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The Power of Video – The Empowerment of Media Literacy

April 28, 2010

Take 5 minutes and watch this video. Then follow the comments and discussion below. Just how powerful is a viral video?

So, how does video send powerful messages? More importantly, how do we teach Media Literacy in our classrooms? There are two things we can do. One- teach students how to craft good media themselves. Two- In creating media messages, we can then deconstruct them easily and understand how they create strong messages directed at particular audiences.
There are some excellent resources available to assist teachers in the instruction of Media Literacy. The Media Awareness Network has a huge store of resources for teachers, students and parents to use to help youth see through the media that bombards them every moment of every day. It is a fully bilingual site, offering rich materials in English and French.
To help students learn the skills and craft of media creation and production, I highly recommend the American Film Institute’s Screen Education Program. The infamous “Door Scene” exercise really gets students engaged in film making and the production process.
There are lots of other resources on the internet:

Now, think back to the video. If you did not notice that the hero in the film was me, watch again. A media company created this viral video campaign in Sweden to encourage people to pay their broadcast access fees. Every time the video was passed to another person via email and social networking, it could be edited with the picture of a favourite person or whoever one chooses. Pretty powerful media. Even more powerful message. Brilliant delivery. And I’m the hero.
The real heros, actually, are the ones helping students to be more literate, more critical and more creative with media.
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