In wrapping up Discovering Media Literacy, I realized what an incredible resource I had at my fingertips. I had of course already noticed the many ways that I could utilize the lessons and tools in this book within my own teaching, however I didn’t fully realize how much it had to offer until I had finished it.
The final section of this book focused on working with primary grades around media literacy and on teacher training and professional development programs. The part that was most meaningful for me though, was the work with primary grades. I have seen that many teachers in the primary grades seem reluctant to bring technology into their classrooms. I had never thought much of it, as I feel that many teachers have a similar hesitancy based on their own teaching preferences. Honestly, I’ve found myself wishing that they would try for more flexibility and open themselves up to learning new tools. However, this book did an excellent job of reminding me the many reasons that young students shouldn’t always be exposed to technology. It was helpful for me as a reader and as an intermediate teacher to be reminded of where the primary grade teachers are coming from.
The authors then went on to explain the modest and simple ways that primary grades could incorporate some technology. What I found most powerful was the comparison that was drawn between print media and digital media. Many kindergarten and first grade teachers use storybooks and pictures to help students make connections and inferences. If you are using print media in a lesson, you can always enhance that lesson by utilizing digital media in its place. The concepts being taught remain the same, but you’re able to bring in meaningful resources that the students may relate to better. This seemed to me to be a small step that primary teachers could take to begin utilizing technology without feeling that screens are taking over their classrooms.
The other piece of this reading that I found most helpful were the many resources at the back of the book. I didn’t think to look at the resources until they were referenced within the reading. That’s when I realized that Resource A was a full list of student-friendly learning targets surrounding media literacy! This was very exciting to me because I continue to find myself trying to bring media literacy into my classroom. Having a pre-made list of learning targets not only adds credibility to my work using media literacy as a teaching tool but also gives me some structure to help guide my own instruction surrounding media literacy.
The second resource in the book is a glossary of media literacy vocabulary. As a teacher, I know how important it is to ensure that students are exposed to and understand academic vocabulary. I love that this book has provided me with multiple meaningful tools that I can integrate into my daily instruction!
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I found it incredibly beneficial to my instruction. My next steps from here are to use the learning targets within the book to plan media literacy instruction throughout the school year in a way that’s meaningful to the material I’m already covering. Making sure that media literacy is integrated within my existing curriculum is an easy way to ensure that my students are being exposed to media literacy in a way that isn’t so time consuming that other teachers wouldn’t want to follow my lead and join me in venturing down this new avenue of instruction.