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Home » Policy & Funding » School Technology » Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship

Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship

Classroom Resources

Explore these openly-licensed resources, including lesson plans, on the Washington OER Hub.

Contact Information

Lesley James
Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship Program Supervisor

Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship are overlapping content areas that should be integrated into every subject taught in today’s classrooms. The standards associated with Media Literacy lead students to think critically about the messages they consume and create through a variety of forms of communication. Those associated with Digital Citizenship enable students to use technology in ways that are safe, responsible, ethical, and kind.

Who is involved in this work? Any and all educators can help students navigate today’s digital landscape with skills that empower them to thoughtfully analyze media messages and to make their own voices heard. That said, Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship are core subjects in the teacher-librarian’s repertoire and Ed Tech specialists often take a lead role in supporting Digital Citizenship.

Professional Development

Ambassadors Pilot Program

The OSPI Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship Ambassadors Pilot Program is underway for the 2022-23 school year. A cohort of 25 teachers and teacher-librarians, along with four PLC Mentors, is working their way through a series of Modules between November and May. The Modules include synchronous sessions on Zoom, plus asynchronous discussions and reflection/action-planning activities on the Canvas platform. Guest speakers will share their expertise on specific topics related to instructional strategies, collaborating with colleagues, and more. Stay tuned for news about next year.

March 2023 Conferences

OSPI hosted sessions at the Washington State Council for the Social Studies Conference, March 3-5, in Chelan, and at the Northwest Council for Computers in Education Conference, March 21-23, in Tacoma.

The sessions focused on Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship included:

  • Teaching Students the Digital Survival Skills No One Taught Us, a hands-on workshop with Liz Crouse and Shawn Lee from Teachers for an Informed Public
  • The Euphorigen Investigation, a misinformation-themed escape room experience with Chris Coward from the UW Center for an Informed Public
  • A half-day Teacher-Librarian Summit with Jennifer LaGarde
  • A half-day Jam Session, featuring an open house with the 2022-2023 OSPI Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship grant recipients, Ed Tech Specialists from several ESDs, and special guests from Common Sense Education, as well as an interactive panel led by Mark Ray

Additional PD Opportunities

Learn about other Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship learning opportunities for K-12 educators.

Standards, Organizations & Definitions

The Washington State Learning Standards Review project is actively looking at ways to integrate Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship into standards. 

Existing Washington State standards that are especially relevant to Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship include:

RCW 28A.650.010 provides the following definition: "’Digital citizenship’ includes the norms of appropriate, responsible, and healthy behavior related to current technology use, including digital and media literacy, ethics, etiquette, and security. The term also includes the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, develop, produce, and interpret media, as well as internet safety and cyberbullying prevention and response.”

Digital citizens recognize and value the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning, and working in an interconnected digital world; and they engage in safe, legal, and ethical behavior. (Adapted from the International Society for Technology in Education  (ISTE) 2016 Student Standards)

Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act using a variety of forms of communication. (From the National Association of Media Literacy Education)

The Rand Corporation has compiled these media literacy standards.

The ISTE Standards also address media literacy.

The Association of College and Research Libraries defines information literacy as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” The ACRL provides this Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

The American Association of School Libraries adds that students should be able to “recognize when information is needed” and to “locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information” using critical thinking skills. The AASL provides this standards framework.

The Washington Library Association School Library Division provides this Library Information and Technology standards Framework.

More Information

Educational Technology