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Home » Policy & Funding » School Technology » Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship

Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship

Contact Information

Lesley James
Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship Program Supervisor
lesley.james@k12.wa.us

Media literacy and digital citizenship are overlapping content areas that should be integrated into every subject taught in today’s classrooms. The standards associated with media literacy lead students to think critically about the messages they consume and create through a variety of forms of communication. Those associated with digital citizenship enable students to use technology in ways that are safe, responsible, ethical, and kind.

Oversight of digital citizenship instruction often falls within the purview of a school’s Educational Technology department. Both media literacy and digital citizenship are core subjects in the teacher-librarian’s repertoire. However, all educators can help send their students out into the digital landscape with skills that empower them to effectively analyze what they find there and to make their own voices heard.

Resources, including lesson plans, for teaching Media Literacy & Digital Citizenship:

Standards, Organizations & Definitions

RCW 28A.650.010 provides the following definition: "’Digital citizenship’ includes the norms of appropriate, responsible, and healthy behavior related to current technology use, including digital and media literacy, ethics, etiquette, and security. The term also includes the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, develop, produce, and interpret media, as well as internet safety and cyberbullying prevention and response.”

Digital citizens recognize and value the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning, and working in an interconnected digital world; and they engage in safe, legal, and ethical behavior. (Adapted from the ISTE 2016 Student Standards)

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) “inspires the creation of solutions and connections that improve opportunities for all learners by delivering: practical guidance, evidence-based professional learning, virtual networks, thought-provoking events and the ISTE Standards.”

See Washington State Educational Technology Standards.

Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act using a variety of forms of communication. (From the National Association of Media Literacy Education)

The Rand Corporation has compiled these media literacy standards.

The ISTE Standards also address media literacy.

The Association of College and Research Libraries defines information literacy as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” The ACRL provides this Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

The American Association of School Libraries adds that students should be able to “recognize when information is needed” and to “locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information” using critical thinking skills. The AASL provides this standards framework.

The Washington Library Association School Library Division provides this Library Information and Technology standards Framework.