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Record identifier : 569070
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Wood, Elizabeth
Title and statement of responsibility : Media literacy education: Evaluating media literacy education in Colorado schools [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of Denver, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : M.A
Body granting the degree : , University of Denver
Summary or Abstract : This study offers an analysis of media literacy practices and techniques used at local public middle and high schools in Colorado. Media literacy is an emerging field in education that blends literacy skills such as critical analysis and evaluation with an inquiry-based questioning process that encourages students to process information using cognitive, moral, aesthetic and emotional dimensions. This inquiry-based process is not a new educational approach; it has been used to critically evaluate literature for centuries. However, media literacy scholars argue that applying inquiry-based approaches can enhance learning across all grades and content levels by applying new methodologies.The literature reviewed established that media literacy is a fervent topic amongst education scholars and inquiry-based approaches can prepare and empower students to live in an information-rich world. However, little to no research evaluates local practices in Colorado compared with national media literacy initiatives, and I established my research questions based on this gap. The goals of this study were twofold: First, archival data from national media literacy organizations were researched and evaluated to outline some best practices in introducing media literacy into any curriculum. State and district documents designed as a framework for the implementation of technology and information literacy were evaluated for key terms and concepts. This evaluation suggested that although some concepts overlap between information and media literacy, such as critical evaluation, independent learning, and information analysis, there is also a gap between these two concepts. Important media literacy concepts including discussion, creation, and production are missing from the information literacy skill sets.One possibility on the district level is defining information literacy skills to the same degree that technology literacy skills are defined to help promote an inquiry-based approach. Evaluating information literacy separately from technology takes the focus off technology and establishes measurable concepts and definitions of information literacy. In addition, one might think about integrating key questions as a framework to promoting critical evaluation of all subject matter. This includes questions like: who created the message; what is communicated or implied by the message; when was the message created; where is the message being directed; how did the producers use creative techniques to capture attention; and why is this message being sent. Some teachers reported already using these questions and many agreed that this type of inquiry increases students' overall literacy. Using the key questions as a framework for classifying information literacy might help characterize information skills.The archival data, in conjunction with Potter's (2001) theoretical concepts of media literacy development, were used to create a survey issued to all middle and high school teachers in the Denver and Eagle County districts. The survey was constructed under the assumption that teachers are already using media content in their classrooms. The purpose of the questions was to understand what media resources are available to teachers and how they apply these resources to their particular curriculum. The survey questions teachers about their perceptions of media use and discussion in the classroom. Teachers were surveyed about the benefits and challenges of using media in the classroom, including self-censorship to avoid negative backlash. Perceptions were measured by asking scaled questions that assess current practices, available resources, and inhibiting factors. Teachers' experience and perceptions of media use and discussion was evaluated within the context of the Colorado Information Literacy Standards, specific district technology and information literacy plans, and national approaches to integrating media literacy education.Participants suggested that they use media most often to encourage participation and teach different perspectives, and the quantitative survey responses indicated that a lack of resources is the most common reason teachers avoid using and discussing media content in their classrooms. This is why the media literacy approaches are effective: They do not require any technology resources. Qualitative, open-ended survey responses revealed that many teachers also felt inadequately trained to use technology in the classroom. For this reason, schools might consider creating an orientation for teachers about the technology resources available in their schools. Successful orientations might cover the set up, use and disassembly of technology resources and could be taught by mentor teachers who are competent users of technology and comfortable using it as a teaching tool. Finally, constructing an inventory of available technology in each school would offer teachers a tangible reference list and could also facilitate the maintenance of technology resources. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).
Topical Name Used as Subject : Mass communications
: Curriculum development
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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