Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship
Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship are overlapping content areas that should be integrated into every subject taught in today’s classrooms. The skills associated with Media Literacy lead students to think critically and curiously about the messages they consume, create, and engage with 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.
Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship Ambassadors Program
During the 2022-23 school year, a cohort of 25 teachers and teacher-librarians, along with four PLC Mentors, engaged in a pilot program intended to build capacity for integrating Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship into instruction, as well as collaborating with colleagues. The series, which included synchronous sessions on Zoom with guest speakers and asynchronous activities, was evaluated by the Puget Sound ESD Strategy, Evaluation and Learning team. The resulting report provided helpful feedback, leading to revisions for the next iteration of the program.
During the 2023-2024 school year, several professional development opportunities are being offered in response to some of this helpful feedback. The following series are open for registration on pdEnroller:
- Register here for the first 8 sessions of “Tools for Teaching Media Literacy to Children and Teens Part 1,” which will be held on Zoom on Wednesday evenings and is co-sponsored by the Washington State Library.
- Register here for the “Taking Action for Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship: A Community of Practice” meetings, which will be held on Zoom on the second Tuesday of the month during the school year.
- Register here for the “Tools for Aligning Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship Instruction to School and District Goals” series, which will be held on Zoom on Thursday evenings.
More opportunities will be added soon.
Additional PD Opportunities
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:
- Media Literacy
NAMLE (the National Association for Media Literacy Education) provides Key Questions to Ask When Analyzing Media Experiences, Core Principles of Media Education, and the following definition:
The ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of communication
NCTE (the National Council of Teachers of English) includes additional definitions in their position statement, “Media Education in English Language Arts.”
- Digital Citizenship
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.”
ISTE (the International Society for Technology in Education) provides the following standard for a Digital Citizen:
Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
They also list several Digital Citizenship competencies.
- Information Literacy & School Library Standards
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(link is external).
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.