What does it mean to be media literate in today’s world?

When I searched for the term “literate” the first definition to appear describes it as being able to read and write. Media literacy is so much more than simply reading and writing. 


The article that Bart shared defines literacy “as the ability to identify, interpret, understand and communicate” and media literacy as “the ability to understand information that is presented to us and respond appropriately”. 

Media literacy has never been so important than it is now. With the accessibility and the amount of time people consume media, being able to interpret and think critically about what is being observed through media, is paramount. The adverse facets of consuming media such as “fake news”, media bias and the mental health effects. 

Ways we can support media literacy is through education. One of the most effective ways to educate students on media literacy is through games and other engaging activities. And of course READING! Making use of the library to find a wide variety of texts and having deep discussions with students to think critically about what they are reading, will encourage them to understand what they read.

What I found most interesting about Bart’s article was the notion of “algorithmic literacy”. Being able to understand that when you are consuming media, you may not be seeing all the information available on the topic. 

The Common Sense Media article shared by Christine outlines the essential skills needed for media literacy:

  • Learn to think critically
  • Become a smart consumer of products and information.
  • Recognize point of view.
  • Create media responsibly.
  • Identify the role of media in our culture.
  • Understand the author’s goal.

I also really appreciated the key questions to ask students to consider when looking critically at digital media.

In Patricia’s article, the focus is on skills needed to determine if information found in the media is fact or fiction. These skills include identifying the source of information, evaluating the evidence and finding other sources to back up the evidence. 

As the creators of the “web” become more sophisticated, media users need to become more savvy consumers. This article gave many suggestions to combat the “fake news”. 


The podcast shared by Leah T. was very informative in being literate in not only what they read but how they respond to what they are seeing on the internet, in terms of emotional literacy – being careful to consider their own beliefs and how they share it. Integrity and transparency are so important when teaching students about being critical thinkers and  analysis skills without emotional opinions.

A vital aspect of teaching media literacy is teaching social and emotional literacy along with taking responsibility for what you share and the emotions that may be invoked.

I will leave you with this final query: how literate are you?


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