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5.0 stars - 3 reviews range from 0 to 5



FUTURE SHOCK: Too much change too quickly = Educator Fatigue!

Digital revolution late '90s-present: non-stop change and adaptation to new tools and modes of communication and socialization without a map.

Varied ed tech recommendations and tools with no prevailing road map.

New educational Paradigms, Standards, and Systems for Evaluation to adapt to.



Citizenship: New modes of information and cultural exchange, education, commerce and the means of informing oneself (especially vital to democracy) have resulted in a new “Digital Citizenship”

Identity & Relationships

Identity:  Sense of self is cultivated through a combination of interpersonal and online interaction increasingly broadcast and archived in the public sphere.


Work:  Basic digital operational and communication skills are required throughout most levels of the modern workforce.   Understanding how to create meaning and connect messages to people in the saturated media landscape is vital to any business endeavor.


Range of tech infrastructure & access in schools

Schools in NYC typically have a combination of the following equipment and personnel.

~1-6 Classroom desktops

Roving or classroom laptop and/or iPad carts

Projectors, Interactive White Boards & Document Cameras

Varied support personnel (most often understaffed), CUNY Interns, If school is large enough and make it a priority, a few have in-house tech support positions

Wide range of student access at home; "BYOD" mobile resources not allowed

School websites, Public "Brochure" Website, Classroom blogs home-school connection & interactionfor Newsletters, Student work, and Posting Units & Lessons, Staff Websites and Professional Learning Networks (PLN), shared resources, collaborative documents, connecting cloud services, LMS - Learning Management Systems for report cards, assessment, etc.

Technology Clusters aligned with Classroom curricula

Labs with open access & collaborative overlapping units of study

Range of Professional Development, NOT a standard part of pre-service teacher education, through offsite or online resources & PD workshops, through embedded 3rd party consultants (i.e. THE MEDIA SPOT ), teacher directed in-house experimentation and sharing, best if differentiated, customized, and within a community of support (in school or online)

Wide range of teacher training & comfort

Typically: More money spent on equipment than personnel needed to adapt curriculum and infrastructure


Paradigm Shift In Education

Higher order thinking, questioning, evidence-based arguments

Inquiry-based, student-centered learning

Rethinking the classroom (group work, less lecturing)

Performance-based tasks & assessments

Differentiation, multiculturalism, and Universal Designs for Learning

Data driven instruction

READ MORE: NYCDOE Citywide Instructional Expectations 2012-2013, teacher becomes guide on the side, Multicultural or Universal Designs for Learning, Differentiation for different style learners, Data driven instruction, Evidenced-based formal teacher observations (Danielson), Common Core "performance-based tasks"

New System for Teacher Evaluation: Danielson Framework


Broad unified national benchmarks to build curriculum on

college and career readiness

higher order thinking

explanation, text complexity, evidence-based arguments, etc.

MORE: 3min Video explaining the basics


Digital & Media Literacy Education Principles and Competencies

"(Digital and media literacy is) a constellation of life skills that are necessary for full participation in our media-saturated, information-rich society." - Digital and Media Literacy Plan of Action, Renee Hobbs

Media literacy provides a framework to access, analyze & evaluate and create messages in a variety of forms — from digital text to web-based multimedia. It builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and creative self-expression necessary for citizens of a 21st century democracy to reflect on the role of media in their lives and take action in their media environment.

READ MORE: Essential Competencies of Media Literacy (expanding meaning of literacy for the modern citizen)

READ MORE: Core Principles of Media Literacy Education (how to teach with and about media)

EXPLORE: Other "Ed Tech" Movements, National Tech Plan, ...leverage technology to create "personalized learning experiences for all learners that mirror students’ daily lives and the reality of their futures.", National Educational Tech Standards (NETS), Tech skills & concepts, Critical thinking focused on research skills and tool choices, Partnership for 21st Century Ed "Route 21", Nice visual of how all the parts fit

Digital Skill Development

Operational Skills (i.e. necessary to access info and create media - typing, searching, navigating, etc.)

Ability to leverage tools & access to people and info

READ MORE: Connected Learning

Media Literacy - an extension of traditional literacy

Critical thinking skills to become a thoughtful consumer and producer of media

"reading" and "writing" with new forms of media

inclusion of new forms of media as texts "media texts"

Unique core or bias of "media literacy" compared to other related movements: critical analysis of media (who's on the other side, what are they saying, what is their agenda, and who am I/what do I think in relation to it.)

