Research: I reviewed the websites found within the provided Symbaloo list. I had already visited them from the Participate 2- Joining a Digital Learning Community so I moved on to the extra resources found at the bottom of the page. I explored CML, Media Smarts, and NAMLE. I bookmarked all three for future reference labeled as “Media Literacy.”
Artifact: After exploring the extra resources here is what I found:
CML (Center for Media Literacy) contains lots of helpful resources for educators and parents. There is an up to date newsletter and short videos explaining exactly what media literacy is and why it is important. You can find resources on advocating for media literacy and professional development on multiple topics. There is an area to search for best practices, resources, and a place to shop for materials.
Media Smarts: This website was very similar to CML, but I did find it to be organized in a more user friendly fashion for my taste. Digital Media is broken down into three categories: general, media and digital issues. Within these areas you can find games, resources, and materials for media resource week. I like the way there is a section separated for parents and for educators. The parental section is broken down into hot topic issues for today’s students. Within the teacher section you can find lessons, resources, and curriculum. There is also a blog where anyone is free to post comments.
NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Education): This site is a good mix between CML and Media Smarts. It is user friendly and content heavy. Core principles are available and a journal with current and archived media literacy texts. I didn’t find this site to be as organized as I would have liked for a parent. I feel it is more geared toward educators than parents.
Answer: The three most important tools I found were all on the Media Smarts website. The first one was the “Digital Issues” section. I have already shared it with the technology teacher within my building because it is broken down into the topics that need to be covered with all students using the internet. The second one was the “Lessons and Resources” section. Here a teacher can do a simple filtered search and located hundreds of lessons on any given topic or media type. The third one was the “Parent Resources” section. It had all the hot button issues that children face online broken down by topic. The texts were easy to read and could easily be shared from parent to student.
Students can be taught to safely locate tools and resources to enhance their learning by simply checking the validity of a URL. Teach them to look for websites ending with the four most common/safe URLs for information: .mil; .gov; .edu; .org When evaulating a website or source teach students to consider these five things: audience, accuracy, credibility, point of view, and currency. This video posted by Baker University Library is a great example of these five things. The video describes that a student must be the “Sherlock Holmes” of the internet to make sure that a website is valid. Check sources, organization, About Us sections, etc… Do these things on the front end and you will end up with valuable information. The bottomline is students have to put some work into validating their sources.