Inspiring Critical Thinking Through Media Literacy

By EuRhonda Morgan
EdD Doctoral Learner (Emphasis on K-12 Leadership), College of Doctoral Studies

Posted on July 19, 2016  in  [ Teaching & School Administration ]

I do not believe there is a child out there who wakes up in the morning and says, “I am going to be disengaged in my learning today.”

However, education has taken on an entirely new challenge in our current era: social media. Social media challenges us as educators to compete for our students to be engaged. How do I get my students who are disengaged to be engaged, and my students who are engaged, to continue to be engaged?

Classroom students seek to be engaged in learning. In the video “Improving Education: A View from King/Drew Magnet High School,” students verbalize they want the rigor of content, but they also want teachers to meet them where they are, considering their background knowledge. These students desire their teachers to prepare them for college and careers.

As a teacher, I can target students’ attitude and achievement while engaging them in critical thinking. To do this, I can use social media as a tool. As educators, we can counteract some of the social media that causes our students to be disengaged by engaging them in media literacy.

The video, “Creating critical thinkers through media literacy: Andrea Quijada,” resonated with me as an educator. It discusses the critical thinking that can begin at a very young age, sharing some astounding statistics: Students interact with media 7.5 hours a day.

Quijada shared some ideas how educators can make those 7.5 hours relative by connecting school to the students’ 21st century lives.

Media literacy allows students to utilize media to learn about the world. Through media literacy, students understand they have choices.

For example, students can deconstruct ads and commercials. Through deconstruction, students see the text, but the subtext is what they do not see, which is where critical thinking begins. Students share their opinions and discuss the target audience, which opens the doors for further dialogue.

As an educator, I am constantly seeking out techniques such as this that will engage my students both through critical thinking and class discussions. I will definitely be sharing media literacy with my colleagues for the next school year.

With an education degree from Grand Canyon University’s College of Education, you can inspire minds and change lives. To learn more about the education degree programs at GCU, visit our website or contact us using the Request More Information button at the top of the page.

References:

  • 10 Ways to Engage Students. (2012). Retrieved from pointloma.edu/experience/academics/centers-institutes/center-teaching-learning/teaching-tips/8-ways-engage-students
  • Quijada, A. [TEDx Talks]. (2013, Feb 19). Creating Critical Thinkers through Media Literacy: Andrea Quijada at TEDxABQED. Retrieved from youtube.com/watch?v=aHAApvHZ6XE&feature=youtu.be
  • U.S. Department of Education. (2015, Mar 20). Improving Education: A View from King/Drew Magnet High School. Retrieved from youtube.com/watch?v=ROpHjE2DB5Y

More About EuRhonda:

EuRhonda Morgan is married with one son. She has been an educator in the mathematics department at Alief Edward “Doc” Taylor High School, located in the Alief Independent School District, since fall 2000. She earned her undergraduate degree from Texas Southern University in accounting with a minor in finance. Her secondary mathematics certification was received from University of Houston – Downtown, and she earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from Grand Canyon University. Since entering into education, she is also a past participant and continued active member of the Rice University Mathematics Project (RUSMP).  EuRhonda has been the team leader for Algebra I and Algebra II for many years. She is also a past curriculum writer for Math Models (MMA) and the RUSMP website. EuRhonda loves teaching. She believes that putting children and students first should be at the core and standard operating procedures for all educators.

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