READ MORE: NAMLE's Key Questions to Ask When Analyzing Media Messages

Digital Citizenship

behavior (cyberbullying)

safety & privacy

media use policies


consumer habits & advertising

READ MORE: Common Sense Media's scope & sequence for digital literacy


K-12 Embedded Professional Development (PD) in NYC since 2001

Aligning new media, new tools of communication with K-12 curricula (8-12 schools per year)

Admins: molding the vision, advising on resources, planning PD.

Teachers: unit planning, scaffolding.

Students: modeling in the classroom, and collaborating on productions.

Working with Teacher Education Programs and Media Literacy Scholars in Higher Education

Facilitator at Summer Institute in Digital Literacy and University of Rhode Island

Teaching courses at Columbia Teachers College

Working on educational media outreach at the Salzburg Academy for Media and Global Change

Working with RealWorldMatters and NASA GISS on media productions for teaching about climate change

Background: A media maker drawn to media literacy through a mindful production & consumption Process

Digital Filmmaker

Found value in the production PROCESS working with kids, regardless of PRODUCTS.

Interested in media influence and the importance of active consumption & production of media by citizens of a democracy.

Established in 2006

To share student production process

Facilitate collaborations with educational community

To model and create a connected hub for media literacy education

Board member of the National Association for Media Literacy Education since 2009 (

Concept of ML and first school-based media literacy project in 1999 is still relevant as the landscape continues to change...

Core Principles: Access to technology has exploded since, but core principles around needs remain same today.

Info literacy: Made meaning out of multiple sources (early internet sites, old school texts & picture books)

Engagement through differentiated small group productions: critical analysis of texts, power of POV and editing to create a voice for real audiences.


Project & Activity Examples

5th Grade Community Wellness Project, Differentiated small group work, Google Forms Survey, Jing Screencast, Individual Google Docs Presentations, Custom Google Map

Public Service Announcements

Students as Tutorial Designers

Tech Turnoff, Potential Readings: 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Fahrenheit 451 - Create your own distopian newspaper, Reflecting on the role of technology in schools & personal lives., Considering the role of technology in society.

Theme-based activity: Digital Accountable Talk



Sample Planning Resources

Media Literacy Planning Framework

Vertically aligned K-8 scope and sequence (template)

Middle School "Choose your own Adventure" annotated unit plan and reflection

Common Challenges

Common Challenges: Lack of Time and Tech Support. Even in schools most enthusiastic about DML, lack of time is an inevitable obstacle in this process. As simple and efficient as a framework for DMLE development can be, schools have to make room for additional administrative, planning and instructional time, and account for technical support issues. This will take less time as staff internalize media literacy concepts, become more fluent with digital tools (along with students), and get comfortable matching those tools and concepts with their accumulating familiarity with the CCSS. Meanwhile, schools have to account for and address the following common questions to move towards efficiency: How and when will professional development occur to raise staff digital literacy to meet new and emerging digital classroom resources? Who will lead that process? How and when will professional development occur to help staff layer digital and media literacy onto CCSS-curricula? Who will lead that process? What is the scope and sequence for developing student digital literacy skills alongside traditional literacy skills? Who will teach those skills, how will they be assessed, and where will it fit in your program schedule? Who will keep technology resources working and make purchasing decisions to enable all of the above?  


Where should media literacy fit in your curriculum... right now, and 5 years from now?

What's your Pedagogical Bias? Is Media Literacy critical to your practice?

Theme: Teachers have a lot on their plates. This is not mandated. Why learn something new if you're not forced to?

What drives you or your school? What are your core principles?

ACTIVITY and share out: Why media literacy?

ACTIVITY: Analyze messages from today's landscape, Watch 3 political ads, Romney, Santourum, Obama, Poll the audience, Reality Check, Candidates and PACs are betting $10 Billion they will be able to persuade you., Discussion/Deconstruction: Key Discussion Questions, What tools are used?, What's the tone? What emotions are they appealing to?, Who's paying for these? Who's making the decisions on content?, What's left out?, What's your process for "reading" a message like this?, Where's the bias? Where is "the truth"?, How confident are you that you can hold on to your opinions & values, faced with the non-stop influence of 10 billion dollars of meaning-making machine?, Share out: How do you inform yourself? And where did you learn how to navigate today's media?, TOOL!, Take away: the establishment of an informed citizenry (through public education) is essential to democracy (sic Jefferson)

ACTIVITY: Digital Media Horoscope -- What's your Motivation?

