Media Literacy Education

Why Media Literacy Education Matters

Despite the significant role of media in US culture, students in US schools rarely are asked to interrogate media texts or to think critically about the role of media in contemporary culture. However, that reality is changing. All 50 states now include media literacy skills in curriculum standards. Furthermore, professional educational organizations, such as the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of Science, The International Reading Association, and the National Council for the Social Studies all have professional guidelines and research strands that emphasize media literacy education in elementary classrooms and in academic disciplines.
Despite this trend, the growing emphasis on media texts and their role in literature, science, politics, health, and Information and Computer Technologies, can be problematic for educators. Most have had few opportunities to develop conceptual understandings of media or to identify appropriate methods for teaching media texts.
The Media Literacy Education specialization provides an opportunity for graduate students to investigate the processes of using popular media culture and Internet texts to support literacy growth. Students earning a degree in Curriculum and Instruction can add a 12-hour Media Literacy Specialization. Students may also elect to earn a Masters of Art in Education or a Ph. D. with a focus on Media Literacy Education. For additional information, contact Dr. Angela Kohnen.

Required Courses

Please read below for more information about our courses.

Educators in this course will be introduced to methods for teaching students to read, question, and learn from the new forms of multimodal texts that are increasingly common. The course begins with an investigation of expanding definitions of literacy and texts. Educators examine connections between school and non-school literacy, methods of teaching multimodal texts in schools and other social spaces, and the promise and pitfalls of teaching about popular culture/mass media. Required student projects may be focused on theoretical implications of new literacies or on lesson development for a specific audience.

Focused on using technology and Internet resources, such as popular culture resources and Web 2.0, to enhance literacy skills and to teach media literacy education. Over the eight-week term, students examine multimodal texts and multiliteracies, investigate media education projects, become familiar with age-appropriate Internet resources, and develop strategies for organizing media content in class rooms and Web 2.0 environments to support curricular goals in media literacy education. Student projects may include writing an academic paper or developing a unit of study for adult learners, adolescents, or children.

Prompts students to consider narrative patterns and genres as organizing structures for teaching media texts, such as fiction film/video, television programs, nonfiction film/video, graphic novels, online news, and so on. Students learn transmedia concepts of narrative and consider how those concepts can be used to help learners create digital stories and understand the large concepts that frame narrative media. Student projects include analysis of short films and developing a digital story with online resources.

  • EME 6205: Digital Technology
  • ESE 6939: Instructional Design
  • EDG 6931: Creating and Delivering Online Content
  • EME 5405: The Internet in K-12 Instruction
  • EDG 6047: Teacher Leadership for School Change
  • EME 5207: Designing Technology Rich Curricula
  • EDG 6348: Instructional Coaching
  • EDG 6207: Transforming the Curriculum
  • EDG 6415: Culturally Responsive Classroom Management