When trying to figure out the best way to capture the message of our book without just recreating what we’ve already done in this class, we chose to focus on one of the lessons outlined within the book itself.
Discovering Media Literacy: Teaching Digital Media and Popular Culture in Elementary School by Renee Hobbs and David Cooper Moore is an excellent resource for educators that want to integrate technology in a meaningful and authentic way for elementary-aged students while focusing on media literacy. While the book is able to break down the purpose and benefits of integrating technology, the authors also provide lessons for educators to replicate within their own classrooms. This was the piece of the book that we found to be most valuable. We chose to recreate a lesson titled “Screencasting the Critical Questions”.
This lesson gives educators the opportunity to have students critically reflect on popular culture that is relevant to the students’ lives. One of the main messages that was recurring throughout the book was the idea of utilizing pop culture to help engage students in learning. Many educators shy away from bringing pop culture into their classrooms for fear of inappropriate or unknown content. The authors try to persuade educators to embrace pop culture at times that could benefit student learning. This lesson embodied that message.
For the lesson, the authors recommended a clip from the Nickelodeon show iCarly. This show personified pop culture at the time the book was published. The clip is able to engage student attention, while still allowing them to think critically about what they’re seeing.
We chose to complete the lesson as “students” analyzing the media. We originally wanted to create a screencast that incorporated our narrative into the clip. However, we found that with this particular clip, it would have been difficult to add our opinion throughout as the main message of the clip isn’t obvious until the end. Instead, we chose to download the clip into MediaBreaker which allowed us to break apart the clip and add our own critical narrative. However, as was on par for MediaBreaker, we struggled adding audio clips to our video.
Finally, we settled on creating a video in iMovie to replicate the idea of MediaBreaker. We were then able to insert our questions visually and our responses as audio clips. Our final video ended up being blocked from YouTube, but was eventually uploaded to Vimeo. Click here to view the final video.
Overall, creating this video ended up being a great way to summarize some of the main themes found within this book. We’re able to take away not just an understanding of the many benefits of integrating media literacy into an elementary classroom, but also a phenomenal resource of lessons, learning targets, and testimony to help inform our instruction as we continue pursuing media literacy in our classrooms.