Media Literacy updates

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Syllabus Update the Last

Weeks Seventeen and Eighteen (sort of) (1.4-1.15):


Return to our final mini-unit on the news. We will be using the media bias document attached in the About section of our Google Classroom to talk about ways the news is biased, and how that affects us.

We will begin group work on finding examples of each of these kinds of bias.

This group work will continue tomorrow and Thursday. We will present our findings on Monday of next week.


Continue with group work finding examples of media bias and preparing presentations.


Song of the Day. Use the form in Google Classroom.


Final class day to find examples of media bias and prepare presentations for Monday.


Song of the Day. Use the form in Google Classroom.

Monday 11 January

Group media bias presentations begin. Any remaining groups will present tomorrow.

Tuesday 12 January

Finish any remaining presentations. Song of the Day.

Wednesday 13 January

Double Song of the Day Extravaganza. You can choose which song you want to respond to online.

Thursday 14 January

We will review for our semester final. Details about the semester final will be posted in our Google Classroom as we get closer to the date (Friday, January 15).

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Week Fifteen + Holiday Remix Syllabus Update


We will continue to watch Inception and have our minds messed with in a good way.


Continue with Inception. It's a long movie, so we will not finish until Thursday.

Wednesday (shortened classes):

Song of the Day, featuring Dylan. Please use the response form found on our Google Classroom.


Complete Inception. Try to see the world in the same way again.


Song of the Day, featuring Cole. Please use the response form found on our Google Classroom. We will need a volunteer for Tuesday of next week.

Monday 21 December:

We will introduce our final unit, which focuses on the news (and how it has largely ceased to be "news" and now is more a part of the entertainment genre).

Tuesday 22 December (shortened classes):

Song of the Day. We will need two volunteers for the week we return from break, one on Wednesday, January 6, and one on Friday, January 8.

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Week Fourteen Syllabus Update

Week Fourteen (12.7-12.11):


Complete our viewing of Pleasantville. This will take most of the class period. We will have a response due in the forum for Wednesday, and you will have Tuesday's class to complete that response. I will ask you to respond in our backchannel with your ideas about a third film for the class to view and analyze.


Time to write your Pleasantville response. Any remaining time should be used to study for Wednesday's terms quiz. The study guide for this terms quiz is found in the stream of our Google Classroom.


Terms quiz three. You will create a new document, share it with me, and then paste the quiz into your new document before writing your answers.


We will begin our third film and use a TodaysMeet backchannel to continue analyzing and discussing as we view.


Xavier's long-delayed song of the day. We will need two volunteers for next week. Use the form found in the About section of our Google Classroom.

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Week Thirteen Syllabus Update

Week Thirteen (11.30-12.4):


 Continue with our viewing and analysis of Pleasantville. We will continue to use the backchannel link found below:

Pleasantville backchannel

Wednesday (shortened classes):

Xavier will bring his song of the day. We will need a volunteer for next Friday. OR, if groups need it, some final time for groups to shoot and/or edit their two-minute films. Our film festival will be on Thursday, December 3.


Two-minute film presentations. Followed by group self-assessments using the following categories:

Use of class time


Technical quality (composition, camera work, acting, lighting, editing, sound)

Number of different shots

With any remaining time, we will continue viewing Pleasantville.


Continue our viewing and analysis of Pleasantville.

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Week Twelve Holiday Remix Syllabus Update

Everywhere in enormous numbers turkeys will be dying

and other birds, all their wings.

They never greatly flew. Did they wish to?

I should know. Off away somewhere once I knew

such things.

John Berryman Dream Song 385

Week Twelve Remix (11.23-11:24):



We will begin our second film in our film unit: Pleasantville. As with the Truman Show, the film's themes have much to say about media literacy and the role of media in our lives. We will use a backchannel to further our discussion as we view. That link is found below and on our Google Classroom:

Pleasantville backchannel


Cadyn will bring his song of the day, and we will take a volunteer for Wednesday of next week. Enjoy your break, and remember that our two-minute film projects are due (and will be shared with the class) on Thursday, December 3.

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Week Twelve Syllabus Update

Week Thirteen (11.16-11.20):



Complete our viewing of The Truman Show. Then you will have some class time to begin your forum response; the forum response is due by class time on Wednesday, November 18.



