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New Literacy Learning Through Media Literacy Skill Development

Interacting with new literacies and remixing to engage today's learner in media and information literacy.


Thematic Overview

Media literacy skill development through the use of new literacies “involves unmuting our own voices by disclosing the kinds of information that have fed our assumptions, biases, beliefs – in short, who we are and why our social histories matter (Alvermann, 2022, p. 25).” The use of media to assess, analyze, create, and reflect through remixing of new literacies empowers students to engage in personalization as well as curiously examine what and how we consume information in digital formats as formats themselves become fluid and transitional mediums in the online world. Media literacy transforms how we communicate while "[inviting] students to participate as designers in a process of transformative learning whereby they may harness both the permanence and changeability of media signs, symbols, and sites and rework these in active negotiation that centers themselves as agents participating in larger social and cultural systems (Redmond, 2021, p. 344).” Through the successful implementation of media literacies, schools are able to prioritize adolescent critical awareness as they navigate new literacies through research and inquiry-based instructional strategies; thus, preparing students to analytically participate in personal and professional spaces.


Thematic Overview cont.

Critical media literacy and pedagogy “[teaches] students to be critical of media representations and discourses (Kellner, 2000, p. 251).” This is a continuously pervasive pattern within media consumption as media becomes more accessible through steady streams of digital tools and mediums. Schools that support students in their comprehension of critical language awareness by “using the texts of everyday life as an effective way for learners (both teachers and students) to become aware of and to unpack the language and literacy practices they regularly employ (Metz, 2022, p. 2)” are preparing their students to participate in an unpredictable future using new literacies as the navigation for reading and writing instruction. “By working with familiar, relevant texts, learners raise their metacognitive awareness of their own literacy practices” and are developing skills to analyze and evaluate sources no matter the format being used and “can lead to productive exploration of how language works in texts and in our world (Metz, 2022, p. 2-3).”

Student Identity

Inquiry & Research


Theoretical Perspective

As technologies and modalities develop in their complexity, learners are engaging with a myriad of nuanced digital tools and accessibility to information that has never before been seen in society in such regularity. As adolescents seek to gain a deeper understanding of the world around them and the rapidly changing digital ground they stand on, educators can use new literacies to take a skills-based approach to media and information literacy to equip students and empower them to critically engage with the world around them. Schools and their stakeholders must prioritize young adolescent engagement and connect aspects of their daily life into academic development to enhance retention. Educators are called to critically re-examine their perceptions of teenagers, technology and media “in order to help support and develop specific new media and critical media literacy strategies that are both practical and digestible (Wright, 2020, p. 10).”

The Role of Educators

Language, Text, and Identity

Presently, many literacy environments involve the traditional reading and writing in “page-bound, official, standard forms of the national language” (Cazden et al., 1996, p. 60). This is worrisome, given that the purpose of literacy pedagogy is, or should be, to prepare students for society. By moving away from the schooling environment that supports the assimilation and creation of “docile, compliant workers,” we will support the empowerment and identity of diverse learners (Cazden et al., 1996). How are texts and language linked to power and identity? What are the implications for classroom practices? Please click below.


Language, Text, and Power

Creating an Inclusive Environment

Literacy Learning Goal & New Literacy Resources

However, given the seemingly limitless terrain that is social media, and the broader Internet, information on almost anything can be found effiortlessly. It is knowing where to look for correct, trustworthy and corroborated information that we believe is more challenging for students. If the platforms and information students engage with are shaping their perception of other people and the world, educators need to develop students' media literacy skills in their research anfd learning, so that mis/disinformation isn't being digested as the truth.

