TeachersFirst's Media Literacy

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Today’s messages come in many forms and literacy can no longer refer simply to the ability to read and write. Media literacy is a set of skills that help people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and formats. To become media literate, students must learn to raise the right questions about what they are listening to, watching, or reading. Media literacy education is about helping students become competent, critical, and literate in all media forms so that they can appropriately interpret what they see or hear rather than blindly accepting what they are told. This collection of resources includes lesson ideas, activities and resources for teaching media literacy skills. Be sure to also check out the media literacy professional learning resources.

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MediaLit Moments - Consortium for Media Literacy

Grades
7 to 12
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MediaLit Moments are short, focused lessons for middle school and high school students teaching important AHA! concepts leading to an understanding of the use of social media. Each...more
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MediaLit Moments are short, focused lessons for middle school and high school students teaching important AHA! concepts leading to an understanding of the use of social media. Each experience consists of key questions related to core concepts using video and online materials and activities for students to explore the topic taught. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): cyberbullying (45), internet safety (118), media literacy (65), social media (30)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lessons on this site to teach important media literacy lessons to your students. Share videos and articles on your interactive whiteboard to watch together. Stop as needed to add questions, comments, or highlight important information. You may want to use a video tool such as Vizia, reviewed here, to embed questions, comments, and polls into the videos. Then you can show the videos to the whole class or flip your classroom and have them watch the videos at home. This will leave time in class to discuss comments and questions students may have. Ask students to create blogs sharing their thoughts and research using an easy blogging tool like Telegra.ph, reviewed here. When finished with a lesson, ask students to create a book teaching the concept to other students. Book Creator, reviewed here, offers an online book creation tool that includes the use of media like video, audio recording, and more.
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Connections Newsletters - Consortium for Media Literacy

Grades
K to 12
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The Consortium for Media Literacy provides this collection of archived newsletters for teachers, parents, administrators, and others involved with education. Each issue is based on...more
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The Consortium for Media Literacy provides this collection of archived newsletters for teachers, parents, administrators, and others involved with education. Each issue is based on a monthly theme and includes teaching ideas related to the subject along with research highlights and additional resources. Select the latest issue with the provided link or scroll through the archives listed in alphabetical order to find topics of interest. Sample topics include Cell Phones as Learning Tools and Parents and Media Literacy.

tag(s): internet safety (118), media literacy (65), professional development (160)

In the Classroom

Use ideas found in the newsletters on this site as the basis for professional development sessions. Organize participant's thoughts and ideas using a mind mapping tool like MindMup, reviewed here. Share websites, articles, and resources related to your topic using a bookmarking tool such as SearchTeam, reviewed here. SearchTeam allows you to share resources and add comments making collaboration easy for participants. Expand your learning and collaboration efforts using a tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. FlipGrid is a video response tool that allows you to record a question and gather video responses. As a final product, share information learned from this site and others through a multimedia presentation with Sway, reviewed here. Sway is an easy to use tool for creating professional-looking online presentations including video, images, text, and more.
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OK2Ask: Fostering Accountability: Media Literacy in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from October 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. As digital media increasingly replaces traditional media, students must have...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from October 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. As digital media increasingly replaces traditional media, students must have the skills to think critically about these new types of texts. Media literacy - the ability to skillfully read and write in a wide range of message forms - allows students to identify themes and issues emerging from popular culture. Media literacy standards have been incorporated across content areas and grade levels in all 50 states. Join us to learn more about this information age survival skill and how to prepare lessons in time for media literacy week. Participants will: 1. Understand the importance of teaching media literacy in the classroom; 2. Explore media literacy resources; and 3. Learn to use the 5 key questions of media literacy when planning lessons. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): digital citizenship (68), media literacy (65)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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KQED Media Literacy Courses - KQED Teach

Grades
K to 12
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KQED offers several free, self-paced courses for expanding media literacy skills. The first course begins with an introduction to the KQED teach and an overview of the platform used...more
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KQED offers several free, self-paced courses for expanding media literacy skills. The first course begins with an introduction to the KQED teach and an overview of the platform used for each of the courses. Topics include Taking Charge of Social Media, Media Essentials, and Video Storytelling Essentials. Choose any course description to view what is included in the modules and lessons in addition to the length of time to complete. All courses include interaction with an online community to share and learn together.

tag(s): professional development (160)

In the Classroom

Gain a better understanding of media literacy tools by taking KQED's professional development courses. Participate in classes on your own or with colleagues as part of your ongoing professional development. Begin any of the self-paced courses anytime and complete them at your own pace.

