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Media Literacy: Testing what we know

November 22, 2011

For years we have used a media literacy exercise when doing workshops to illustrate both how media is constructed and how media can determine what we know and what we don’t know.

We used a branded alphabet to see if people could identify products from one letter. Part two of that exercise was to then see if people could identify current high ranking officials in the White House.

Most of the time people could identify products from one letter over people who had tremendous influence on our economy, politics, education, etc.

We have just added a new media literacy exercise, using a new branded alphabet and juxtaposing this with the Kent County Commissioners. Test your knowledge on what you know. What company does the logo represent? What are the names of the 19 Kent County Commissioners? Think about why some things are more known and what that means in terms of an engaged citizenry. Are we primarily citizens or consumers? The answers can be found here

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2011 3:23 pm

    The 2nd alphabet seems to include several international and global brands, so it also would be appropriate outside of USA… ok, waiting for the solutions!

  2. November 24, 2011 3:52 pm

    The second alphabet would be useful anywhere with each community localizing the second part of that exercise.

    When you say you are waiting for the solutions, I not sure what you mean. These exercises are what I use when doing media literacy workshops and are a great way to begin to get people to think critically about how media impacts our understanding of ourselves and the world around them. These media literacy exercises are merely a tool to develop critical thinking, which I believe is the foundation of social transformation.

  3. November 24, 2011 9:38 pm

    I try to explain myself better, sorry for my imperfect English…
    When I said about the “solutions”, I meant the names of brands: that’s what I see in the first exercise (because there’s a link to a PDF file) but not in the second one (I see only a JPG file).
    I had guessed the utility of these tools in media education programs… Moreover I think we identify those brands and products not so much from their letters, but more from their logos, with their rich graphics (shapes, colors etc.). So it’s a great idea to understand the power of visual contents in the way media build our personal and social world… I’m sharing this article on my Twitter and Facebook page.

  4. November 25, 2011 12:28 am

    (Update about the “solutions”: now I’ve found the PDF file with names of brands for exercise #2 in the Resources section. Good.)

  5. November 25, 2011 1:36 am

    Enzo, thanks for pointing this out. I add a hyper-link in the story.

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