In his work, Social Linguistics and Literacies: Ideology in discourses, Paul Gee (2008) establishes three points regarding the meaning of language and words: 1) it is fluid and varies across context 2) meaning is tied to cultural models that, which as Gee (2008) states are "stories and theories that are meant to simplify and help us deal with complexity" (10) 3) meaning-making involves negotiation and social interaction. In short, language and its meaning are never static and change among the people and cultures they are situated within. With this in mind, as educators, it is important to understand the influence of social media, the Internet and adjacent technologies on our students in how they develop communication skills, learn about other cultures and build a broader understanding of the world around them. Swaths of students are involved with virtual communities and/or technology that is certain to be related, perhaps substantially, to their own identity and self-perception. In essence, the social interaction and communication for provided by media and technology, the language, is taking an integral role in shaping our students' perceptions and understandings of the world around them. To dismiss these as trivial would be doing our students a great amount of harm and would castaway a great amount of oppportunity to enhance students' learning using the very resources that they engage with.

Teaching Overview

Teaching media literacy respects and builds on the identities our students might have connected to their various engagaements online. It affirms our students' interets to explore, learn and be creative in what they are involved in online. We, as teachers, are providing the foundation and lens by which they explore, so that they feel equipped and confident to engage in critical communication, thinking and analysis with media, when required.

We want to teach students the appropriate media literacy skills to analyze and evaluate the information they interact with and digest, so they can be sure to differentiate between what is good information and what is mis/disinformation. The lesson plan focuses on introducing, modeling and walking through the CRAAP test with students, so that they can develop their ability to laterally read and analyze sources they engage with as they research a topic that interests them. There would be a corresponding worksheet for students to complete where they would fill out the CRAAP acronym chart and then students would practice in pairs finding a source and applying the test. However, before going into pairs, the educator would find a source and together, as a class, the CRAAP test would be applied.

Learning Plan


Applying the CRAAP Test
Understanding Basic Media Literacy

New Literacy Resources to Guide Student Media Literacy Learning

  1. Gee, J., & Gee, J. P. (2008). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. Routledge.
  2. Leu, D. J. (2005). New literacies, reading research, and the challenges of change: A deictic perspective. In 55th yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 1-20). Oak Creek, WI: National Reading Conference.
  3. Miners, Z. and Pascopella, A. (2007). The New Literacies. District Administrator, October, 2007. Retrieved December 21, 2007, from http://www.districtadministration.com/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=1292.
  4. Kellner, D. (2000). New technologies/new literacies: Reconstructing education for the new millennium. Teaching Education, 11(3), 245-265.
  5. Alvermann, D. E. (2008). Why bother theorizing adolescents' online literacies for classroom practice and research?. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(1), 8-19.

Annotated Bibliography

  1. In Gee's (2008) piece, he establishes and expounds upon three principles regarding meaning-making with language. Ultimately, Gee (2008) makes the case for the meaning of language being something that is not static and changes with culture. With the prevalence of media and technology in our students' lives, this culture encapsulates their engagement in virtual communication and meaning-making.
  2. Similar, Leu's (2005) work builds on the idea of fluidity in the meaning of language with his framing of language as a "deictic construct". An idea Leu fleshes out to prove this point is examining the various technologiess throughout history that have been used as literacy has changed over time, like cuneiform/scrolls/the Bible/etc. Contemporarily, the Internet, media platforms and other technology are the prevailing tools because they are a central ethos that most of our students have attachment to.
  3. Miner and Pascopella's (2007) work explores the integration of new literacies in the classroom and provides a model for educators on what new literacy education looks like in the classroom. However, the foundation of this integration in each of these classrooms is a goal to equip students with strong media literacy skills to naviagte the information they come across on whatever platform they are engaging eith.
  4. Kellner's (2000) research presents the argument that with technology/media being center, or adjacent, to many parts of our, and our students', lives being technophobic is only a disserive to how we educate. Technology and media present vast opportunities for learning, but educators have to know how to incorporate and build students' technology and media/media literacy skills so that they may powerfully learn. This is especially pertinent, as Kellner points out, because of how the media and technology that students are engaging with is increasingly shaping their perceptions of the world, its insitutions and its inquities.
  5. In Alvermann's (2008) piece, she outlines the ways contemprary media/technology have produced participatory cultures that are students engaging with, especially by ways of communicating with others. Furthermore, these participatory platforms/cultures allow students to construct and invest in identities that are very meaningful to their self-perception.

