Teacher Blog

07 Oct

Key Concept 4: #K12Media

As we progress through this special series of #K12Media chats, our discussion continues with a closer look at Key Concept 4 from the 8 Key Concepts of Media Literacy: Media have commercial implications. Last week we discussed how audiences can negotiate meaning, focusing on the topic of video games.

For a refresher on the concepts: 
http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/teachers/media_literacy/key_concept.cfm

4. Media have commercial implications

The study of media requires an awareness of how media are deeply rooted in commercial interests and how these interests affect content, technique, and distribution. Profits must be made and thus, ownership and control impact what is produced by the media we consume.

03 Oct

Space and Place: The Media Construct Reality

 

Often, our memories, both pleasant and challenging, are infused with the spaces that surrounded us as those memories were made. Our favourite moments may have us connected to the vista at a national park, a warm morning spent swimming in the sun, or sitting fireside with loved ones. This construction of memories and personal impressions is an ongoing dialogue between individuals and their environments. Upon returning to a space, that impression may be changed. Beyond the personal spaces that we can shape and control and mould to our tastes, spaces created for “us” by government and business impact and shape our experiences, perhaps in ways we do not always notice or consider. Nonetheless, “place” can help to shape our ongoing impressions of the world. This week’s twitter chat examined and explored the connection between ourselves and the spaces around us and how these spaces shape us and our behaviours.

We began our chat with a brief re-examination of the term “media”. If we consider a medium to be something which communicates data or information for a purpose, as a pathway for between a message and its intended audience, then much of the constructed world around us does speak.

01 Oct

Canada is on the Verge of Legislating Itself into a Global Disadvantage

On September 29th, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-11, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. I have read several news reports in the last few days about Bill C-11, most of which were extremely positive. On the surface, it does seem like a fair Bill that will modernize copyright law. Unfortunately, largely because of the inclusion of digital lock provisions, it is a step back for education.

This summer, Neil Andersen and I wrote the following letter to send to our Members of Parliament. We have decided to make it available to raise awareness of this important issue:

28 Sep

Key Concept 3: #K12Media

Our special series of #K12Media chats will centre on Concept Three from the 8 Key Concepts of Media Literacy: Audiences negotiate meaning. Last week we discussed how media contribute to our understanding of reality. We explored the idea that the familiar spaces and places we inhabit influence how we perceive our reality, and what we feel we are able to do within it. We spoke about the construction of intersections, neighbourhoods, schools and even our virtual environments online. This week we’ll look at how WE negotiate meaning.

For a refresher on the concepts:

http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/teachers/media_literacy/key_concep...

3. Audiences negotiate meaning

Media are constructions, and in turn, they can shape our reality, but there is more to the equation than that. We, as viewers, create impressions and opinions of the world around us based not only on the media we are exposed to, but also based on what we bring to the table. Our biases, personal experiences, socio-economic status, culture, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability and more all contribute to how we make meaning out of a media text. In order to truly understand how we negotiate meaning from a media text, we need to better understand the intersectionality that informs our individual perspectives. We also need to confront the fact that the meaning of a text is not fixed, but rather negotiated by the individual.

22 Sep

News and Media: All Media are Constructions

This is the first in a series of special posts co-written by Ms. Keats and Ms. Solomon to reflect on the #K12Media Twitter chats.

As we’ve transitioned into this special series of #K12Media chats, we thought we’d add a blog component in order to reflect on the lively and productive discussions. We also wanted a space to continue the conversation. Often an hour isn’t enough, or we think of something wonderful to add later. Monday’s discussion has refreshed and enriched our own understanding of both the key concept and the medium; it has us reconsidering the possibilities of the media studies units we’ve developed in the past.

We’re exhilarated about the opportunities that a good discussion can generate; there was much for us to process and reflect on following Monday night’s twitter chat about news media. We find ourselves still left with more questions than answers about news media (especially with regards to social media) and incorporating the study of news in the classroom. Not that that’s a bad thing...