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Glean - Digital Literacy Teaching Tools - The Public Learning Media Laboratory

Grades
6 to 12
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Small but mighty, this site has several lesson plans for the digital classroom. Use, share, and help create digital literacy lesson plans using Google Docs at Glean. Also, use the ...more
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Small but mighty, this site has several lesson plans for the digital classroom. Use, share, and help create digital literacy lesson plans using Google Docs at Glean. Also, use the hashtag #lessonhack on Twitter to follow the development of ideas and the lessons. Use the drop-down menu for Lessons to view plans for Media, Data, Information, Network Literacy, and also find Security and Privacy lessons. Find plans already created that include, To Teach Memes, Teaching Media Making, Terms of Service, and there are several others about the Internet and IPs. One lesson on Safer Sexting states, "This is not intended to condone sexting; rather it is designed to provide young people (at risk through their sexting behavior) with digital literacies and personal practices to mitigate negative impacts of the sexting they've done."

tag(s): computers (101), digital citizenship (68), internet safety (118)

In the Classroom

Computer Literacy teachers and those responsible for teaching Internet safety in any course are sure to find a lesson they need. Take advantage of these free lessons to educate students about the basics of the Internet from safety to reading the terms of service to creating or sharing memes. After these lessons, challenge students to create a simple infographic about what they learned using Piktochart, reviewed here. The lessons and (some of) the descriptions include resources you may want to share with parents and school counselors so they can have a conversation about the topics with their students. Discuss topics on this site as part of Internet safety lessons. Share this site with school counselors as a resource for teens facing online safety issues.

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Making a Change: The First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement - NewseumED

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8 to 12
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical...more
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical Connections, Media Literacy, and Civics & Citizenship. In addition, an interactive timeline beginning in 1791 demonstrates the Civil Rights journey. A Google Civil Rights map includes links to important American newspapers and their coverage of civil rights events and leaders. Be sure to sign up for your free NewseumED account for complete access to all materials.

tag(s): black history (58), civil rights (121), constitution (88), journalism (55), newspapers (98)

In the Classroom

Use any or all of the units and interactives with any Civil Rights lessons; this site isn't just for Black History Month! Share with journalism students as they explore the role of the press in shaping and telling the story of a nation. Have small groups or pairs of students make a multimedia presentation exploring the First Amendment and the role of the press using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here. With the web-based Sway, you can include text, images, and video. To illustrate different press coverage around the nation, have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here; students can add text, images, and location stops!
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Believe It or Not? - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad...more
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad information. Though the lessons seem to center around a visit to Newseum and their galleries, there is a lot to be learned just by examining and discussing the materials presented here. There are discussion questions, media issues to think about, suggested in-class activities, and worksheets. Find a Unit plan with lessons that are standards aligned and Common Core compatible. The Unit plan and worksheets are available in both PDF and Word document formats.

tag(s): media literacy (65), news (258)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lessons, discussion questions, sample articles, and worksheets offered for use in your classroom. Divide students into small groups and assign different discussion questions and activities to each group. Allow all older students to have a voice in the small group by using a chat service like Flock, reviewed here. Challenge the small groups to create a slide presentation using Swipe, reviewed here, demonstrating information learned. With Swipe students can add videos, images and documents making them all interactive. Note: with Flock students can also start planning the presentation and keep the plan for 30 days. If you cannot make a field trip to the Newseum for the Gallery Guide Handout, you can do a Google search for Who Controls the News and find many free resources.
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NewseumED - NewseumED.org