Introduction of our two-minute film project. We will have five groups of five, with each group centered around an editor. Time for groups to begin planning. We will also build our categories for assessment as a collective endeavor.


Each film needs to use at least eight of the shots from our film shots list.


Wednesday (shortened classes):

Taylor W’s Song of the Day. Use the response form available on the About page of our Google Classroom.



Last class day to plan and possibly shoot your two-minute film. I will talk to editors about a reasonable due date for the final products.



Jordyn’s Song of the Day. Use the response form available on the About page of our Google Classroom.

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Week Eleven Syllabus Update

Week Eleven (11.9-11.13):


Your videos of the film shots need to be shared with me by class time today.

We will look at a film from the 1950s, both as a way to practice identifying shots and movements, and as a way to see the evolution of film from the clips we saw in last week's documentary to the 1950s and then to closer to present day as we begin The Truman Show tomorrow.


We will begin viewing the Truman Show. We will continue to think about shots and camera movements, and we will have a response over the film due next week. The Truman Show is an excellent choice for media literacy class not only for the technical aspects, but also for the themes of media manipulation and what it means to be human.

We will use the TodaysMeet link below as a backchannel discussion while we view:

Truman Show Backchannel


Kylee will bring her song of the day. We will need TWO volunteers for next week. Respond using the form found in the About section of our Google Classroom.


Continue analyzing The Truman Show.


Continue analyzing The Truman Show. (We may finish today; I'll have a better sense of this after Thursday.)

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Week Ten Syllabus Update

Week Ten (11.2-11.6):


New quarter, new seating chart.

And then a review of the advertisements we used for the open-note advertising techniques quiz.

Then, as befits a new quarter, a new unit--one focusing on understanding film (and, by default, television as well). We will begin by watching this supercut of iconic movie moments:

Then we will start by defining the film terms listed in the document below:


I strongly recommend using the website listed below to find the correct definitions of those terms:

Film terms

As it should say on the bottom of the shot project, your video evidence of understanding what these shots/camera movements must be sent to me no later than Friday, November 6.


We will add the concept of the rule of three and look at how it applies to framing shots in film and television.

Continue with defining the film terms; if time allows, you might even be able to film your examples during class.

Wednesday (shortened classes):

Cavan will bring his Song of the Day for us to analyze. We will need a volunteer for next Wednesday as well.

Use the Song of the Day form found in the About section of our Google Classroom.


To continue with our introduction to film terms, we will define the terms listed below (use the same website from above):


Auteur theory





Then we will begin watching The Story of Film, a brilliant British documentary about film history. We will look at the first episode, which talks about how film began.


We will continue and complete the first episode of The Story of Film. I will be gone in the morning due to the matinee performance of the musical.

Remember that your video evidence of your understanding of the shots/movements needs to be sent to me by today.

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Week Nine Syllabus Update

Week Nine (10.26-10.30):


Make sure your response to the Feeding Frenzy documentary is posted in the Media Literacy Forum by class time. We will continue to analyze ads, preparing for our quizzes on Thursday and Friday. Thursday will be an open-note analysis of ads; Friday will be our no-notes second terms quiz.

We will add the terms "demographics" and "reptilian brain" to our list for Friday's quiz.

For Tuesday, each of you needs to bring in an advertisement. It can be a print ad in a newspaper or magazine, or it can be a video ad online.


We will present/analyze our advertisements in small groups and then to the class as a whole.


Mikayla will bring her song of the day. The form is found in the About section of our Google Classroom.


Open notes quiz on four new advertisements. We will complete these in Google Documents that you will share with me. The more you can show in terms of analysis, the better, including but not limited to the terms on last week's .pdf.

Any time remaining will be to study for tomorrow's no-notes term quiz two. The study guide for that quiz is listed below. We will not have any other review time--the study guide is quite specific and you should be able to study on your own.


