Last week we discovered that Pennsylvania students are being provided with technology like computers and internet connections within their school. They, too, are likely experiencing regular instruction and usage within their classrooms. This access to the media is the first step in ensuring that these children are media literate.
The next step to media literacy involves the capability of analyzing media messages. The National Association for Media Literacy Education states that “Literacy is the ability to encode and decode symbols and to synthesize and analyze messages. Media literacy is the ability to encode and decode the symbols transmitted via media and the ability to synthesize, analyze and produce mediated messages.”
Yang and Nathanson (2004) discuss the importance of improving the analytical skills of children by educating them with a knowledge of, and skills for, the tools that are being utilized to access information. They discuss the need for children to know how to navigate the internet, using search engines appropriately, and how to find and identify information for which they are looking.
There is one very significant way that PA schools can fulfill the task of teaching children analytical skills and it is this:
Yang, M., Eastin, M., & Nathanson, A. (2004). Quiet Riot: How do children access and see the noise as Internet literacy?. Conference Papers — International Communication Association, 1. Retrieved from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.