Media Literacy...A 21st Century Necessity

As a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact, I am proud of the unique ways we are compelling students to explore their questions, passions, and interests through deep, hands-on, authentic learning. All Saints focuses on helping students thrive in literacy, including media literacy.

The word "literacy" usually describes the ability to read and write. However, our students have a multitude of areas that require their literacy moving into the future. The need has never been greater to prepare our students with the 21st Century skills that are essential to thriving into the future. Communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration are skills that our children will have to develop to be prepared.

So what does this have to do with Media literacy? Media literate students are able to access, analyze, and evaluate information that is all around us. Our students are content creators and not just consumers of the mass media. In our innovative programs and spaces our students are creating media and using technology tools to critically and confidently share what they know.

This is evident through watching what students are creating in the Collaboratory with the Green Screen Theater. Just like reading, media literacy in an immersive process. Reading starts with recognizing letters. Pretty soon, readers can identify words -- and, most importantly, understand what those words mean. Readers then become writers. Now our students are learning about cgi, green screen, messaging, and story development. These experiences create savvy media leaders. As our students move into upper grades they are producing high quality, impactful content. Our Upper School broadcast students have been nationally recognized and have received the distinction of being the most viewed high school on the Fusfoo network.

You can check out some of their work here:

We need to make sure we are helping students become media savvy in some key areas:
  • Thinking critically. As kids evaluate media, they decide whether the messages make sense, why certain information was included, what wasn't included, and what the key ideas are. They learn to use examples to support their opinions. Then they can make up their own minds about the information based on knowledge they already have
  • Becoming smart consumers of products and information. Media literacy helps kids learn how to determine whether something is credible. It also helps them determine the "persuasive intent" of advertising and resist the techniques marketers use to sell products.
  • Recognize point of view. Every creator has a perspective. Identifying an author's point of view helps kids appreciate different perspectives. It also helps put information in the context of what they already know -- or think they know.
  • Creating media responsibly. Recognizing your own point of view, saying what you want to say how you want to say it, and understanding that your messages have an impact is key to effective communication.
  • Identifying the role of media. From celebrity gossip to magazine covers to memes, media is telling us something, shaping our understanding of the world, and even compelling us to act or think in certain ways.
  • Understanding the author's goal. What does the author want you to take away from a piece of media? Is it purely informative, is it trying to change your mind, or is it introducing you to new ideas you've never heard of? When kids understand what type of influence something has, they can make informed choices.
We are proud of the ways All Saints sparks creativity and self-expression so students are engaged, equipped and ready to lead into the 21st Century. Through our diligence to create innovative programs and spaces students are inspired, encouraged, and compelled to become designers, developers, collaborators, and media savvy leaders ready to make a difference in the world.