Education, Media Literacy, News, Social Media

Joanne Lisosky Interview: Media Literacy Week challenges students to be critical media consumers. Adults, too.

Media Literacy Week asks people to think hard about the information they're consuming, and asks teachers to talk about it in their classrooms.

Media Literacy Week asks people to think hard about the information they’re consuming, and asks teachers to talk about it in their classrooms. PAULA WISSEL /  KNKX

Educators in Washington state — and around the world — are spending time this week talking about media literacy. It’s part of a special week designed to boost students’ understanding of how different forms of media function.

“When it comes to media literacy, we mean everything,” said Joanne Lisosky, who taught media studies at Pacific Lutheran University prior to her recent retirement. Social media, visual media, aural media — any outside stimulus counts.

“Media literacy education didn’t start in the U.S.,” she said. “It started in Europe and Australia and Canada. You can’t graduate from high school without having a class in media literacy.”
“When it comes to media literacy, we mean everything,” said Joanne Lisosky, who taught media studies at Pacific Lutheran University prior to her recent retirement. Social media, visual media, aural media — any outside stimulus counts.

“Media literacy education didn’t start in the U.S.,” she said. “It started in Europe and Australia and Canada. You can’t graduate from high school without having a class in media literacy.”

That’s not the case in the United States, and Lisosky worries that makes Americans more susceptible to being tricked by fake news.

Washington state officially recognized Media Literacy Week when Gov. Jay Inslee signed a proclamation in 2016. It encourages teachers across the state to talk about media literacy in their classrooms.

But media literacy is important for adults, too, and Lisosky says she regularly hears from people who want help deconstructing journalism – figuring out why a story was done a certain way, and why certain outlets favor one type of story over another.

Lisosky says there are five questions any of us can ask ourselves to start critically analyzing what we’re receiving from any kind of media, from TV programs to news to highway billboards:

  • Who made this up? Think about who wrote the story, or paid for the ad, or made the film.
  • What strategies were used to get my attention? “If you can figure that out,” Lisosky said, “then you’ll have an idea of why you were watching this.”
  • How might someone else view this differently than I am viewing this?
  • What is the point of view of the sender?
  • Why are they motivated to send this message to me?

Hear Joanne Lisosky’s full conversation. And check out resources for both teachers and parents on our website.

Education, Media Literacy, News

Media Literacy Planning Grants Available

Here’s something to share with your friends in K-12 education: we are excited about the new media literacy grant program from the Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Grants of up to $25,000 are available for teaching teams representing school districts across Washington State. 

 October 21 is the deadline, but if you feel you’re not quite ready to submit a full proposal, here’s another option.  Planning grants of $5000 are also now available.  

Submit a planning grant by October 21st and you’ll be ready for the next grant round in spring 2020. All you need to do is assemble a small team of educators who would work together, describe briefly the idea on which your team will focus and outline the budget needed for up to $5000.

Grant applications are available online at https://www.k12.wa.us/policy-funding/school-technology/free-software-grants

For more information, contact Dennis Small,  dennis.small@k12.wa.us or 360-725-6384.

Education, Media Literacy, Take Action

Grant Details Announced for K-12 Media Literacy Curriculum

History was made this month when the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced its new media literacy education grant program, funded by recently passed legislation. The grant application package was released September 16, 2019. 

The submission deadline is 4 p.m., October 21, 2019.  

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to educational teams representing Washington’s K-12 system. Teams will be expected to develop and share openly-licensed curriculum unitsfocused on one of three subject areas:social studies, English language arts, or health. A unique feature of these units will be that they will be developed using a media literacy lens to address the content that is commonly considered in one of these subject areas. 

Check out this link for a 30-minute recording of the webinar that explains the new grant program, the PowerPoint for the webinar, and a Q & A document.

For more information, contact Dennis Small, OSPI Educational Technology Director, dennis.small@k12.wa.us