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Want To Develop Media Literacy Skills? Create A Video

Media production can help so much in developing a more media literate student population.

Perspectives

Did you know that 85% of teens watch videos on YouTube, and 72% Instagram? Yep, they’re watching a lot of videos. They watch twice as much video as other generations and largely consume it on their mobile phones. But why are they watching it? Research suggests that this trend is largely due to the need to feel connected, for inspiration and learning. Not only do teens love consuming video, they love creating it too. Have you heard of TikTok? Tik Tok is a social media app for creating and sharing short lip-sync, comedy and talent videos. With around 500 million users, this app has captured the attention of 16 – 24 year olds around the world.

So with all of those hours consuming and creating video you’d think this generation would be pretty media literate, right? They’re definitely digitally literate, but when it comes to media literacy, they need some help. Common Sense Media found that only 44% of children feel they can spot a fake news story and 31% found that they shared a story online that they later found out was wrong or inaccurate. Of course media literacy isn’t just being able to spot a fake news story; it also includes media education, participation, active citizenship, critical and creative abilities and media literacy skills. That’s why media production can help so much in developing a more media literate student population.

Creating videos allows young people to create not just consume media.
Creating videos allows young people to create not just consume media.

Media Literacy And Video Production

An often overlooked but engaging way to develop media literacy skills in young people is by getting them to create videos as part of classroom activities or for assessment. And I’m not just talking about shooting a video. I’m talking about getting young people to create a video using a production process. Not only will they develop an understanding of what it actually takes to create quality online content, it will give them the opportunity to create thoughtful and impactful videos, whilst developing key media, digital and soft skills.

But I Know Nothing About The Production Process

You don’t have to be a media studies teacher to set video creation tasks to your students. The production process mirrors any process where you draft and edit. Broadly speaking, there are three parts to the production process:

  1. Pre production
  2. Production
  3. Post production

All discussions around the creation of a video in your classroom can be framed around these three steps.

Now before some of you shake your hands and say, “I’m a maths teacher, why would I set a video task to my students?”, My response to you would be as an ex-secondary school curricular coordinator would be, “why not? What a great way for students to present their findings if they’re doing a mathematics assignment or what an engaging way for them to teach complex concepts to one another for revision purposes?” Let’s take a look at what’s involved.

You can use tablets, smartphones, desktops and cameras to create video.
You can use tablets, smartphones, desktops and cameras to create video.

Production 101

The three stages of the production process are very similar to the steps one takes to write an essay.

  1. Pre-production is all about ideation, planning and scripting.
  2. Production is all about getting everything filmed.
  3. Post production is for editing, revisions and reflection.

These steps can be as simple or as complex as you like. The thing is most of your students already have the main tool they’ll need to produce such a video in the back pocket; their smartphone. In fact not only can they shoot and edit video on their smartphone, they can create subtitles and visual effects too. It’s incredible what can be done with smartphones. To tell you the truth you’ll be surprised at how many already are quite proficient video makers and how many videos they’ve already created themselves, which makes them ‘experts’ you can draw upon as you get students to create their own.

Young people watch twice as much video as other generations and largely consume it on their mobile phones.
Young people watch twice as much video as other generations and largely consume it on their mobile phones.

I’m Interested, Where Do I Start?

To get started and to show you that it really is a piece of cake I recommend that you listen to the experts. To help educators understand the digital storytelling process, Makematic has partnered with Unity Technologies to create a series of free professional development videos on Digital Storytelling in the Classroom. The series include live action and animated short form videos on the digital storytelling process, the pedagogical use of stores in education, digital stories across the curriculum and how to develop 21st century skills through storytelling. The experts give practical tips and activities to help educators understand the production process to create a digital story.

Creating impactful and engaging video is often more than just shooting video at random.
Creating impactful and engaging video is often more than just shooting video at random.

The Good News Broadcast

Makematic and SchoolRubric need your help! We’re sick and tired of hearing bad news! Especially when there are so many inspiring and positive things going on in the world. This is a call to action for students in schools all over the world to find pockets of good news and inspiration where they live. Stories are a powerful tool for sharing news. In fact our brains become more active when we hear stories rather than if we hear facts. That’s because we don’t just hear them we feel them too. Video and film is a modern form of storytelling that we see everyday, in advertising, on social media, television and of course movies.

We’d love to hear their stories. Stories about them, their family or people, or even animals they know. Their story can take any form – animation, broadcast, live action – it’s up to them. There are only three criteria:

  1. It must be true.
  2. It has to be positive, inspirational or funny. Of course it can also be a combination of the three.
  3. It can be no longer that 30 – 60 seconds in length.

If you think your students would be interested in getting involved, express your interest here.

Tara has worked in secondary, tertiary and adult education in Australia and Europe for 20 years. She works as an Education Evangelist at educational media company, Makematic. Makematic creates bite-sized videos and animations with brands, nonprofits and publishers to create inspiring and impactful educational videos. Tara’s party trick is that she can say ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ backwards.

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