By Julie Smith
A few months ago, I was remarking to a friend that as a media literacy teacher, I really didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I’m adjunct at two universities and I don’t have a PhD, so I feel like just a visitor at those places. There’s a vibrant community on Twitter, but I’m not K-12. When I apply to present at conferences, the conference organizers assume I am a librarian. I am not.
My friend leaned across the table and said “You talk about media literacy ALL THE TIME. You’ve got a book in you, I bet.”
The first part of his comment made me wonder if he was teasing me about having a one-track media literacy brain. (He’s correct.) The second part of his comment made me wonder if he was serious. (He was.)
I wasn’t sure where to start, which I’ve heard is typical. So I decided just to talk – or write out loud. About why media literacy is important and HOW parents and teachers can incorporate it daily.
The result is a call to action for all parents and teachers, followed by tools and resources.
The amount of media our kids are exposed to will only increase. And with schools advocating so much critical thinking, why isn’t anyone talking about the role that media literacy can play in this? We spend hours each day with mass media. Shouldn’t we be analyzing it?
So the book is aimed at parents as well as teachers. It’s loaded with QR codes that lead to online resources to help evaluate websites, television programs, film, music, news and social media.
Our kids live in a mediated world in which parents and teachers have trouble keeping up. It’s my greatest hope that this book will help.
Julie Smith is a:
media literacy enthusiast
social media apologist
conference presenter & groupie
Diet Coke addict
Boy Mom who buys seven gallons of milk a week
(Note from MLN president, Erin McNeill: I highly recommend this book. It’s a highly readable overview of media issues today, and there are few resources like this for a general audience. You will see my review blurb on Amazon!)