How could media literacy concepts and digital productions enhance an existing objective or pedagogical bias in your classroom/school?

ACTIVITY: How Does Media Literacy Ed serve your Pedagogical Bias?

What support and training would you need to make this work in your classroom or school?

Where should training for teachers in digital and media literacy take place? Where for teacher ed? Where for in-service teachers?

How do you think schools should transform to reflect changes in the media landscape? What are essential practices and content from traditional curricula that fit best with media literacy concepts? What needs to be accounted for in the digital age? Where is the balance?


Each year students arrive at schools with greater operational capacity for working with digital tools. Nonetheless, schools must develop and refine a simple scope and sequence for assessing the acquisition of basic skills to lower the cost of entry for classroom digital production over time. This should be designed to minimize instructional time is spent introducing and reinforcing operational skills that students will gain fluency in through use within academic productions. The goal should be to scaffold the most transferrable skills possible to allow them to eventually independently adapt to new tools as they emerge.

RECOMMENDATION: Simplify your incorporation of new standards and technology to serve to your "pedagogical bias".

ID your schools's pedagogical bias (philosophical approach to curriculum development and instructional practice.)

ID and internalize within your school culture broadly applicable digital skills and “media literacy” concepts necessary for 21st century citizenship, identity, and the workforce.

Build curricula informed by the above that expands and enhances the CCSS, open to continuing cultural and technical shifts that serves your educational mission (bias).

The Media Spot's Process is to enable collaborative digital production in the classroom to blend Common Core Standards, schoolwide goals, media literacy concepts and digital skills.

The Media Spot's bias: Use Project-based Units to blend DMLE with CCSS and scaffold basic tech skills. To simplify the infusion of DMLE within complex NYCDOE environments, my own bias has been towards what I call “production-based media literacy”, which recommends that schools:     Engage new media resources (“technology”), ways of communicating, and digital literacy skills through content-driven student productions, and Layer core competencies of media literacy onto existing learning objectives during the production process. Each year students arrive at schools with greater operational capacity for working with digital tools.  Nonetheless, schools must develop and refine a simple scope and sequence for assessing the acquisition of basic skills to lower the cost of entry for classroom digital production over time.   This should be designed to minimize instructional time is spent introducing and reinforcing operational skills that students will gain fluency in through use within academic productions. The goal should be to scaffold the most transferrable skills possible to allow them to eventually independently adapt to new tools as they emerge.

Inquiry-driven Project-based Learning

Activate core curriculum through digital media production, critical media analysis and real-world interaction.

Establish adaptive digital skills early (in a cluster if possible)

Content area teachers leverage student digital skills

Facilitate critical media analysis (reading) by deconstructing model productions and authorial intent

Digital tools, info and technology should be thoughtfully integrated with sound fundamental teaching practices.

Teachers should develop an understanding of how to incorporate a balance of the real world flow of communication & info that excites students with their core values as professional educators in their area of specialty.

READ MORE: TMS Process & Services

Media Literacy Education intersects with CCSS and new paradigms while activating new technology

"Students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas... to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and nonprint texts in media forms old and new. " The need to conduct research and to produce and consume media is embedded into every aspect of today’s curriculum.” (Common Core State Standards, 2012) However, where CCSS K-12 English Language Arts standards are spelled out, skill-by-skill, year-to-year, it is left to schools to determine when, how and what specific DML skills and concepts are taught. For example: When should students learn to type, or incorporate mixed media into research or the writing process? When are students capable of determining the validity of an Internet source, identifying authorial intention in a video, or reflecting on their relationship to media culture? Should they be introduced to programming, and where do related skills intersect with standards-based math?

College and Career Readiness

Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction, "Informational Texts" -- "Media texts" in various forms

Research & Synthesis of Information into Knowledge

" able to make informed, skillful choices among the many ways to express themselves through language"

"media use (both critical analysis and production of media) are integrated throughout the standards"

Speaking and Listening (mentions variety of media)

READ MORE: Media Literacy & the Common Core an Educators Guide from NAMLE

Media Literacy Education can begin at a range of needs/starting points. Our hope is that you may recognize your situation along this spectrum, and see it a little more clearly within the big picture.

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