Annotated Bibliography (2)

Assessment Overview


  • A different web article will be given to them for them to assess using CRAAP at the beginning of each class period as their Warm Up, and their conclusions will be posted to a class discussion board and then the teacher will go over it with the class.
  • Students will periodically play a Blooket on this topic as a closing throughout the unit. The teacher will be able to use the Blooket data to measure mastery, understanding, and growth.
  • Mini Documentary Project
After learning about CRAAP and how to evaluate web sources, students will apply those concepts by conducting their own research and producing a multimedia presentation using WeVideo.Students will be required to select a topic of their choice and then gather information about their topic using the digital research skills covered previously in class. They will be given copies of CRAAP checklists to use to assess their sources as they conduct their research.Minilessons on how to use WeVideo and on the basics of video editing will be given before each work session after students have completed their research.


Rubric for Grading the Mini Documentary

Here is an exemplar from one of Xenia's 6th grade students after implementing this lesson in her own classroom.

Mini Documentary Student Example

"New media literacies invite students to participate as designers in a process of transformative learning whereby they may harness both the permanence and changeability of media signs, symbols, and sites and rework these in active negotiation that centers themselves as agents participating in larger social and cultural systems (Redmond, 2021, p. 344)."


New literacies are amplified when “multiple literacies include not only media and computer literacies, but a diverse range of social and cultural literacies” are made accessible and prioritized at the forefront of content instruction and implementation (Kellner, 2000, p. 259). New literacies are more than just preparing students to engage with technologies in manners that are critical and reflective, but they emphasize the importance of identity and culture within the folds of instruction and learning. Building our students’ literacy skills means looking at learners wholistically and understanding who they are and the unpredictability of who they will be—and then shaping our classroom functionality to suit their needs and personalize the learning experience to support their growth both personally and academically which is enhanced with the integration of media and informaiton literacy instruction in the content, process, and product of student learning. As literacies are continuously changing and educators seek to prepare learners for an unpredictable world, new literacy “ [requires] the ability not just to ‘read’ but also to navigate the World Wide Web, locate information, evaluate it critically, synthesize it and communicate it-all skills that are becoming vital to success in this century’s economy and workforce (Miners & Pascopella, 2007).” This shift in literacy application means teachers must see the deictic nature of literacy as “our students’ acquisition of new literacies will be driven by a teacher’s ability to keep up with these changes (Leu, 2005, p. 13).” Such application requires educators to engage our students in media literacy strartgies and implement instruction to support student knowledge through the use of research and inquiry-driven pedagogies. My group members all emphasize the immense significance of preparing out students through modalities that are familiar to them to equip them to participate effectively in the world. To do so, Andy emphasizes students must have the tools to understand how media and infromation literacy impacts their perceptions of the world, cultures, and current issues and inequities. By utilizing students' personal enagament modalities as platforms to drive inquiry alongside media literacy, teachers can transform educational spaces to support student identities and share their voices with the use of digital tools and new literacies.Using new literacies to frame these instructional practices changes our pedagogical pathways and provides educators with the means to support student identities and critical consciousness. Thus, hopefully supporting their life-long learning and new literacies as they continue to develop throughout time and preparing learners to enagage inentionally with media and information through digital tools.

Rebecca Williams

Implementation and integration of new literacies pedagogy and methodology into the curriculum are essential in preparing our students to critically think about the world around them as their perceptions are increasingly shaped through the landscapes of media and technnology, which is increasingly becoming a part of their lives. With media/technology culture becoming a centerpiece, or at least adjacent, to a majority of our students' lives, education must embrace what is offered in creating a learning atmosphere that equips students to be empathetic communicators, competent contributors and critical thinkers in their independent lives in society beyond schooling. Tapping into the platforms, outlets and resources that shape their identities and knowledge of the world presents opportunities to develop these skills meaningfully for students. Furthermore, students being able to see their educators incorporate content relevant to their lives can create and cement bonds of trust and authenticity that can further create this powerfully learning atmosphere. I plan on beginning my teaching career next Fall, hopefully in a middle school, and this class has amped up my excitement to experiment with media and technology in the classroom. It has also provided important perspectives on how I can assess the contributions of my students, what I want to see in the incorporations of media/technology in student learning and why unconventionality can be a powerful learning tool. I really want to focus and create curriculum centered around strengthening media literacy skills, like we did for this project.

