Choosing Media Sources for Literacy Instruction

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  • 0:01 Literacy Instruction
  • 0:40 Media
  • 2:15 Media Criteria
  • 5:09 Lesson Summary
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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.

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