB 5313, allowing for levy flexibility.
Net Neutrality’s Title I vs. Title II Digital Divide Remains
Despite bipartisan talk, consensus on legislative solution continues to elude legislators
The new Democratic-led House Communications Subcommittee weighed back into the still legally muddy net neutrality waters Thursday (Feb. 7), led by chairman Mike Doyle, who led the unsuccessful House effort to follow the Senate and nullify the net neutrality reg rollback under current Republican chairman Ajit Pai.
The main takeaway from the hearing was that both sides of the aisle sounded like they were looking for a way to “yes” on bipartisan legislation to restore FCC rules against blocking, throttling and (anti-competitive) paid prioritization as a way to provide certainty for consumers and broadband investment, but that the Title II vs. Title I digital divide appeared to be as wide as ever, threatening that bipartisan spirit.
Republicans talked up at least three legislative proposals that would restore the rules, but not under Title II, including legislative proffers from Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), ranking member of the subcommittee, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.), that would restore rules under a non-Title II framework.
This bill, sponsored and introduced by Senator Marko Liias, creates a grant process for developing new curriculum units that embed media literacy into content area lessons. The new curriculum units will be available for classrooms across the state. The bill also provides for two Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship professional development conferences for educators.
The proposed bill is a follow up to ESSB 5449 from 2017, which supported media literacy and digital citizenship. That bill called for reviewing and revising of district policies and procedures to better support digital citizenship, media literacy and internet safety, and the creation of a repository of best practices and resources. It also mandated an Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) survey that examined how digital citizenship and media literacy were being integrated into Washington’s schools’ curriculum.
Action for Media Literacy (AME) board members Marilyn Cohen, Michael Danielson, and Barbara Johnson met with Senator Liias to propose this new bill, SB 5594. He responded immediately with interest and took action. Thank you to Senator Marko Liias and the bill’s co-sponsors: Senators Judy Warnick, Claire Wilson, Lisa Wellman, Patty Kuderer, Joe Nguyen, Rebecca Saldaña, and Hans Zeiger.
The current political climate we find ourselves in could hardly be more divisive and confounding. One of the challenges for students and teachers in media literacy education is to evaluate this question: Has the media responded appropriately to the challenges of the Trump era? What do you think?
George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist and philosopher, is a leading expert on the framing of political ideas. In this article he offers concrete tools for the press to “evolve” in response to tactics that are being widely used.
His article from O Society:
Attacks on the free press, and constant lying by political leaders, aren’t just happening here in the United States. These tactics are also being used by authoritarian leaders in other countries who are taking power using the same tactics as Trump.
These leaders understand how the press works, and they use its own tendencies against it in their efforts to erode democracy and freedom. They lie, knowing the press will repeat the lies. They create distractions because they know the press will chase the distractions. They release bad news when they think no one is paying attention. Too often, these tactics succeed.
It’s time for the press to evolve. The press needs new rules, practices and guidelines to respond to the threat posed by lying authoritarians with no respect for truth, freedom, or democracy. These types of leaders attack the press because they see the truth as a threat. And it’s the job of the press to report the truth.
— Ban the lie from the headline/tweet/chyron. Repeating lies only spreads them, and spreading lies is a disservice to the truth. It’s possible to write engaging headlines without serving the lie. Always start with the truth, and always repeat the truth more than the lie.
— Use Truth Sandwiches. When writing about lies, always start with the truth first. Then explain the lie. Then return to the truth. Sequence and repetition matter! Truth first! Always.
— Separate News from Distractions. George Orwell said it best: “Journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed. Everything else is public relations.” Trump’s tweets have become a constant obsession for reporters. But his Twitter dramas generally just distract from the important news stories crucial to democracy. He issues crazy tweets, calls people names, and includes silly typos because he WANTS people to talk about his tweet. And those who give him what he wants need to remember Orwell’s quote. What was the big story in the news before the Twitter drama started? Keep a steely focus on things that matter.
— Limit Trump photos. Images are crucial. Today, it seems like nearly every news story features a large photo of Trump. It’s all Trump, all the time. It’s a Trump overload. Editors need to be aware of the overall effect and make an effort to use a range of images to tell the story of our times. Politics is not just about the actors. It’s about the millions of people who are affected by those actions.
— Outsmart the “Friday Dump.” Politicians and corporations tend to release bad or unflattering news late Fridays, and especially on three-day weekends. This is because people pay less attention to the news at this time. So, the use of the “Friday Dump” is a tactic for hiding the truth from people. Imagine if anyone who tried this was instead greeted with a big Sunday or Monday story that also told people they were trying to hide the truth by dumping it on Friday.
