- Pilot project – Media literacy for all
- Voice & Matter Communication, Development and the Cultural Return
- Summer School on Media Literacy and Media Education Research
- The Global Forum for Media Development 2016
- Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016
- Summer School on Communication and Religion
- Training : “Communication and Media Skills for youth and Social Work”
- Riga Recommendations highlight Media and Information Literacy as a life code for sustainable development
- Conference on "Media and Information Literacy for Building a Culture of Open Government"
- The European Council encourages Media Literacy
- Enhancing Media literacy in Jordan
- “Online reporting: Telling Africa’s story on the web”, training in Kenya
- "Comunicar" April issue is out.
- Communications seminar in Nigerian diocese of Ijebu-Ode
- Church in Namibia Trains Personnel in News Reporting and Photojournalism
- Media Literacy Council creates customised emojis
- Media Education in Recife
- New tool to rate media programmes
- Media Literacy in the United States and its latest developments
- Media and information literacy course for youth by UNESCO
- Media Literacy in the Middle East
- Changing the way young girls perceive media
- Social media education in Canada
- Empowering indigenous girls and women in Bangladesh through media
- Are you media literate or just media proficient?
- Enhancing media education through media tour
- Media literacy in the Indian public sphere
- 5 free mobile apps to improve media literacy
- Media literacy: not just for big kids
- Proposals to enhance ’cyber wellness’ among youth
- The importance of media literacy
- 1st Media Literacy Week in U.S.
- The Media Literacy Week in Canada celebrates its 10 year!
- How to talk to children about disturbing news
- Reflections on Media Education Futures
- Young journalists and activists engage in media monitoring in Palestine
- Forum Media and Development: Initiating change
- Young people studying the media in Czech republic
- New Media and Communication: Technology matters, but people matter more !
- Respect in a Digital World is the theme of Media Literacy Week 2015
- Media Literacy and the Common Good: A Link to Catholic Social Teaching
- Promotion of media education for Nigerian children
- Fr Peter Gonsalves is the new dean of the Faculty of Social Communication at the SPU .
- SIGNIS India : Training young catholic media professionals to think critically and creatively .
- Zambia : Bishop Hamungole challenges diocesan administrators
- Indonesia : ACN formation programme in social communication
- SIGNIS offers Catholic media, “Music in a box” - a mobile audio production studio !
- Agents and Voices : A Panorama of Media Education in Brazil, Portugal and Spain, edited by Ilana Elea
- Media Education Seminars Conclude and Highlight Education in the Solomons
- Puskat Marks 40th Anniversary with Media Education Seminar
- "Media Education Is a Must" for Santhome Communications Centre
- FMM Sisters in Chennai Call Parents to Protect their Children from the Effects of the Media
- Media Education Short Course for Solomons’ Youth
- Media Education Workshop in the Solomons
- Media Education Seminar: Analyzing and Learning in a Media-rich Environment
- 4th Media Seminar in Honiara: "You Can Change your Lives"
- ‘Media Education’ for All Parents of a School Run by FMM Sisters in India
- Santhome Communications Centre Produces Fifteen Media Education Trainers
- Media Education Seminar in the Solomons Focuses on Newsletter
- Media Education Seminar in Papua New Guinea
- Children our First Concern and Hope for the Future
- ReFOCUS: Malaysian Media Education Initiative on YouTube
- Media students Complete Church Training in the Solomons
- Johannesburg 2007: The Goals of the 5th World Summit
- Johannesburg 2007: A Voice for Children in the Media
- Johannesburg 2007: SIGNIS Workshops at the 5th World Summit
- US National Media Education Conference 2007
- Lola Kenya Screen Wins Grand Prize at Fifth World Summit on Media and Children
- Women’s Interfaith Media Literacy Initiative Launched
- Johannesburg 2007: SIGNIS Delegation to the 5th World Summit
- International Children’s Day of Broadcasting 2006
- UNESCO Handbook on Media Awareness
- Media Education in Malta - Historical Perspectives and Current Developments
- Solomon Students Present Short Films in Media Education Project
- Paper of Prof. David Buckingham about Media Education
- Media Education Seminar: "Media is for Everybody"
- Fr. Joe Borg elected head of IAMCR section
- CREC to provide formation courses in pastoral communication to seminarians
- New Russian Books Devoted to Media Education
Media literacy: not just for big kids
Michigan, Brussels, December 10th, 2015 (SIGNIS/Michigan University/Janet Olsen). Parents and early childhood educators can help young children learn to analyze and evaluate media messages.
