Concerns about video games include the time children and teens spend playing them, the physical effects of an inactive lifestyle, and the violent or sexist content of many games. Playing video games can be a positive experience if we understand the issues involved, choose games wisely and control screen time.
How do media make use of stereotypes and misconceptions regarding different ethnic groups and visible minorities? What are the barriers to representation faced by such groups and in what ways are they most likely to be represented? This section explores these questions and more.
In this lesson, students explore the issues surrounding violent video games. The lesson begins with a review of the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s rating codes for video and computer games, and a class discussion about the appropriateness of these ratings for children and teens.
In this three-day unit, students assess media coverage of natural disasters and their aftermath. Students explore how sensationalism plays a role in determining what is newsworthy, and how that can distort our perception of issues in developing nations.
In this lesson students learn how to create well-defined search strings and to use tools and techniques such as bookmarking, browser filters and search engine preferences to avoid unwanted material.
In this lesson students learn how to authenticate online information by comparing “facts” from the website www.allaboutexplorers.com with more authoritative sources.
The recently released Pew Report Teens, Video Games and Civicshas revived the question about whether video games can be a worthwhile activity. Another recent entry in this debate is Jim Rossignol’s This Gaming Life, a survey of computer gaming culture and a chronicle of its role in the author’s life.
Teachers who include media literacy in their classrooms often face issues that don’t arise in other subjects. Nothing illustrates this better than the issue of diversity in media. It’s not unreasonable for teachers to see the topic as a can of worms and be concerned about offending students and their parents – not to mention worrying about what the students themselves might say. At the same time, it’s a topic that is simply too important to be ignored: what we see in media hugely influences how we see others, ourselves and the world. As a result, an ability to analyze media depictions of diversity is not only a key element of being media literate, it’s essential to understanding many of the social issues and concerns that we face as citizens. That’s why Media Awareness Network has developed That’s Not Me – a new online tutorial for professional development to help educators and community leaders approach this issue through key concepts of media literacy.
Third entry in a series looks at sites that help users create content. In the last instalment of this series we looked at some of examples of user-created media such as mashups, fan movies and machinima.
We generally think of our kids’ online and offline lives as being two separate things. In reality, they constantly overlap, flowing back and forth face-to-face in the schoolyard and through texts and social networks at home. But on the Internet there are lots of moral and ethical choices that don’t have to be made offline.