A highlight of Media Literacy Week here at AME is the presentation of the Jessie McCanse Award, deemed the “Nobel Prize” of media literacy, to Marilyn Cohen, Saturday, Nov. 10. The National Telemedia Council (NTC) is recognizing Marilyn’s longtime contributions to media literacy, high principles and dedication. Four recipients this year include Henry Jenkins of Los Angeles, CA, Bill Siemering of Philadelphia, PA, and Carolyn Wilson of Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Don Shifrin, a pediatrician with Allegro Pediatrics and media literacy advocate, appeared today on KING 5 News, discussing the importance of teaching children to be media literate.
This comes as we celebrate the fourth annual U.S. Media Literacy Week, November 5-9, 2018. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.
Copyright? Fair use? Creative Commons? This invaluable guide was just released October 25, 2018. You’ll want to save, bookmark, and keep for reference.
Introduction to the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
Preamble: No Easy Answers, but Guidance
Teachers who live and work in a world dominated by new media are asking many questions about literacy classroom practice:
Can my students use copyrighted music, images, or video clips in their video projects?
Can my students and I repurpose a copyrighted image as a meme?
Can I show a movie via Netflix in school?
You might be hoping that a document about fair use will present you with answers to these kinds of difficult questions. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers—but there is guidance.
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (which was adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee in 2008) provides guidance but does not prescribe practice. As literacy educators, we each bear the responsibility to educate ourselves and our students about our relationship to existing media as learning tools. You can use this Code of Best Practices as a foundation to understanding the principles of fair use. Its continuing relevance is a testament to the importance of a shared understanding of these issues within a community of practice.
History of This Document
This Code of Best Practices developed from a grant awarded by the MacArthur Foundation in 2006. At the time there was fear about potential lawsuits in documentary filmmaking. When presented with challenges to copyright, judges look to creative communities for guidance on what is considered acceptable use of existing media, so the development of this Code was necessary to establish norms for a community of educators. Many stakeholders were included in its development with the overarching question: What is fair?
The document was reviewed by legal scholars and intellectual property attorneys. It represents a consensus of a knowledge/practice community, and co-signers included organizations that cross literacy fields. It presents normative practices in the field and focuses on the user’s rights. Its longevity is a strength if a copyright challenge comes forward.
Fair use is applied and understood differently in various contexts. The best practice model provides the guidance needed to navigate those contexts by offering a set of principles and clarifying common myths. Teachers continue to encounter such scenarios similar to those described above in the preamble; when deliberating about such situations, reading the Code can provide some guidance.
Originally adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee, November 2008, introduction added October 2018
By: National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), Student Television Network (STN), Media Commission of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME), and Visual Communication Division of the International Communication Association (ICA)
Teachers and parents can be at a loss on the topic of media literacy. We know it’s important—our young people are bombarded with messages constantly. How can we help them understand what they’re seeing, reading, and hearing? Let alone creating and sharing themselves! How can we help them evaluate the messenger as well as the message?
Click the image below to open it in a new window.This guide for teachers and parents has been created as part of Media Literacy Week by two AME board members, Ethan Delavan (high school IT director) and Janith Pewitt (high school classroom teacher). Michael Danielson, board chair (teacher and EdTech director) designed the publication.
For the first time, the State of Washington has issued a proclamation to raise awareness of Media Literacy Education and commemorate the 4th Annual Media Literacy Week, which is observed locally, nationally, and internationally.
Educators, students, parents, and adult advocates invite you to participate in a week of student activities, discussions, idea sharing, and celebration of work that promotes media literacy in communities around the world as an essential life skill for the 21st century.
Media Literacy Week is hosted by The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), with hundreds of organizations, schools, educators, partners, and supporters in the U.S. alone. See how you can participate!
Thank you to Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature for your continued support of media literacy education for students of all ages.
To download or view the proclamation, click on the image below or click here.
Snopes CEO David Mikkelson says the fact-checking website really took off after Sept. 11. “Conspiracy theories were running rampant.” (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)
Snopes, the country’s most popular hoax-debunking site, is run by its founder out of a 97-year-old house in Tacoma. And is it ever busy, with 47 of its “Hot 50” posts having something to do with politics.
Here, in a 97-year-old frame house in the city’s North End, is the headquarters of America’s most popular hoax-debunking website.
The command center for Snopes.com is an upstairs bedroom with shelving and a laptop placed atop some books and a cardboard box.
All those viral hoaxes, spread by social media, have created a market for fact-checking sites, with Snopes, started in 1994, being the champ.
It gets 32 million visits a month on desktop and mobile, according to Similar.Web.com, an industry site that measures web traffic. Its closest competitors are The Straight Dope (4 million monthly visits) and FactCheck (3 million).
From his bedroom office, David Mikkelson, Snopes publisher and CEO, runs a site employing 16 people across the country, half of them fact-checkers and the rest on the business and web side.
