Media literacy

Explained by students for students

Grit Matthias, Cornell University

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This presentation describes a project from a fifth semester German class, in which students collaboratively created a media literacy tutorial video with German partners in Bielefeld, Germany. The students and I first discussed stereotypes with regard to their positive function and negative consequences. Then students were encouraged to choose one aspect of the Internet that requires media literacy, e.g. privacy, or social movements. Drawing on their newly acquired knowledge of stereotypes and discussions with German partners, the final project consisted of developing and producing a bilingual educational video addressed to their peers, which illustrates some ambivalent aspects of the Internet.

Grit Matthias

Department of German Studies
Cornell University

4 thoughts on “Media literacy”

  1. Thanks for your presentation and sharing your course, Grit. I will certainly take a look at the websites with your students’ videos as I prepare to have my students do a similar project about the local immigrant Latino community (senior level course). We also explore stereotypes, not directly in the media, but opinions from people students encounter as they do their service learning part of the course.

  2. Thanks for this! I’m wondering what student feedback was about the process and the project, as well as their interaction with students in Germany? I can imagine there were great benefits as well as bumps in the road to both! Also, what did you learn from the process that was unexpected?

  3. Vielen Dank for your presentation. I was wondering what the objectives of the course are and how and why those objectives were chosen. Besides the video project, how else are students assessed? It sounds like a great course.

  4. Thank you for watching everyone
    I forgot to mention in my presentation that a couple of years ago I came across the book “Seeing Culture Everywhere
    From Genocide to Consumer Habits” by Joana Breidenbach and Pal Nyiri, which inspired me enormously, and provides a great definition for “culture”.

    I have been connecting my students with students in Bielefeld, Germany for six years now. It’s with my fifth semester course in the spring semester, and with two sections of my third semester course in the fall. Also my current partner in Germany and I have been working together very well for a few years now. So when it comes to skyping we are well aware of pretty much all the bumps in the road, like different starting time of the semester, not being able to predict how many students will participate in Germany, time difference, change of daylight savings time, just to name a few.
    From my course evaluations of those six years, I can say that students always rate projects with students in Germany very high, for some it is even the reason why they signed up for the class.
    I had also have students produce videos to different topics in the previous years, so I honestly can’t say that something unexpected happened. Except maybe that the videos from this class turned out much better than expected, when it comes to content quality, but also pure video production quality.

    The final grade for the course consists of 40% participation, 20% portfolio work (5 texts), and 40% for the final project (the video). Here are some of the objectives of the course:
    – increase of spoken and written fluency, and vocabulary
    – learning about the German perspective considering topics surrounding the Internet through reading and discussing authentic material
    – acquiring media literacy through discussing topics like copyright, and search engine algorithms
    – demonstrating and applying their acquired knowledge in their final project.

    I hope I could answer your questions. Please let me know, if I didn’t fully answer one of them.

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