Friday, June 19, 2009

Media Literacy Workshop

"Our students are moving and advancing in today’s technological society.
This workshop allowed me to seek new avenues to
bring media into the classroom to use in teaching the standards!”

-Sheila Ragin

On June 18, 2009, we sponsored a workshop with Frank Baker at USC Sumter. The event, which was open to all TCs, focused on Media Literacy: Incorporating Film into the Writing Classroom. Frank had us sharing, watching, and discussing favorite clips from movies we loved; brainstorming our own PSAs (Public Service Announcements); gaining screenwriting skills; discussing novels made into films; viewing real artists’ storyboards; and analyzing films in small groups. Frank suggested we all Google “The Cost of Copyright Confusion” to help us better understand the ins and outs of copyright laws and see that many of the things we thought we couldn’t do in the classroom are in all actuality legal!

Frank reminded us how important it is for media literacy to go beyond talking about propaganda, but moved us into thinking of more complex understanding. He quoted Heidi Hayes Jacob when he said, “If video is how we are communicating and persuading in this new century, why aren’t more students writing screenplays as part of their schoolwork?”

We laughed, we wrote, and we learned! Candi summed it up best for us when she said, “What an enlightening Day! I will never watch a movie in the same way again! My students will think I am cooler than cool!”

For more information, news, and resources about media literacy, please visit Frank’s website The Media Literacy Clearinghouse at

Frank also donated a signed copy of his first children’s book, Coming Attractions: Questioning Movies, to our writing project. This is a non-fiction picture book published by Capstone Press that helps elementary students begin to question the messages in film.

His newest book, Political Campaigns and Political Advertising: A Media Literacy Guide, which comes out on June 30th, focuses on the role of media in politics. Check it out online at or at your local book store!

-Written by Jennifer L. Wilson

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