Andy Brunt



I have always loved technology and spent most of my life consuming and creating multimedia content! However, as an educator, I saw technology as something that simply made my job easier, and many of my colleagues saw traditional pen and paper assignments as more valuable than digital ones. There was something about that sentiment that never sat right with me, and now I know it's because it doesn't take into account the transient nature of our society. As the world becomes more layered and complex, we must rise to match its pace and new literacies are the way to do so! Learning about the theory behind using new literacies has changed my perspective on my technology and Internet based lessons, and now I take more time to explicitly discuss with my students how these skills will assist them in their futures. My groupmates and I considered the skills that would benefit all students and all content areas, and we ended up thinking about how the Internet is an incredible source of information that is almost TOO incredible. There is SO MUCH on the Internet, both good and bad, and students need to learn how to navigate it and sort through all the crap. Thus, we centered our project around CRAAP and doing proper research online to improve digital citizenship and awareness. When I implemented the Mini Documentary unit with CRAAP in my classroom, it was exciting to hear students discuss with each other about the validity of the sources they were finding and to watch them create something original and professional. Because I teach Tech Media Journalism, nearly all of the readings and assignments felt almost directly linked to my own course content. My projects all involve some sort of digital or technology based element, but I hope that I can take what I've learned from this course and improve my lessons to integrate new literacies more effectively and open doors for students into creative hobbies, passions, or careers that they might not have considered otherwise.

Xenia Chon

Implementation of New Literacies is essential as it prepares students for the diverse, high-tech world. By engaging and collaborating with others, one learns different perspectives and engages in critical thinking. Ultimately, this process took place as I engaged with my group members and class peers during this project creation, and throughout the semester. As an eighth-grade social studies teacher, I’ve incorporated various literacies into my classroom the past couple of years. However, in reading content, engaging in discussion boards, and collaborating with my peers, I’ve learned of many more strategies and resources I can incorporate to enrich my students’ learning experiences. In creation of this project, specifically, I’ve been inspired to plan an activity where my students engage in a personal inquiry research, which they will later use to create a multimodal product. Given that students would be engaging in processes that are critical to the content—research, source analysis, comprehension—I feel confident that its inclusion would benefit their development in the social studies discipline, as well as support the development of their identity. Moreover, it was also refreshing to see Paulo Freire mentioned throughout the course readings. When I entered my teacher preparation program in undergraduate school, Freire’s Pedagogy of Freedom was one of the first books I read. At the time, I learned to apply his work to the way that I structure the learning environment, one where discussion and student-centered learning were incorporated regularly. However, it was interesting to now consider how his work supports the inclusion of new literacies in education. Indeed—the world has changed, and with that language and literacy has changed; to empower students it is essential that we truly prepare them for the present world, which is one of New Literacies.