Media Literacy Week, November 5-9, 2018 — It’s less than a month away!
Media Literacy Week activities and events raise awareness about the importance of media literacy education for today’s students, and showcase the amazing work of educators, students, and organizations across the US. Now in its fourth year, Media Literacy Week is sponsored by the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).
NAMLE has named Ethan Delavan, Action for Media Education (AME) board member, as Washington’s Media Literacy Week chair. AME is a NAMLE partner in this annual event.
From the website of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, NAMLE
Media Literacy Week is designed to bring attention and visibility to media literacy education in the United States. Inspired by Canada’s Media Literacy Week now in its 13th year, the National Association for Media Literacy Education leads the efforts to coordinate a media literacy week in the United States to showcase the work of amazing media literacy educators and organizations around the country.
The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.
Whether you are an individual teacher, an employee at an organization, or a researcher, you can get involved with Media Literacy Week. Between November 5 and 9, plan your own Media Literacy Event for your community. It’s up to you to decide what you want to organize, but if you need help planning, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some ideas to get you started:
Gather teachers for a professional development workshop
Organize a screening and panel discussion at your school or in your community
Create a film festival of youth media projects developed in your classroom
Take your students on a tour of a local television station
Host a webinar about news literacy
Partner with your local maker space and explore new forms of reading and writing with emergent technology
Explore a community issue and have youth come up with civically-minded creative solutions
Debate the ethical opportunities and challenges of what “free” or “private” means online
Share your plans with NAMLE and we will post your event on the Media Literacy Week website. Send us your logo and we will add you to the list of partners.
We hope you will be a part of the 4th Annual Media Literacy Week in the United States.
Social justice belongs in our schools, says educator Sydney Chaffee. In a bold talk, she shows how teaching students to engage in activism helps them build important academic and life skills — and asks us to rethink how we can use education to help kids find their voices. “Teaching will always be a political act,” Chaffee says. “We can’t be afraid of our students’ power. Their power will help them make tomorrow better.”
Following the passage of ESSB 5449, in May 2018, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) conducted a survey involving all 295 school districts across Washington to explore what’s currently taking place in terms of policies and procedures regarding media literacy education, digital citizenship and internet safety.
Results of this survey will be shared in December 2018.
OSPI has also been creating a web-based resource base. More information about this will be available later. Stay tuned.
Professional journalists face more scrutiny in today’s crowded information marketplace because readers confuse them with bloggers and a cadre of online opinion scribes.
Journalism’s essence is a “discipline of verification,” according to Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute. This means that journalists pursue verification of facts as the first order of business. If the journalists do not follow these standards, their careers and reputations are on the line.
Readers should understand there are important differences between professional journalists and everyday bloggers. Journalists are held to higher standards. They are required to get specific training through journalism degrees and are held to employment standards that ensure they serve their audiences by providing relevant and reliable stories that matter to their communities.
A new US study by Pearson has found that 60% of Gen Z kids prefer YouTube for learning over printed books, but still value “traditional” methods of instruction.
New field research by global education company Pearson has revealed that Gen Z kids in the US like learning from YouTube more than printed books.
Conducted for Pearson by New York-based global market research firm The Harris Poll, Beyond Millennials: The Next Generation of Learners surveyed 2,587 14- to 40-year-olds to examine the differences between Generation Z and Millennials in terms of their outlooks, values, education experiences and technology usage.
According to the study, nearly 60% of Gen Z respondents prefer YouTube for learning compared to 47% who prefer printed books. Millennials, meanwhile, prefer printed books (60%) over YouTube (55%).
Read more, with a link to the full version of the Pearson study at kidscreen
Increasingly, modern classrooms support group work and peer-to-peer collaboration. The science says that’s right on.
Dr. Patricia Kuhl: We use a social context to learn about the world. We learn from others by watching what they’re interested in, and we learn by collaborating with them and discovering their ideas. When I went to school, all the desks faced forward, theater seating, and the teacher was at the front. And learning was thought of as a one-way street between the teacher and the vessels, we were the vessels. Pour in the information, and everything’s gonna be good. But now we realize that learning has to be more interactive, and this notion that interactivity comes from a social context. So what does that say about classrooms? It says that kids ought to face one another, that circles, or U-shaped, or anything that gets kids looking at one another, interacting with one another. Also, classrooms that allow kids to move and regroup, that they come together in larger groups facing each other. They come together in small groups facing each other. They work one on one. Anytime in which students have access to one another and are allowed and encouraged to move and act on the knowledge, and create together, co-create, co-design, that’s the classroom that will be more successful than the face-forward, one-way street that many of us experienced when we were children.
This video is part of the Edutopia Brain-Based Learning series on researcher Patricia Kuhl’s work around learning and the social brain.