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While I was still a preservice social studies teacher, I developed lesson plans to help my seventh graders identify and think critically about the intended messages of World War II–era propaganda and reflect on how present-day media messages were influencing their own views of the world. Because it motivated students of all learning abilities to examine their media interactions and make personal connections with history, this lesson in media literacy became one of my favorites, and I used it year after year.

Media literacy also has the attention of state lawmakers across the country. To address concerns that students are not well equipped to engage effectively in civil public discourse with current technology, 19 states had passed legislation on media literacy as of February 2024. Some mandate media literacy learning standards; others have convened exploratory committees. Also, the U.S. Surgeon General, the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering, and the American Psychological Association identified media literacy education as an effective tool to strengthen students’ media awareness and digital resiliency….

 


Six Questions to Advance Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship



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