Samantha Romero

Aleo, T. (2020, January 24). Reading the World: The Case for Multimodal Literacy. National Council of Teachers of English. https://ncte.org/blog/2020/01/reading-world-case-multimodal-literacy/#:~:text=This%20blog%20post%20was%20writtenAlvermann, D. E. (2008). Why Bother Theorizing Adolescents’ Online Literacies for Classroom Practice and Research? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(1), 8–19. https://doi.org/10.1598/JAAL.52.1.2 Beach, C. L. (2015). One Teacher’s Journey through the Mediated Intersections. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 7(2), 77–80.Cazden, C., Cope, B., Fairclough, N., Gee, J. (1996). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures. HARVARD EDUCATIONAL REVIEW, 66(1), 60–92.Choudhury, M., & Share, J. (2012). Critical Media Literacy: A Pedagogy for New Literacies and Urban Youth. Voices from the Middle, 19(4), 39–44. Gee, J., & Gee, J. P. (2008). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. Routledge.Freire, P. (1985). Reading the World and Reading the Word: An Interview with Paulo Freire. Language Arts, 62(1), 15–21. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41405241Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th anniversary ed.). Continuum.Kellner, D. (2000). New Technologies/New Literacies: Reconstructing education for the new millennium. Teaching Education, 11(3), 245–265. https://doi.org/10.1080/713698975Knobel, M., & Lankshear, C. (2014). Studying New Literacies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 58(2), 97–101. https://doi.org/10.1002/jaal.314


Lampp Berglund, A. (2021). “Just Bring Me Some Books to Read”: Exploring Parental Literacy Narratives Within the Dis/ability Community. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 65(5), 389–397.Leander, K., & Vasudevan, L. (2009). Multimodality and mobile culture. Leu, D. J. (2005). New Literacies, Reading Research, and the Challenges of Change: A Deictic Perspective . National Reading Conference Yearbook, 55, 1–20. MacKenzie, T. (2016, December 1). Bringing Inquiry-Based learning into your class. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/bringing-inquiry-based-learning-into-your-class-trevor-mackenzie/Metz, M. (2022). Applying a Critical Language Lens: Analyzing Language Use in Everyday Video Texts. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 65(5), 409–417. Miners, Z. and Pascopella, A. (2007). The New Literacies. Reading Rockets, October, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2023, from https://www.readingrockets.org/topics/educational-technology/articles/new-literacies. NCTE. (2005, November 17). NCTE. https://ncte.org/statement/multimodalliteracies/Redmond, T. (2021). Sparking Learning through Remix Journaling: Authenticating Participatory Ways of Knowing. JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT & ADULT LITERACY. https://doi.org/10.1002/jaal.1214 WIDA. (2020). WIDA English language development standards framework, 2020 edition: Kindergarten-grade 12. Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Wright, W. T. (2020). Within, without, and amidst: A review of literacy educators' of participatory media technologies. Journal of Media Literacy Education.

References (cont.)

• Students will use the CRAAP test to learn to evaluate sources, since the analysis strategy can be applied to various multimodal sources.• Students will analyze various web sources throughout their learning and assessment activities, as web pages are commonly used to find information. • Students will learn to download and upload photos and videos, screen record, clip/edit, and use video editing software tools. These new literacies are commonly used to create content on social media, for personal and professional use.

"Critically evaluating information is key for success in the 21st century workforce and economy, experts say" (Miners and Pascopella, 2007).
New Literacy Resources:

Literacy Learning Goal:Students will learn to critcally evaluate multimodal sources as they engage in student-led inquiry and research.

Critical Media Literacy Skills

Inquiry & Research

Through research and inquiry pedagogies, students use new literacies to curiously break down the complexities of information and media literacy in diverse mediums. Students use research and critical awareness to deepen critical thinking and analysis through remixing of information in order to create media to demonstrate analysis, reflection, or learning process. By utilizing inquiry to authentically engage with content, students then “question who created the message…question how messages are created… [examine] various interpretations of messages within communities and social groups…question biases, values, and point of views… [and] ask why a massage was created (Choudhury & Share 2012, p. 39-40).” This process of metacognitive examination helps learners employ a critical perspective while using inquiry to authentically engage with content. This empowers learners academically while providing citizens with tools to analytically and critically engage with society in a productive and intentional manner.

  • Assess
  • Analyze
  • Create
  • Reflect

need to be “embracing forms of new media in the classroom” while “inviting students to produce and participate on digital platforms” in manners that support standards-based instruction (Wright, 2020, p. 2). The use of vast and dynamic forms of media can be unpredictable and misleading, but the unpredictability of media should not deter educators from using it as a medium to deepen standards-driven curriculum effectively as it directly correlates to what students experience in their daily lives and how they interact with the world around them.

