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What is media literacy?

What is media literacy? Take the PBS quiz and assess your knowledge of media tools and usage.

After you take the quiz, ask yourself:
What in the quiz surprised you?
What more would you like to know? Learn?

Paraphrasing the National Council of Teachers of English, here is one definition of media literacy:

What is media literacy?

Media literacy, then, is an expanded information and communication skill that is responsive to the changing nature of information in our society. It addresses the skills students need to be taught in school, the competencies citizens must have as we consume information in our homes and living rooms, and the abilities workers must have as we move toward the 21st century and the challenges of a global economy.

In North America, while a phrase or word may change here or there, most media literacy organizations and leaders accept this definition of media literacy: the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate information in a variety of formats including print and non-print. Like traditional literacy it includes the ability to both read (comprehend) and write (create, design, produce). Further, it moves from merely recognizing and comprehending information to the higher order critical thinking skills implicit in questioning, analyzing and evaluating that information.

What do you think media literacy is? What is your working definition? Leave your comments below.

1 Comment »

  1. What it means to be media literate evolves with the technology that springs up, thrives, and/or withers as additional forms of media become available. Only the continual dissection and understanding of the new media that springs to life will allow one to remain media literate.


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