Media in the Classroom

Dustin, our guest blogger, 
offers a preview of Chapter 10.

Bridging English, ch. 10

Chapter 10 goes in depth on the use of media in the classroom. The author initially states that when one is able to analyze media, he/she is considered to be literate. The way that current students are so invested in using media in their everyday lives is an engagement point for teaching higher levels of thinking for students. The four major skills that the chapter goes over are creating, receiving, examining, and critiquing.

Having students create using media enhances their language enrichment and communication skills. Being able to produce means that the students are actively engaged in language.

Another major point in producing is that the assortment of media (e.g., electronics, advertisements, magazines, and television) allows students to be creative in terms of how they approach media. Also, active learning via expression demands more complex mental activity.

The text argues that being literate in media includes understanding visual and verbal information. These skills are just as important as text when developing critical thinking. Since this mode of communication is growing and more students are interacting with media, it is important to prepare students for what they will be exposed to so that they can become adept in language use. By using pop-culture and what they are accustomed to, students can expand on their own ideas through critical-thinking and composing skills.

Examining media is a way to analyze all of the different forms and how they might affect us as a society. This approach towards media allows the student to understand the reasoning behind the author of the work, much like they would try to understand a classic text. But unlike a classic text, they are the individual that is being affected by it,  using their own situation when examining media. The text points out the usefulness of understanding media as a form of art.

Being a media critic takes a higher level of thinking in relation to all of the other media literacy skills. Students use all of the other skills in order to conceptualize how media is affecting their lives. After their beliefs have solidified, students now have the means to “resist media defensively” and “critique it offensively. ” This is an important goal because once they begin to think of media this way, they can further develop their own critical-thinking by being persistently immersed in media.

I thought that this chapter was extremely informative when it came to defining media literacy and giving classroom examples that can be used for it. One of the best ways of including media in the classroom that the book kept emphasizing was the usefulness of media as a method of engaging your students. Because your students might be digital natives, this will allow them to use media as a form of self-expression which could lead to completing tasks with ease. When students engagement in media-centered activities, they are using more of their brain power and developing higher levels of thinking instead of focusing on an activity that they may be unfamiliar with.

Here are some questions about media literacy to get some discussion going:
1) What do you think about including pop-culture in your classroom lessons? How do you think you would incorporate it into media literacy?

2) Do you think that being able to critique modes of media is a viable skill that we should teach in the classroom? Explain your answer.

Bridging English, 5th ed. by Milner & Milner & Mitchell