Traditional Literacy V. Media Literacy

In class I was asked to answer 2 questions before doing any research on the topic:

  1. How has literacy been impacted by digital media?
  2. How can media instruction be integrated into the curriculum?

My initial response was as such:

While the gut reaction response would be to say that the increase of tv shows, YouTube videos, and video games has decreased literacy, I believe that literacy has increased due to digital media. Perhaps the “sophisticated” forms of literacy of the past are diminishing, but these are being replaced with forms of literacy which are much more prevalent in our everyday lives. People may not sit down and pen letters much, however they are texting and Snapchatting, posting Facebook and Twitter updates, sending emails and Slack messages hundreds of times a day. As a child I was forced to sit down and spend time writing, my nieces now post 500 word comments on their friends YouTube videos! Traditional literacy is not dying due to digital media, it is evolving into something different. It is evolving to a place where in a college and business environments it is not abnormal to use emoji’s and gif’s to communicate, in fact many professional communication tools contribute to the use of these.

Using digital media is one thing, however it is incredibly important to understand how to create media. By tying in video, photography, and audio projects into curriculum, it enhances the learning experience of any subject. Why have students write a paper on Shakespeare when you can have them film a mini documentary about his life, or re-enact a scene from a show and edit it together with audio interviews from experts in the field?

After going through many articles and videos on the topic (see list below) I believe my initial answer stands up. According to a study published by Early Childhood Research Quarterly, adding multi-media rich content into childhood education does indeed have positive impact on learning ability (Penuel, 2012). According to the article, there must be an openness to media on part of the school leaders and teachers in order for a positive outcome to take effect. Educators must be open to media in order to fully embrace its benefits, or else it will only be used an analog substitute and have no long lasting benefits to learning or media literacy.

When integrating media literacy into education, we must focus on the psychological effects of the media and teach students how to dissect media in general. In Media Literacy, Edition 7, by W. James Potter, he says, “Taking control is what media literacy is all about. Becoming more media literate gives you a much clearer perspective to see the border between your real world and the world manufactured by the media.”   Media literacy education is imperative for the new generation of students. While we are all influenced by media, the younger generations are being bombarded by a constant stream of media and are being influence at a much higher rate. Without the skillset to breakdown media messages we are inundated with, we can become trapped in what Andrea Quijada calls a revolving door of corporate manipulation (Quijada, 2013).



Quijada, A. (2013, Feb). Creating Critical Thinkers through media literacy [Video file]. Retrieved from

Penuel, W. R., Bates, L., Gallagher, L. P., Pasnik, S., Llorente, C., Townsend, E., … VanderBorght, M. (2012). Supplementing literacy instruction with a media-rich intervention: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(1), 115–127.



Readings and writings:

Creating critical thinkers through media literacy: Andrea Quijada at TEDxABQED
Center for Media Literacy
Framework for 21st Century Skills- Media Literacy
National Association of Media Literacy Education NAMLE
The Media Literacy Project
The Myth of Digital Literacy
Media Literacy, Edition 7, W. James Potter, offers a rationale for the need to address, even accelerate, media literacy instruction.  Please read through this introduction, on Google Books, pages 1-12
Penuel, W. R., Bates, L., Gallagher, L. P., Pasnik, S., Llorente, C., Townsend, E., Hupert, N., et al. (2012). Supplementing literacy instruction with a media-rich intervention: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(1), 115-127.

Personal Learning Theory: The Freedom Theory

For EdTech 715, a class focused on learning theories, we had to create a short video explaining our personal learning theory.  My learning theory is called The Freedom Theory.  Want to learn more about it?  Watch the video below!

Hot Topics in EdTech: Interview and Research Summary

For my Intro To EdTech course at FPU I conducted an interview with Monica Strickland of Learn4Life Schools about the current “Hot Topics” in the EdTech world. The paper below includes a summary of the interview, as well as some research into the three most important topics Monica touched on.

Video tools for Blended learning.

1- Blubbr

Blubbr is a cool web tool that allows users to create quizzes around YouTube videos. These are basically interactive video quizzes ( called Trivs ) that you can create for your students and which they can answer while they watch the selected video clip. The quizzes are also feedback supported meaning students will get feedback as they answer each question.

2- Teachem

Teachem is a web service that allows teachers to create lessons around YouTube videos. They can also interact with videos through adding comments, questions and notes in the form of flashcards that can be pinned to videos.

3- Educanon

Educanon is another powerful tool that teachers can use to design lessons based on videos from both YouTube and Vimeo. And like Teachem, teachers can generate questions on the content of videos and share it together with videos in a single lesson.

4- VideoNotes

VideoNotes is a free web tool that allows students to take notes on a video they are watching. The notes are synchronized with the video being watched. The good thing about VideoNotes is that it is integrated into Google Drive which means that students will be able to save their notes directly to their Drive account and access, edit, and work on them anytime they want. All the notes are time-stamped.

5- TED Ed

TED Ed is a website that allows teachers to create lessons around YouTube videos. Teachers can select YouTube videos and use their URLs to add questions in different formats. The added value of this tool is that it has a section where teachers can track stats of how many has answered answers and hoa mnay students have seen the lesson. Check out this visual guide to learn more about how to created a video lessons using TED Ed.

6- Vialogues

Vialogue (Video + Dialogue ) is an online video with a group discussion feature. Vialogue allows users to interact with videos by adding time stamped comments to them. This can be a great tool for teachers to use with their students to get them engaged in video prompted discussions.To get started, upload a video, grab one from YouTube, or choose one from the growing collection on our site. Once you’ve created a vialogue, you can encourage thoughtful conversations by posing questions, adding polls, and replying to comments. You can even embed a vialogue into your website, LMS, or blog!

7- Pontoon Edu

Pontoon Edu allows you to animate difficult topics and engage your students using a wide variety of tools. You can easily drag and drop characters and props into your slides and assign it an animation, choose from different pre-designed templates and style libraries.Videos and animated presentations you create through PowToon Edu can be exported in various ways. You can share them on YouTube or Facebook, download them to your computer. You can also export them as MP4 file to embed in your classroom blog or website.

8- Blendspace

Blendspace is an excellent free tool to create flipped lessons for your class. You can create a class on Blendspace and invite up to 35 students to join it. The maximum number of active lessons you can have for free is 100. Besides sharing lessons with the class, you can also use it to collect web sources in a single place that you can share with students with just one link.

Original source Here