Media literacy educators around the country celebrated the first annual Media Literacy Week in the United States this November. The mission of that initiative was to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role within the education of young people. But media literacy education isn’t just for school-aged kids! Many media scholars stress that parents and early childhood educators can help younger children learn to analyze and evaluate media messages.
Putting the focus on helping younger children develop a critical media lens is not surprising considering the increasing numbers of children with access to mobile media devices. A 2013 report from Common Sense Media revealed that nearly 75 percent of children aged eight and under have access to a smartphone or tablet, and 38 percent of children under age two have used a mobile device for media. A 2015 study in the Pediatrics journal indicated that most three and four-year-olds involved in the study could use these devices independently, and one-third of them engaged in multitasking.
Regardless of whether children are using mobile media devices or “traditional” media (such as television, DVDs, computers, radio and books), adults can help them take a critical look at the content of the messages they’re taking in. This includes the content that children and their families intentionally seek out, such as TV programs, books, video games, educational software, mobile apps and music. It also includes the many kinds of media messages they encounter but aren’t seeking out intentionally, such as advertising, images on clothing, food packaging, billboards and magazines displayed at “child level” in a store’s check-out aisle.
Interactions with any kind of media can provide opportunities to help children develop important habits of inquiry about media. Here are some strategies for helping young children develop media literacy skills:
The foundation of media literacy understands that all media are socially constructed. This means understanding that people make media and, in doing so, they make choices about what content to include and how to convey it to others. Help young children explore this concept by asking them some key questions. For example, while reading a children’s book, ask questions like the following: “Who made up this story?” “Who are they talking to?” “What does the storyteller want me to remember?” “Who made the pictures?” “How does the artist want me to feel when I look at the pictures?” In this example, the questions can help a child recognize that people (an author and illustrator) created the story and made choices about what they want readers to think, feel and remember. Build your own habit of using these kinds of questions with any kind of media that children encounter – whether it’s a poster on the wall of their bedroom, a children’s game installed on a tablet, a video you show with your preschool group, or a children’s cartoon program on TV (and the commercials shown during breaks).
Commit to being an active viewer of media with children while finding the balance between posing nonjudgmental questions like those listed above and sharing your own reactions to what you’re noticing. Use simple statements that convey your values and thoughts about what’s happening, such as “I love that he was kind to the new boy in his neighborhood” or “I don’t agree with the choice she just made.” Follow up with questions to get children’s thoughts, such as “How do you think the new boy felt?” or “Why do you think she decided to do that?”
One of the most powerful ways for children to understand that mass media are created by people is to give them opportunities to create their own. Give them tools to create a book, poster, video, advertisement or music – all of which require thoughtful planning and decision-making. When they’ve created something, ask them the same kinds of questions described above. If they made a book, for example, you could ask them to tell you about what they put on the cover and why, why they would want someone to read their book, and what they want a reader to feel.
All these strategies involve responsive interactions between caring adults and young children – interactions that are essential to their healthy development and that promote positive learning, creativity, exploration and connection. By developing the ability to think critically about media and media messages, young children are building a foundation for lifelong media literacy skills. This is especially important as young people expand their media use during adolescence and encounter a wider range of media messages related to things like healthy and unhealthy relationships, sexuality, body image, and human differences (including race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation and disabilities). Parents, educators and other caring adults can continue to help guide young people as they deepen their ability to make positive media choices and challenge stereotypes and other unhealthy media messages.