To simplify the infusion of digital and media literacy into complex public school curricula, TMS often suggests “production-based media literacy”, which recommends that schools:
- Engage new media resources (“technology”), ways of communicating, and digital literacy skills through content-driven student productions, and
- Layer essential competencies of media literacy onto existing learning objectives during the production process.
Whether they have a media lab or cluster or are incorporating digital media classroom by classroom, a vertically integrated media literacy planner can help schools streamline the modernization of their curriculum.
Schoolwide Potential of this Planner
- Enable the blending of media literacy concepts with common core standards and core curricula while establishing and reinforcing essential digital skills
- Envision core operational skills necessary for media production types desired by classroom teachers
- Scaffold the most transferrable digital literacy skills to allow kids to work towards independence and adaptability to new tools as they emerge
- Minimize cumulative instructional time spent introducing operational skills, freeing up teachers to focus on facilitating thoughtful, effective academic productions
- Maximize teachable moments around media literacy concepts
The Origins of this Planner
This spreadsheet was initially developed by Garin Kaligian manage the collaborative planning we started at PS 9 to leverage digital skills students were learning in his media lab to add production elements to the core curriculum. It allowed Garin, a former 5th-grade teacher-turned-media lab cluster teacher, to develop and align his scope and sequence alongside content from grade level curriculum maps so that we could sit down with classroom teachers to discuss the Common Core and Media Literacy potential of student production work.
I showed his prototype (with his permission!) to Nicole Nelson, the Assistant Principal at Brooklyn School of Inquiry (BSI). BSI had recently hired a Media Literacy cluster teacher, Michael Novick, and was ready to formalize a scope and sequence for digital skill acquisition that would allow their classroom teachers, like at PS 9, to dream up project-based units with awareness of the production skills their students possess.
At BSI, we added the “YEARLONG FEATURE” column, to establish a clear progression of digital skills and media literacy concepts, while also allowing for teachers to be creative within the calendar throughout the year.
Both schools are works in progress and are doing exciting work as they go.