Governor Jay Inslee signs Substitute Senate Bill No. 6273, March 29, 2016, Relating to safe technology use and digital citizenship in public schools. Pictured: Inslee hands signing pen to Sen. Marko Liias. From Left: Liias, Carolyn Logue, representing the Washington Library Media Association, and Lynn Ziegler, Claire Beach and Michael Danielson of Action for Media Education
Educators to develop best practices and identify curriculum under new policy
Washington State’s new media education law (SSB6273) provides leadership for a growing number of states advocating for digital citizenship and media literacy education. Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is empowered to develop resources for teaching literacy that encompasses both new media and new technologies.
“This bill will launch a much-delayed conversation about education policy and the essential skills we need to be teaching our children today. Once signed into law, it takes us one big step closer to creating an environment for comprehensive media literacy education – to include safe interet use and digital citizenship,” said Media Literacy Now President Erin McNeill. “Legislative momentum is surging in states across the country. Washington’s language, supporting schools to take action, will be a model for other states.”
State Sen. Marko Liias championed the legislation. “Digital citizenship is fundamentally important for our children and our society,” he said. “All students need the skills to positively use media and digital technology. This legislation elevates instruction in 21st century skills as an educational priority.”
Washington’s Action for Media Education collaborated with the national Media Literacy Now organization in shaping the legislation with Senator Liias and guiding the bill through the legislative process.
“I’m encouraged that our children won’t become victims to mass media messages that tell them who they are and how they should be. With critical thinking skills in place they’ll be able to use media instead of being used by it,” said Action for Media Education head Claire Beach.
Media Literacy Now works with states to develop laws implementing digital/media literacy education in schools. We provide policy and advocacy information, expertise, and resources to state chapters and others interested in digital/media literacy.