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Wisconsin teachers are working on the PBS Media Literacy Certification


October 26, 2020 Jessie Nixon

According to Common sense media, Even before COVID and the beginning of our mostly virtual world, teenagers spent an average of nine hours a day online. Even as adults, our time online has increased dramatically in the past few months. No wonder I get emails every day with discounts on blue light filter glasses.

As much as we want to get away from our screens, we know we can do well online too. We have access to information from all over the world and can find out everything we want to know. Do Blue Lenses Really Reduce Eye Strain? Do I just need more sleep? Whatever I want to know, I can find someone who will want to give me an answer.

That is the riddle. How do we know that the information we find online is correct and honest? How do we know if the words coming from a talking head on our screens are their words and not deeply fake video used to spread misinformation?

These questions are the driving force of a nationwide movement to improve media literacy, which the National Association for Media Competence Education (NAMLE) defines as the ability to use, analyze, evaluate, shape and act in all forms of communication. Media literacy is an increasingly important tool for our young people and it is a challenge of all of us to improve the media literacy of our students.

Media literacy week

From October 26th to 30th, people from all over the country will be attending Media literacy week, hosted by NAMLE. From attending virtual presentations by scientists like Renee Hobbs talking about their book, Mind Over Media: Propaganda Education for a Digital Age To hear from youngsters talking to PBS Newshour Student Reporting Labs about the importance of civic engagement in the digital age, NAMLE provides opportunities for educators, students and researchers to join forces on this important cause.

But the importance of media literacy doesn’t start and end in a week. As citizens bombarded by news sources that often contradict each other, fake news and a world of websites that claim to be legitimate, we have to think about media literacy every day.

Wisconsin educators are working on certification of media literacy

There is a cohort of educators in Wisconsin who do just that. In September 2020, 13 class teachers and library media specialists set out to become PBS Media Literacy Certified with support from PBS Wisconsin Education. KQED’s PBS Media Literacy Educator Certification, which won the 2019 Award of Excellence from. received Technology & learning Magazine, and was a finalist in the 2020 EdTech Awards in the Badging & Credentialing category, recognizes PreK-12 educators who demonstrate their ability to teach students to think critically about media consumption and creation.

The cohort of educators is passionate about making media literacy a priority in their classrooms and schools and was selected from a nationwide call for tenders.

Gwen Fiecko, a teacher at Lincoln High School in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, explained the importance of being certified by saying, “Now more than ever, we need to analyze citizens who can read and to understand how and why media shape and control our opinions ”. . I want to develop new knowledge and skills in media literacy so that I can more effectively influence student learning in both my digital communication classes and my English classes. “

Similarly, Moon Villalobos, a teacher at the Metcalfe School in Milwaukee, explained why he wanted to become PBS Media Literacy Certified. “I think future adults need to know the power of media literacy. I want to demonstrate to students, staff, and the community that we are never done improving ourselves. It is critical to improve my leadership skills to help the community think critically about media use. “

Gwen and Moon, along with eleven other Wisconsin educators, will work for eight months to complete eight diplomas demonstrating their expertise in teaching PreK-12 students to reflect critically on their roles as media consumers and creators. The credentials that require educators to submit lesson plans and reflections on their learning cover eight topics related to media literacy, such as the ability to critically evaluate online sources and media, create a code of conduct that students must follow when they are online and audio and video media for use in the classroom.

Each month, the cohort of educators and PBS Wisconsin Education staff meet virtually to hear from Wisconsin media literacy experts, share their teaching experiences, and go through the certification process together. In October of this year, the members of the cohort will submit their first certificates and develop a code of conduct for the use of online resources by students in order to create a positive school atmosphere and support responsible use of technology.

Please join me in celebrating the efforts and passion of the first cohort of Wisconsin educators working towards the PBS media literacy certification:

Lisa Biber, High Marq Environmental Charter School, Montello School District

Peg Billing, Lakeland Union High School, Lakeland Union High School District

Melanie Curti, Shawano Community Middle School, Shawano School District

Gwen Fiecko, Lincoln High School, Wisconsin Rapids public schools

Gina Follstad, Maryland Avenue Montessori School, Milwaukee Public Schools

Jaclyn Jecha, Middle and High School Neu-Berlin West, School District Neu-Berlin

Rose Helm, Plover-Whiting, and Kennedy Elementary, Stevens Point Area Public School District

Mary Maderich, CESA 12

Kris McCoy, Mineral Point Middle & High School, Mineral Point Unified School District

Tammy McVeigh, Lincoln High School, Wisconsin Rapids public schools

Kristin Staver, Mineral Point High School, Mineral Point Unified School District

April Vach, Lincoln High School, Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools

Moon Villalobos, Metcalfe School, Milwaukee Public Schools

The responsibility of educators is increasing every day and it takes extreme dedication and passion to add even more to an already overcrowded plate. Thank you to the educators at the PBS Wisconsin Media Literacy Cohort for all you do for our students!

To learn more about PBS Media Literacy Certification or to view media created and produced by Wisconsin Youth, visit our Click Youth Media website at pbswisconsineducation.org/click.


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