Extra Credit: Curate great media literacy resources

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is a non-profit organization that provides technology and entertainment recommendations for parents and schools. My husband and I frequently use this site to determine if movies are appropriate for our children. Thus far, their reviews have not failed us. Read their post, What is media literacy, and why is it important?

Common Sense Media provides tools for parents, educators, and advocates as well as age-appropriate content for young people to learn more about media literacy. Visitors can explore questions by age group (preschoolers, little kids, big kids, tweens, and teens) which is a great resource for parents to teach their children about media literacy.

“Common Sense is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century.”

Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood (2008)

Consuming Kids is a documentary that highlights how children are primed for consumption from birth. I think it is a great tool for media literacy because it shows how the technology our children regularly interact with is used by marketers/advertisers to sway them. You can view the trailer below, and the full documentary is available HERE. This is a documentary I have viewed several times… before I birthed my first son in 2008 and also with my children over the years.

Consuming Kids throws desperately needed light on the practices of a relentless multi-billion dollar marketing machine that now sells kids and their parents everything from junk food and violent video games to bogus educational products and the family car. Drawing on the insights of health care professionals, children’s advocates, and industry insiders, the film focuses on the explosive growth of child marketing in the wake of deregulation, showing how youth marketers have used the latest advances in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world. – The Media Education Foundation

Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens via Coursera

This free six-week course is offered by the University of Hong Kong and the University of New York on Coursera. It is taught by qualified professors and staff from both universities. Participants have the opportunity to pay extra for a certificate of completion and assignment feedback. The course has a 4.8 rating with a number of promising reviews.

Never before has the need for News Literacy been more urgent. As news consumers are bombarded with a constant stream of fake news, propaganda, hoaxes, rumors, satire, and advertising — that often masquerade as credible journalism — it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. While the public’s faith in the news media erodes, purveyors of misinformation have helped give rise to troubling cultural trends and alarming political movements.

Brain Pop’s Digital Citizen Media Literacy Curriculum

Yes! I am so happy to have found Brain Pop’s Media Literacy tools. I spent about 30-minutes browsing their free resources and I cannot wait to go through this with my children. Educators can play informational videos, create quizzes, and use games to test skills. There are a number of topics to browse including a food section that explores marketing tactics used to sell food and lesson ideas for various age groups.