Choosing Media Sources for Literacy Instruction

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Adapting Instruction for Learners With Sensory Challenges

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Literacy Instruction
  • 0:40 Media
  • 2:15 Media Criteria
  • 5:09 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Media and literacy can go hand-in-hand, creating an engaging classroom of learning. But, how can teachers choose the best media for their classroom? In this lesson, we'll examine media use in the literacy classroom, including criteria for choosing instructional media.

Literacy Instruction

Carl is a literacy teacher in a middle school. He loves to read and write, and wants his students to love reading and writing, too. He thinks that using media in his classroom might help him engage his students more. Literacy instruction focuses on reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Like Carl, many literacy teachers use media in their classroom to enhance the literacy experience.

To help Carl out, let's look at the advantages and types of media, and what criteria Carl can use to evaluate media and choose which ones to use in his classroom.


As we've seen, Carl is interested in using media in his literacy classroom. Media, which is the plural of medium, is, collectively, mass communication. That is, media involves communication to large numbers of people.

Carl has a lot of media to choose from. Traditional media include newspapers, television, and movies. These media are considered traditional because they date back before the Internet. Newer, internet-based media include social media, like Twitter or Facebook, and blogs, or web journals.

So, why should Carl use media in his literacy classroom, anyway? After all, his parents and grandparents learned to read and write using just books and pen and paper. There was no social media, no television or movie watching in class. Why not just teach children like that?

There are a few advantages to adding media into a literacy classroom. First of all, we live in a media-dense world today, and students need to know how to use and analyze media, whether it be online or in more traditional form. By adding media to his lesson plans, Carl is integrating traditional literacy with media literacy, allowing him to teach both at once.

Further, media can boost engagement in a literacy classroom. Students who otherwise might not be interested in reading and writing can become very engaged when asked to read or write about media. Keeping a blog about a favorite television show, for example, or comparing a film and book can make otherwise reluctant students enjoy reading and writing.

Media Criteria

Carl has decided to use media in his classroom. He understands the benefits, and he's excited to use media in conjunction with more traditional approaches to reading, writing, speaking, and listening. But, he's also overwhelmed. What media should he use, and how should he use it?

Carl doesn't have an easy job. He has many different media and many different media artifacts to sort through. A media artifact is a specific example of a medium. So, while television is a medium, a specific television show is a media artifact. Likewise, Twitter is a medium, but a specific tweet is a media artifact. As you might guess, Carl has many media to choose from, but he has exponentially more media artifacts to choose from!

There are some specific questions that Carl can ask when evaluating media artifacts for classroom use. They include:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account