National Association for Media Literacy Education
I’m preparing a conference proposal with my colleagues Paige Bentley-Fannery and Genesis Hansen for the National Association for Media Literacy Education 2013 conference in Torrence, CA. I’m not a member of NAMLE yet, and it’s outside of my echo chamber.. er, I mean, my library association comfort zone, so I’m reading a little more about what they do, where their emphasis is, and how librarians can contribute to the conversations that they’re having. They have some really great information on their website that I have posted here before, but as I get more and more involved in policy, pedagogical and philosophical discussions about why I’m doing what I’m doing, I find it’s useful to return to some of the basics.
Within North America, media literacy is seen to consist of a series of communication competencies, including the ability to ACCESS, ANALYZE, EVALUATE, and COMMUNICATE information in a variety of forms, including print and non-print messages.
Media literacy empowers people to be both critical thinkers and creative producers of an increasingly wide range of messages using image, language, and sound. It is the skillful application of literacy skills to media and technology messages.
The term “media literacy” is often used interchangeably with other terms related to media and media technologies. To clarify what we mean when we talk about media literacy, NAMLE offers these definitions:
- Media refers to all electronic or digital means and print or artistic visuals used to transmit messages.
- Literacy is the ability to encode and decode symbols and to synthesize and analyze messages.
- Media literacy is the ability to encode and decode the symbols transmitted via media and the ability to synthesize, analyze and produce mediated messages.
- Media education is the study of media, including ‘hands on’ experiences and media production.
- Media literacy education is the educational field dedicated to teaching the skills associated with media literacy.