Media literacy

Transform media education into civic engagement

Being an informed contributor to America’s democratic principles and practices requires strong media literacy skills. Without them, even the most civic will find it difficult to assess and interpret the mass of information disseminated in the world.

Jeff Knutson, Common Sense educational content strategist and senior producer, recognizes how difficult it is for students to negotiate with the media. In an edWebinar sponsored by Common Sense Education, Knutson described ways in which teachers can help students strengthen their media literacy to meaningfully participate in civic engagement.

See vs understand

Young people are early adopters of TikTok or use Snapchat, and tend to get most of their news from social media. Because they’re tech-savvy, it feels like they’re good at interpreting messages. This is not the case. In fact, they struggle with the complexity of current events and politics.

Related Content: 5 Achievable Digital Citizenship Goals

Social media platforms aren’t necessarily the best place to find news or factual information. People learn to tell stories through them, usually in the form of confusing (designed to entertain) headlines with articles that have the flesh of the story but consumers don’t read. What actually happens is usually not reflected in a Twitter or Facebook feed.

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