The Media Literacy Classroom
Johnathan's thesis, The Media Literacy Classroom, is a curriculum plan incorporating media literacy and social media into a Language Arts classroom. The 21st Century Student has an expectation of a certain level of technology in his or her life, and teachers miss an opportunity to engage them in compelling and accessible learning activities by ignoring this. Even the most basic internet-capable computer lab can give young learners access to a powerful set of student-centered tools. This curriculum uses progressive education techniques, emphasizing critical thinking on the part of students to create a media-literacy classroom, which maps the tools of analyzing and understanding the student's own media landscape onto more traditional forms of literacy. Just as a traditionally literate student produces written work to demonstrate content mastery, so to will a media literate student produce audio and video productions to demonstrate their understanding. Many traditional language arts texts, such as the works of William Shakespeare, lend themselves to this form of analysis. The goal of the media literature classroom is to empower students to turn their analytical minds from the classroom into the media landscape itself, and to demonstrate how they can have a voice in the world.