What's the difference between digital literacy and media literacy? Digital literacy is knowing how to use tools safely and wisely, while media literacy is knowing how to critically consume and produce media messages. Today, knowing how to do both is more important than ever.

Learn the Principles of Media Literacy 

According to N.A.M.L.E., the National Association for Media Literacy Education:  "The purpose of media literacy education is to help individuals of all ages develop the habits of inquiry and skills of expression that they need to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in today’s world."


These are the core principles of Media Literacy Education in the U.S. Media Literacy:


  • Requires active inquiry and critical thinking about the messages we receive and create.​​

  • Expands the concept of literacy (i.e., reading and writing) to include all forms of media.

  • Builds and reinforces skills for learners of all ages. Like print literacy, those skills necessitate integrated, interactive, and repeated practice.

  • Develops informed, reflective and engaged participants essential for a democratic society.

  • Recognizes that media are a part of culture and function as agents of socialization.

  • Affirms that people use their individual skills, beliefs and experiences to construct their own meanings from media messages.

National Association for Media Literacy Education

Media Literacy Guide

Go-To Resources for Media Literacy

  • Media Literacy Now, the leading national advocacy organization for media literacy and digital citizenship education policy.

  • Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island, founded by Renee Hobbes, a pioneer in the media education field.

  • Media Smarts, Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy.

The New Media Literacies

   One of our key goals is to stop focusing       quite so much on 'do kids have computers in their classroom?' and start focusing more on 'do kids have the basic social skills and cultural competencies so that when they do get        computers in their classroom, they can  participate fully? 


--Erin Reilly, USC Project New Media Literacies

The New Media Literacies (Jenkins et al, 2007) are skills that build upon the foundation of traditional literacy, research skills, technical skills and critical analysis. They include:

  • Play

  • Collective Intelligence​

  • Performance

  • Judgment​

  • Simulation

  • Transmedia

  • Navigation​

  • Appropriation

  • Networking​

  • Multitasking

  • Negotiation

  • Distributed Cognition

  • Visualization​

-Project New Media Literacies



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