Let It Go: A Journey Toward Elementary Student-Driven Media Production Aligned With the CCSS

Let It Go: A Journey Toward Elementary Student-Driven Media Production Aligned With the CCSS

Yonty Friesem (Central Connecticut State University, USA), Brien J. Jennings (Narragansett Elementary School, USA) and Carol Prest (Narragansett Elementary School, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3417-4.ch008
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This case study introduces a two-year process in which a fourth grade teacher working with a library media specialist experienced a successful integration of digital and media literacy practices. During that time the fourth grade teacher adopted a less protectionist approach by having her students explore different multimedia production projects to enhance their learning in social studies. This book chapter introduces the process of both the fourth grade teacher as she explored new instructional strategies to incorporate media production and the Common Core State Standards and the library media specialist as a support team member. The standards index and its media production application can help educators integrate media production into their classrooms. This case study can help promote media production activities as they foster 21st century skills in elementary students.
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Digital media empowers users to access information, analyze and evaluate, create messages, and reflect upon usage (Hobbs, 2010). At the same time, it calls for social responsibility (Gardner & Jenkins, 2011). One of the biggest challenges in adapting media literacy pedagogy is teachers’ protectionist approach. Buckingham (1998) explained that the learning process must be student-centered and not a top-down approach where teachers are demystifying media messages to protect students from the negative influence of the media. In other words, instead of seeing the young students as victims of the media that needed to be protected, teachers should engage students’ popular culture in order to empower them to critically analyze media messages they consume and even be able to produce their own media messages. This empowering approach is challenging when teachers are in isolation. Sharing the control over the class content and activity with students means that there is a chance of disorder and transgression (Parry, 2013). Teachers might find this risk to be too challenging when they are the only adult in the room responsible for the children’s learning process.

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