Virtually True: Questioning Online Media

Virtually True: Questioning Online Media

by Guofang Wan
     
 

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Post on your blog, chat with friends, surf for the latest news-there are millions of things to do online. So how do webmasters get you to clock onto their site? And what are they really trying to say? Well, get your hand on the mouse. It's time to ask questions about messages of online media.

Overview

Post on your blog, chat with friends, surf for the latest news-there are millions of things to do online. So how do webmasters get you to clock onto their site? And what are they really trying to say? Well, get your hand on the mouse. It's time to ask questions about messages of online media.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Learning to question the media is important. Capstone's "Media Literacy" series introduces students to some ways of evaluating popular media like television, movies, music and videos, magazines, and online messages. Whether kids in grades three to five will benefit from textbooks on the subject is another matter. Topics covered in this title include the immense influence of the Internet, the importance of establishing the credentials of online information, and the way spy ware and ads are attached to downloadable programs. (The page on "cookies" is not clear and would require much more explanation.) Author Wan points out that all web sites are targeted at specific audiences and lists some of the sources of web sites—database companies, stores, newspapers, government, film studios, and bloggers. A discussion of values is somewhat muddled—teachers will need to clarify the meaning of the word and how values can be discerned. Wan also warns students that information on web sites (Wikipedia, for example) can sometimes be completely false and has, indeed, misled readers. Students are alerted to offers of "free" gifts or downloads which result in information-gathering by web site makers and a flood of unsolicited e-mail. Kids are not warned against getting involved with potentially dangerous characters in chat rooms. Are there alternatives to teaching media skepticism with textbooks? It would seem that for children of this age group, direct investigation of computer sites accompanied by individual instruction from parents or teachers might prove more effective in promoting online media literacy.
School Library Journal

Gr 4-7
These titles are designed to help children critique the media and understand the motives behind the production of popular entertainment. Each one makes it clear that producers create movies, magazines, TV programs, and online sites with particular audiences in mind, and that they target them by showing these specific population groups what they want to see. The authors also show how the media influences their audience and promotes particular values. All of the titles are organized around five basic questions: Who made the message and why? Who is the message for? How might others view the message differently? What is left out of the media? How does the message get and keep my attention? The books are written in a breezy style and have plenty of popping colors and photos. Sidebars labeled "Try it out!" suggest interesting activities that children can do to get firsthand experience with creating media and commercials. Each book has a spread indicating various jobs within each field. All of them show children how media is created and manipulated to attract attention and not necessarily to reflect reality. They also emphasize that what is left out of productions can be just as important as what is included. Overall, these are useful and attractive books that encourage children to begin thinking about media with necessary skepticism.
—Lynda RittermanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780736867672
Publisher:
Capstone Press
Publication date:
01/01/2007
Series:
Capstone Media Literacy Series
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.75(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.35(d)
Lexile:
750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 10 Years

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