I expect that I am not alone in anxiously awaiting the results of the voting on Tuesday, although probably for very different reasons. It will be a welcome relief not to be bombarded with TV ads, political discussions and commentaries at every turn, billboards, mailers, and unsolicited (and I might add, unwanted) telephone calls.
The current extended presidential campaign should have focused a spotlight on the necessity of teaching information and media literacy in every classroom from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Helping our students understand and recognize bias and propaganda in the media is, and should be, a primary focus of all classroom teachers and library media specialists. But what do we do about the general population that has not had, and will not likely get, information/media literacy instruction? In our “flat” society we must depend on the media (newspapers, television news, news magazines, etc.) to be vigilent in maintaining impartiality and to report the news with objectivity and fairness. Unfortunately, that is not always the case which again points to the importance of helping our students learn the critical skills to become information/media literate.
Professionaly I will continue to work to facilitate infusion of information/media literacy into the curriculum. I hope that when blatant bias is discovered in the media that all informed citizens will lodge their complaints publicly as well as directly to the news outlet. Being information/media literate is critical in our “flat” society. If you are a teacher or library media specialist, what’s happening in your classroom/library media center to help your students become information/media literate? If you are a parent, what’s happening in your child’s classroom or library media center, to help him or her learn the skills to be information/media literate?