Presentations & Notes

Presentations & Notes

The code of best practices for fair use in media literacy education

Since September of 2007 we have been contributing to the development of The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (PDF released November 11, 2008), a coordinated effort by the media literacy community, supported by experts at American University and The Media Education Lab at Temple University to simplify the legalities of using copyrighted materials in an academic setting.

Our most substantial contribution to the effort has been Media Literacy through Production-based Media Education, a video we produced to help frame the issues surrounding fair use in the context of elementary school video production.

Also see: The Media Education Lab’s media literacy, copyright and fair use teaching resources and TMS video & discussion questions on The Media Education Lab.


Presentations & Notes

PS124 3rd Grade Technology Intro Lesson

Google Map Image of PS124Intro to Mr. Rhys & The Media Spot (3rd Grade)

I am here to help you learn how to help you and your teacher use the computer for learning, and to help you create and publish writing, artwork and videos to the Internet.
While we talk today, your teacher will help connect what we are talking about to what your class has been learning this year.

For example, when I am explaining to you how we will be “publishing” your school work on the Internet, your teacher will help you understand what it means to “publish” something by treating it like any of your vocabulary words. Words like “Internet”, “Publish”, “Blog”, and “Keywords” can go on the word wall with other words you are learning in class this year.


  • the key to everything we do on the Internet
  • you’re going to learn by practicing with the Type2Learn game, and by typing your handwritten work onto the computer
  • everything we look at or add to the Internet is based on language used to communicate: letters, words, numbers (Math) — we have to know how to type to communicate

the Internet:

  • a way to find information on just about anything;
  • anyone can publish information here — INCLUDING US; Should you believe everything you read on the Internet?
  • examples:
    • Searching for pictures and information through “Search Engines” (,
    • Google Maps;
    • a place to publish OUR OWN information about what we’ve learned and what we think about things…


  • OUR class blog is our home page on the Internet (like: Last year’s PS124 blog); like a journal
  • a way to share what we’re doing with people all over the school and all over the Internet
  • examples of how we’ll use it:
  • typing writing from your writer’s notebook
    • answering math problems
    • posting artwork
    • eventually posting a video that we make
    • communicating with people from all over the Internet

WATCH the PS 124 Guacamole video and leave a comment on the PS124 blog. What did we like about it?

Talk to each other about what you might want to write on the blog.

NEXT LESSON: hand out computers

  • handle with care
  • they go back in the slots, and get plugged in (2 kids per computer)
  • I’ll be back on Friday/next week to practice the type2learn with you

NEXT LESSON: type 2 learn

  • this is a game that helps you learn to type
  • protocols for using the computers
  • if your computer is having problems, restart and follow along with your neighbor (take turns per lesson), show the guac video, show setting up the projector with the OSX laptop, show last year’s blog, explain this year’s quickly. To do ALL of this, we need to be able to type fast. It’s ALL based on Language — words, letters and numbers.
  • it’s important to follow the rules of the game — it may be more difficult at first, but it will make you faster the more you practice
Presentations & Notes

Our Philosophy (2006)

Our approach to modern curriculum design

The following recommendations are an attempt at simplifying school innovation (and promoting educator sanity) in the coming years:  

  1. Identify your school’s “pedagogical bias” — your philosophical approach to curriculum development and instructional practice.
  2. Identify and internalize within your school culture broadly applicable digital skills and “media literacy” concepts necessary for 21st century citizenship, identity, and the workforce.
  3. Build curricula informed by the above that expands and enhances the Common Core State Standards with new tools and modes of communication, that are open to continuing cultural shifts. 

Theoretical Foundations

Our approach is rooted in the core principles of critical media analysis (see our media literacy page) with the following beliefs guiding us.

  1. Media literacy is critical to maintaining independence and identity in the digital age.
    Media education provides citizens with the foundation to actively and critically engage media in their environment and determine who they are in relation to the agendas of those who produce media.
    foundations: Hall, Tyner, Winn, Hobbs, PBS

  2. The 21st Century idea of “Literacy” should include new media to serve the democratic ideal of an educated and informed citizenry.
    Literacy and critical thinking skills, the foundation of education, empower individuals to inform themselves through information gathering to make decisions in the interest of themselves and their community. In the “digital” or “information” age, proficiency in image and computer communication is as vital to this process as print literacy. Media education should be a fundamental part of our society’s pedagogy.
    foundations: Jefferson (1820), Kerry (2006), Eco, CML

  3. Critical analysis of media should be emphasized over judgement of particular media or their content.
    Rather than flattening media (i.e. television, books, the Internet) or media outlets (i.e. Fox, NBC, World Book) into “good” or “bad, “biased” or “unbiased”, and so on, we encourage individuals to be aware of how and why media are produced. We feel that by participating in and learning the basics of production students are more likely to recognize the inherent bias in any media message, regardless of its subjective value. Whatever a producer’s intent, the media they produce will be interpreted differently by different audiences. We want TMS participants to think about why.
    foundations: NAMLE, Tyner, Kellner, Hall

  4. Media literacy is not equivalent to technological or vocational mastery of production tools.
    We emphasize understanding and analysis of the media production process over mastery of the technical tools of production. Computers and software vary in different environments. We focus on making participants aware of the unique languages different media use to communicate. Students have varying interests, strengths and technical abilities. The TMS collaborative production process insures the completion of projects allowing participants to contribute to the decision making process in all aspects of production, regardless of their technological interests.
    foundations: Hobbs, Tyner

  5. Collaboration between children of the digital age and media professionals from varying backgrounds create teachable moments for the key principals of media literacy.
    TMS productions require participants to work closely at each stage of production with experienced writers, storyboard artists, directors and editors. The various points of view and styles that these collaborators bring to the table during the creative process can increase awareness of the wide range of audience interpretation inherent in mediated communication. Each production decision provides opportunities to discuss key principals of media literacy while they are tangible for all collaborators.

  6. Beyond access to technology, increased learning and media literacy through the use of new media requires adequate planning and support personnel.
    We believe that reducing teacher frustration with technology operation in learning environments is a crucial to production-based media literacy curricula taking hold in U.S. education. To accomplish this requires a coherent plan for technology acquisition and management. To increase media literacy and learning through the media production process, educators must be free to capitalize on teachable moments related to the unique languages of print and visual media during production. We encourage educators to design projects utilizing only the technology that can be adequately maintained and supported in their learning environment, and to involve support personnel when possible in the classroom.
    foundations: Tyner, COSN