Teachers lack "Media Literacy Skills"

Via the NCTE In-Box comes this EducationNews.org article, “Survey of Educators Finds Lack of Focus on 21st Century Media Literacy Skills.” Here are the opening paragraphs:

Washington, DC – More than 60 percent of educators said that their schools are not putting enough emphasis on media literacy, and 80 percent said they have to learn about how to teach media literacy on their own, according to a survey conducted by Grunwald Associates.

The survey, commissioned by Cable in the Classroom (CIC), clearly shows that media literacy is an urgent – and unmet – priority among educators in schools today. While young people spend more and more time using all forms of media in and out of the classroom, teaching them how to be thoughtful about their media use, to recognize the overt and hidden messages in media and to consider the consequences of their own actions online is simply not a priority in most schools.

“We explicitly teach children how to understand, analyze and communicate using words on paper, and rightly so. Yet we get our news and information more from TV and the internet than from the newspaper. We communicate through email and text messaging and social networking more than writing letters. We should be teaching children how to ‘read’ and ‘write’ in all forms of media,� said Frank Gallagher, director of Education and Media Literacy at CIC.

The results of the CIC Educator Survey, Media Literacy: A Vital and Underserved Need in Schools, can be found online at

This certainly fits neatly into some things I’m up to my neck in right now: my online graduate class, which has some secondary school teachers in it and where (basically) I’m trying to convey some of these “21st century skills,” and the annual English Department conference, which I’m co-chairing and which is focusing this year on “multimedia in the English classroom.” Funny how these things all sink up some time.

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