Media Literacy

Media Literacysesame street

Sesame Street Media literacy is an informed, critical understanding of the mass media. It involves an examination of the techniques, technologies and institutions that are involved in media production (how media is created), the ability to critically analyze media messages (what is it teaching us) and recognition of the role that audiences play in making meaning from those messages (how can we protect ourselves and our children).

Media Education includes both the analysis and the deconstruction of media and the production or construction of media messages. Media Literacy is concerned with helping students develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of mass media, the techniques used by them, and the impact of these techniques. More specifically, it is education that aims to increase students' understanding and enjoyment of how the media work, how they produce meaning, how they are organized, and how they construct reality.

All media productions embody "points of view" about the world. Whether these viewpoints are consciously intended or not, they influence the way that media is produced. Thus all television teaches us something; learning to identify what it in teaching makes us "media literate."

Becoming "media literate" includes:

  • Making choices and managing the amount of time spent with television, videos, electronic games, films and various print media forms.
  • Learning specific skills of critical viewing - learning to analyze and question what is being seen or heard
  • Exploring deeper issues of who produces the media we experience - and for what purpose?


The media literacy workshop seeks to help parents, caregivers and teachers learn to use television and media selectively as a teaching tool.

Topics include:

  • Critical viewing-what is and is not good television and why
  • Rating children's television-what to look for
  • How do children watch television?
  • How can you use television as a teaching tool?
  • Prepare, Participate and Provide: step by step procedures and hands-on activities


PBS Ready To Learn is supported by a cooperative agreement from the U. S. Department of Education, PR/Award Number R295A00002.