My nine year old daughter, Madison, wants a guinea pig. My husband and I want her to have a guinea pig like we want holes in our heads. One day while driving her to school she began stating some random facts about what to feed guinea pigs, how to clean them and asked me did I know guinea pigs could swim. Curious, I asked if she learned these facts from a friend at school or the school library. She said “No. I learned about them from watching videos on YouTube.”
Research is different nowadays. When I think about how I investigated things that interested me or did research for a school paper, it was usually from either polling my sisters and friends or multiple trips to the library. I would pour over content sitting in the library with multiple books open, using index cards to jot down notes.
Information can be retrieved quickly and without much effort these days.This phenomenon leads to a host of issues that need to be addressed, such as, how do we glean content to make sure it is reliable?
Media literacy training can help solve the problem of content curation and analyzing media. As defined by the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), media literacy is the “ability to ACCESS, ANALYZE, EVALUATE, and COMMUNICATE information in a variety of forms.”
Media literacy is a very important concept to teach our students and children.
According to the article YouTube is Crushing Cable TV, According to Google, “For younger audiences in particular, the video-sharing website has become a platform to discover new content, thanks to new features such as video suggestions and auto-play.”
There are billions of videos on YouTube, so how should you analyze and evaluate the content? To start, use a few of this these basic media literacy principles found on NAMLE’s website:
Who made this and why?
Who is the target audience? or Why was this made?
What would someone learn from this?
How might different people understand this message differently?
Can I trust this source to tell me the truth about this topic?
If you want to learn about media literacy feel free to peruse my Media Literacy Symbaloo page. There are a lot of resources to assist with encoding and decoding media messages.
Well, along with researching guinea pigs, Madison loves to draw and she has found yet another YouTube channel, Draw So Cute which shows the audience how to draw different objects from cute penguins to cute cupcakes. Madison continues to do research on guinea pigs, however the possibility of getting a guinea pig, or any pet, is contingent upon her doing basic things without the constant reminders. You know, things like, make her bed, clean her room and eat her vegetables. I suppose, while some things change, others do stay the same.