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6 to 12
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Make history relevant to the world today and learn more about First Amendment issues at the same time. Find lesson plans, a multimedia collection of primary sources and artifacts, interactive...more
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Make history relevant to the world today and learn more about First Amendment issues at the same time. Find lesson plans, a multimedia collection of primary sources and artifacts, interactive tools, and worksheets. These are searchable by type, topic, and time-period. The focus of the lessons is historical connections, media literacy, and civics and citizenship. There are several EdCollections with titles like "Election 2016: Stumped!?," "Making a Change," "Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less," and "Freedom in the Balance." The latter focuses on teaching and learning about 9/11 and the attacks in Paris, France 2015, and adhering to the First Amendment freedoms and concerns for safety and the public good. All of this is free with an email sign up. Check back frequently to see NewseumEd's newest EdCollections.

tag(s): civil rights (121), elections (73), freedom of speech (11), politics (98), primary sources (92), terrorism (45), terrorist (15)

In the Classroom

If you teach or even discuss civil rights, the First Amendment and its freedoms and ideals, current events, or the presidential elections be sure to look at the lessons provided here. The lessons will also help you show students how to tell facts from opinions in current events. Use ideas from the lesson plans to supplement your current teaching materials. Challenge small groups of students to create a simple infographic sharing their learning from the notes they took during a lesson. Use Piktochart, reviewed here, to construct the infographic. If you plan on using one of the EdCollections ask students to develop a multimedia presention using Presentious, reviewed here, or an interactive poster with a tool like Genial.ly, reviewed here, for one of the suggested Extension Activities.
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Youth Radio - National Science Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
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Youth Radio offers training and resources for students to learn how to produce marketable media for large audiences. Listen to student podcasts created through the tutelage of Youth...more
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Youth Radio offers training and resources for students to learn how to produce marketable media for large audiences. Listen to student podcasts created through the tutelage of Youth Radio mentors. Features include discussions on current events, tech, health, and much more. Choose the For Teachers link to find many free lessons on how to use storytelling resources. These excellent lessons include videos and links to all printable materials required for teaching the lesson. The Creative Studio link features podcasts allowing young students to share their feelings, explore their passions, and build connections through creative projects. Preview topics before you share as some many not be appropriate for your classroom, depending on the age and maturity level of your students.

tag(s): digital storytelling (154), journalism (55), media literacy (65), podcasts (57), radio (26)

In the Classroom

Share student-created podcasts found on Youth Radio for use as a model during digital storytelling lessons. Take advantage of the free lessons offered on the site for use in your classroom. Share a link on your class website for students to explore and find podcasts that interest them. After listening to these student podcasts, have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their own. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Before creating their own podcast, have students create a storyboard using a tool like Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here. They will also need to develop a script and practice. Try using Penflip, reviewed here, for students to write collaboratively. This tool allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control.

Comments

This is one of the best sites on the web for engaging teens in the world around them. The "Teacher Resources" are phenomenal. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Media History Digital Library - Media History Digital Library

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6 to 12
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Come to the Media History Digital Library to find digitized classic media periodicals available from the public domain. All of the collections pertain to the cinema, broadcasting, and...more
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Come to the Media History Digital Library to find digitized classic media periodicals available from the public domain. All of the collections pertain to the cinema, broadcasting, and sound. Periodicals such as Business Screen, Pictures and Story Magazine, Motion Picture Classics, and Radio Age have at least a five-year spread of content. Over 100 other periodicals are featured. When selecting a periodical, you may choose to read, download, or go directly to the site. Join the blog to discover recent additions, scholarship opportunities, events, and more.

tag(s): art history (81), media literacy (65), multimedia (61)

In the Classroom

Use Media History Digital Library in your classroom as a secondary resource to discover the culture and setting of a time period while studying literature or even through history classes. List the clues and details that provide further information. Analyze the article use and its influence on society by using close reading techniques. In a multimedia class, discover the history and progression of cinema, broadcasting, and sound. Use to discover the influence of critical world events such as world wars, depressions, economic influences, an industrial revolution, and more. Analyze the artistic changes throughout time.
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Ask for Evidence - askforevidence.org

Grades
8 to 12
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Ask for Evidence steps in to find the facts behind product claims. Browse through stories for information on questions such as "Should we be Worried about 'Dirty' Stethoscopes?" or...more
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Ask for Evidence steps in to find the facts behind product claims. Browse through stories for information on questions such as "Should we be Worried about 'Dirty' Stethoscopes?" or "Claims about Cancer Fighting Foods." Create an account to ask your own questions. Be sure to view the "Understand Evidence" part of the site to find invaluable resources about how to find and understand reliable evidence. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from American English. Note: topics included may not all be classroom appropriate. Select and share specific articles if you are sharing this site with young people.

