State lawmakers in five states continued to make progress in establishing media literacy education as an essential element in K-12 schools despite a two-year global pandemic, according to the newly released 2021 U.S. Media Literacy Policy Report.
Illinois is leading the country with a clear policy mandate for media literacy lessons in the classroom, while Colorado and Utah made significant strides. Texas created the first teacher training requirement and Washington legislators continue to lead by example by committing significant resources toward helping schools teach media literacy.
“The new law in Illinois, firmly placing media literacy into every high school student’s education, is a real step forward,” said Erin McNeill, founder and president of Media Literacy Now and the author of the report. “This is policy that makes a concrete difference. We’re also heartened by the advances that are being made in statehouses across the country. We expect an active 2022 session, which has already begun in some states. Bills to advance media literacy education have been filed or pre-filed in Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. We will likely see a few others this year.”
The 2021 U.S. Media Literacy Policy Report is an update of the 2020 report and is sponsored by Learnics, a company whose online tool aims to support, improve, and transform student online learning experiences. Media Literacy Now reports that there are 14 states that have statutory law that elevates media literacy education, although some of those 14 have improved their approaches.
“In today’s world of rapid technological change, students need to understand their relationship with media messages and media systems,” said Doug Lare, founder of Learnics. “There’s been significant progress across the country toward the goal of these important life skill being taught in all schools.”
About Media Literacy Now
Media Literacy Now is a nonprofit organization driving reform of the U.S. public education system to ensure all students have the opportunity to learn the key 21st century literacy skills they need for health, well-being, economic participation, and citizenship. For more information, go to MediaLiteracyNow.org
Learnics is the “show me your work” company and an ideal tool that can help develop media literacy skills by allowing students to reflect upon their online behavior. Learnics allows students to capture and submit a record of their online learning experience as part of an assignment, making the learning experience as important as the final product. Whether the instruction is virtual, hybrid, flipped, or blended, Learnics provides teachers and students with feedback to support the online learning process. Please visit Learnics.com for more information.