To thoughtfully engage learners in new literacies using media and information literacy skill development, educators must implement authentic learning experiences that offer personalization through inquiry-based instruction and project-based learning that enables learners to utilize digital literacy skills which are encompasses in media literacy development through the use of various forms of media in diverse technological platforms. Teachers

The Role of Educators

In a phone interview of 935 adolescents, 93% reported using the internet for social communication. Of these, 64% reported engaging in content-creating activities, and more than half had a social media account (Alvermann, 2008).
Language, Texts, and Identity

Today, in a digital and diverse world, adolescents become exposed to multiple “lifeworlds,” or communities with different identities (Cazden et al., 1996). As students interact with others and create and share their own content, they engage in shaping their own identities. This is a different experience than what occurred when assimilation was a primary goal of “schooling,” as students were exposed to only texts and language in the national language (Cazden et al., 1996, p. 60). Moreover, when the “banking method” discussed by Freire (2000) was also employed by educators in a teacher-led learning environment, students received minimal opportunities to engage with diverse cultures. The result was an oppressive structure, where identity was suppressed (Freire, 2000).

Classroom Implications:-Teachers should structure opportunities for students to explore multmodal sources from diverse creators-Teachers should structure opportunities for classroom and digital collaboration-Students should create multimedia products to express their identity

Student Identity

Not only does media literacy prepare students to critically and responsively interact with the information stream they are exposed to in diverse modalities, but it contributes towards how students perceive themselves and their identity. It is crucial to acknowledge how new media and culture develop through dynamic social spaces “always in the process of being made”, contributing towards identity and cultural placement in the world (Leander & Vasudevan, 2009, p. 131). These truths allows education to surpass academic framework and transcend into social and personal identification and placement within communities, society, and the world, both physically and digitally. Not only do students have the opportunity to explore and research using inquiry and autonomous methods, but teachers can use remixing to restructure how learners engage with media literacy to empower and prepare them to participate in a fast-paced digital world of inquiry, analysis, and creation with methods of personalization that resonate authentically with adolescents and transform their learning.

"Reading words, and writing them, must come from the dynamic movement of reading the world"-Paulo Freire (1985, p. 19)
Language, Texts, and Power

Today, knowledge is formed and created in various formats, whether it be web articles, video games, memes, or tiktok videos. While many students may have an early exposure to these mediums, students from low-income families may not have the same experiences. Educators should support the close of the digital divide in classrooms by providing multimodal access and instruction (NCTE, 2005). Doing so, not only will students be empowered to comprehend and analyze knowledge presented in various formats, but they will also be able to seek and identify reliable sources of information. Moreover, students will also be empowered to succeed in the “real-world,” one where technology and diverse workplaces are the norm (Cazden et al., 2005).

Classroom Implications:-Teachers should incorporate multimodal formats in instructional and assessment activities-Teachers should provide instruction in analyzing and evaluating multimedia sources-Students should be provided the opportunity to regularly engage with and create multimedia products

Linguistic and Cultural Sustainabilitiy: "the preservation of languages, literacies, and other cultural practices and identities of multilingual learners and communities" (WIDA, 2020)
Creating an Inclusive Environment

Creating a culturally and linguistically sustaining learning environment not only respects and recognizes the diversity of learners, but also employs learners’ cultures into everyday class instruction and practices to support their preservation. This environment can be supported by: • Moving past the banking, teacher-led method of teaching and creating one where students and teachers learn from each other through discussions and collaboration (Freire, 2000) • Allowing students to express their learning in various modes, including digital formats (Knobel and Lankshear, 2014) • Utilizing instructional resources in various linguistic and multimodal formats, as well with representative features (Aleo, 2020; Lampp Berglund, 2021)

• Providing strategy instruction for students to learn/practice employing methods of learning and creation (Aleo, 2020; Knobel and Lankshear, 2014)• Provide resources to families, as well as incorporate resources from families (Lampp Berglund, 2021)

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