tag(s): advertising (33), evaluating sources (16), media literacy (65), politics (98)

In the Classroom

Use this site when discussing political or advertising claims with your students. Build critical thinking and questioning skills. Share specific articles with students as young as upper elementary. Share the "Understand Evidence" portion of the site with students before they begin any investigational reports or persuasive writing pieces. Use specific articles rather than the full site with less mature students. This site will give them experience reading informational text on claims they wonder about. Partner weaker readers with others who may be able to help them read the text-heavy articles. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.

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Documentary Lens - National Film Board of Canada

Grades
9 to 12
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What makes a short film or documentary effective? The National Film Board of Canada presents a database of documentaries from the 1940s through 2004. Each film is annotated with questions...more
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What makes a short film or documentary effective? The National Film Board of Canada presents a database of documentaries from the 1940s through 2004. Each film is annotated with questions for discussion or with observations on important elements of the film. The focus is not necessarily on the content (although the films are grouped by theme), but rather on what makes the effort noteworthy. Don't miss the related site, accessed through the drop down menu, "Behind the Camera," that highlights the elements of good film making.

tag(s): canada (31), history day (24), media literacy (65), movies (69)

In the Classroom

The availability of inexpensive video cameras and film editing software makes including film making as a part of the regular classroom easier than ever. With digital writing included as part of Common Core, documentaries are a wonderful way to share student-written, informational text in a multimedia format. Incorporate the lessons that accompany these films as you introduce a documentary project. Help students understand that no matter how much fun it might be to watch the latest homemade viral video on YouTube, effective film making requires planning and design. The lessons presented here will be of particular assistance to students who are considering a National History Day entry in the documentary category.
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Media Smarts - Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy

Grades
6 to 12
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media...more
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media literacy to explore articles related to television, Internet, and gender issues. An extensive teacher resource section offers many lessons and resources searchable by grade, subject, and media type. Download lessons in PDF format using links in the lesson description.

tag(s): media literacy (65)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to explore and use with lessons related to digital and media literacy. Share articles on gender and body image with students. Have students find examples on tv and use an online poster creator, such as PicLits, reviewed here to demonstrate examples. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here.
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Power Poetry - Power Poetry

Grades
8 to 12
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together...more
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Encourage budding poets with Power Poetry. Power Poetry's mission is to close the literacy gap through poetry. This is a community where young people of all backgrounds come together to process their emotions using poetry. Find challenges to write about social issues or to write a poem in only 140 characters. There are tips for writing FanFiction poetry. Find many supportive community members to encourage you to develop your voice. Poets are free to write about any subject; however, there are site guidelines to prevent hate speech and other inappropriate content. Join with a username and email address. On your profile, there is the option of sharing your first name and last initial, profile picture, and a short biography. You can message each other within the site, but this feature can be disabled from account settings.

tag(s): poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Encourage your most avid writers to submit their poetry to this site. Use your whiteboard or projector to show them the "Take Action Guides." There you will find many issues of concern to youth today. Most students will enjoy uniting multimedia, poetry, and activism in one place. Challenge your students to write a poem in 160 characters or 140 characters (the length of a text message or Tweet respectively). Counselors may want to encourage disenfranchised students to join the site and write about their deepest feelings. This is a supportive community that encourages students to develop their own voice.

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Honest Slogans - What People Really Think - Cliff Dickens

Grades
9 to 12
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Honest Slogans takes company slogans, adds a little twist, and creates new advertising images. These new slogans poke fun using a company's own logo and brands. Scroll through the many...more
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Honest Slogans takes company slogans, adds a little twist, and creates new advertising images. These new slogans poke fun using a company's own logo and brands. Scroll through the many pages to view images similar to the company's advertising but with a slightly different punch line that tells what people really think about the product. For example, see the Hallmark Cards logo stating "When you care enough to give a card mass-produced by a corporation." Each slogan includes a link for viewing notes shared by others. Please take caution in sharing these with students as they are unmoderated. Not all topics are appropriate for students (for example, alcohol).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): advertising (33), media literacy (65)

In the Classroom

Use Honest Slogans as part of a truth in advertising lesson. Share examples with students and have them create their own Honest Slogans for different brands. Use this site as the inspiration for creating new book covers for classic literature or as an introduction to a social studies chapter or math unit. Create "honest" ads in a new language in your world language class. The ideas are endless! Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet, (reviewed here) to create and display finished products.

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K-12 Digital Literacy & Citizenship Curriculum - Common Sense Education

Grades
K to 12
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Common Sense Education offers this series of lessons related to Common Core standards and materials for teaching responsibility and proper behavior in the digital world. Be sure to...more
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Common Sense Education offers this series of lessons related to Common Core standards and materials for teaching responsibility and proper behavior in the digital world. Be sure to browse the online video library for topics of interest. Refine your search to specific topics such as celebrity influence on kids or marketing to children. Explore the interactive scope and sequence to find lessons for all grade levels in many topics. For example, you will find lessons and videos for Digital Footprint & Reputation, Self Image & Identity, Relationships & Communication, Cyberbullying, Internet Safety, Copyright, and more. Other educational resources include posters, interactive assessments, curricular toolkits, and self-guided lessons for high school students.

tag(s): cyberbullying (45), digital citizenship (68), internet safety (118), media literacy (65), social networking (108)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this website as your first stop for any lessons related to responsible digital behavior. Share a link to videos on your classroom website or blog for students (and parents) to view at home. Download and use lesson plans and materials as part of Common Core lesson planning. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here, for younger students, or Wordle, reviewed here, for older students. Ask students collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here, (quick start- no membership required!) demonstrating information presented from these Digital Literacy & Citizenship lessons. For example, ask them to anonymously share, "Things that surprised me."
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All About Explorers - All About Explorers

Grades
5 to 8
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It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary ...more
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It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary school and middle school students sort the garbage from the gold on the Internet. Despite the name of the site, it's not really about explorers at all. In fact, all the biographies of the (very real) explorers on this site are fictional. Teachers can use the site in two ways: The "Treasure Hunt" section allows students to compare the biography on the All About Explorers site with a linked biography on a "real" site and asks them to compare the two and draw conclusions. Alternatively, there is a more comprehensive Web Quest section that allows for a more complete and lengthy lesson with the same object.

tag(s): explorers (68), internet safety (118), media literacy (65), webquests (27)

In the Classroom

The trick in using All About Explorers is to keep the real lesson a secret at the beginning and allow students to come to their own conclusion. Processing that "aha!" moment when students recognize that there is a hidden agenda here will have a much more lasting impression than simply telling students they cannot believe everything they read. Deep inside, students often believe they can easily tell the difference between the Truth and something that is misleading or downright false. All About Explorers will help them see how difficult that can be. They might also learn something about explorers in the process! Extend this lesson by having student groups find another suspect site and create a screencast of that "suspicious" site, pointing out characteristics that indicate an unreliable source. A tool such as Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, or Screencastify (Chrome app), reviewed here, will allow them to create a "tour" of the fallacies they find.

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RADCAB - Steps for Online Information Evaluation - Karen M. Christensson

Grades
6 to 12
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RADCAB is a way to evaluate information and resources. RADCAB is a mnemonic acronym: Relevancy, Appropriateness, Detail, Currency, Authority, and Bias. Click on each word for details...more
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RADCAB is a way to evaluate information and resources. RADCAB is a mnemonic acronym: Relevancy, Appropriateness, Detail, Currency, Authority, and Bias. Click on each word for details on that topic. An excellent rubric is available for download in PDF format. This simple site is a great resource for discussing and teaching information literacy lessons about evaluating information and sources.

tag(s): evaluating sources (16), internet safety (118), media literacy (65), rubrics (29)

In the Classroom

Share this site and content on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you begin a project involving research. Demonstrate how to use this site before allowing students to explore on their own. Print and use the rubric available on the site. Require that students (or groups) complete the rubric on their chosen sources for research. Share a link to the site on your class website and classroom computer for easy student (and parent) reference at any time. Another idea: assign cooperative learning groups one part of the acronym. Each group could create a presentation to share with the class about what they learned about their part of the evaluation process. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Students will LOVE finding and sharing examples of "bad" sources!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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