Choose a popular product (other than yoga pants), and explain how this product’s popularity was born using all five levels of the “Pyramid of Cool.” (20 points)

Using this same product, sketch (using words, duh) three versions of ads for the product, one using ethos, one using pathos, and one using logos. Make sure you explain clearly how each ad makes use of its particular element of the rhetorical triangle (logos, ethos, pathos). (20 points)

Explain the third-person effect, how it works in media, and give a specific example of how YOU personally suffer from this (related to the media, and, yes, we all do). (6 points)

Explain the “reptilian brain,” and give an example of how advertisements target that part of the brain. (4 points)

Define “demographic” and list at least five demographic groups of which YOU are a member. Then give one example of a television show AND a movie targeting your demographic(s), and explain why you come to this conclusion. (10 points)

Explain “objectification” and give one example of how the media objectifies women and one example of how the media objectifies men. (5 points)


Terms quiz two. Same format as the first one—you will copy the quiz into a Google Document, share that document with me, and then respond to the quiz.

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Week Eight Syllabus Update

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.            

     Jalaluddin Rumi

Week Eight (10.19-10.23):


Introduction to the Pyramid of Cool. A look at how advertising uses rhetoric to persuade--this will provide us with the terms ethos, pathos, and logos.



Partner and large group analysis practice using current advertisements.

Wednesday (shortened classes):

Sam brings his Song of the Day.


I will be gone on a field trip with DMACC Comp students. In my absence, you will start watching Feeding Frenzy, a documentary about how the food industry markets food (often "food") to us. We will complete this viewing on Friday, discuss, and complete a forum response for Monday.


Continue watching Feeding Frenzy. Discuss in class. A forum response is due by Monday.

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Week Seven Syllabus Update

Week Seven (10.12-10.16):

Monday (shortened classes):

Last class time to work on your media, gender, and identity message projects. We will present in class tomorrow.

Remember our categories for assessment:

Use of class time

Sharing of responsibilities (obviously does not apply if you chose to work on your own)


Technical quality of the message you have created

How well the message provides an understanding of how media shape our understanding of gender and identity.


Presentations begin with volunteers. All need to be ready to present today.

When we are done sharing our messages, groups will complete a reflection and self-assessment focusing on the categories listed under Monday's agenda.


Our next Song of the Day.

Thursday (shortened day):

The Pyramid of Cool, as an introduction to our next unit, advertising.


No school. For any of us.

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Week Six Syllabus Update

Week Six (10.5-10.9):


Last class day to view, analyze, and write your response for the Media, Gender, and Identity homework assignment. Be sure to submit to Google Classroom by class time tomorrow, and also be ready to share some of your analysis with the class.

Also, for our media message we are creating on the same concepts,  you need to know by today what message you plan to create, how you plan to create it, and with whom you plan to create it. 


Class sharing of our findings from the Media, Gender, and Identity homework assignment.

Wednesday (shortened class periods):

Corey will be presenting the Song of the Day.


Work time for our media message projects.

Some of this will need to be done outside of class, so as you decide with whom to work, keep that reality in mind.

These projects will be presented next week, beginning on Tuesday, October 13. You will have class time on Monday, October 12, but that is a shortened day so we will only have thirty minutes.


Robb will bring the Song of the Day.

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Week Five Syllabus Update

Week Five (9.28-10.2):


No school for students. Unfair.


We will now switch our focus and look at how advertising and our culture influence our ideas of femininity and what it means to be a woman. We will watch the documentary Killing Us Softly 4. The backchannel we will use for discussion is linked below:

Killing Us Softly Discussion


We will start work on two assignments: one a homework assignment, one a project.

The homework assignment is to watch either a movie, two episodes of an hour-long show, or four episodes of thirty-minute show.

You then need to analyze what you watch for the messages that are given about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. I highly recommend taking notes as you watch--how are the characters dressed, what are their actions, what is important to them?

Your written analysis (two-page minimum) needs to be completed in Google Classroom (attach your Google Document) by Tuesday, October 6.

The project involves CREATING media--one of the main beliefs of media literacy is that we should all be creators as well as consumers of media.

Your task is to take our concepts of Gender and Identity and make media that promotes the message you want to see.

This could take many forms--a video you make and edit, a podcast, a satirical advertisement, any form of media you can come up with to show your understanding of how media influences our conceptions of gender.

You may work alone if you wish, but I encourage collaboration. You may work in groups of two or three. (Any larger than that and roles become ill-defined.)

You will present these projects beginning on Monday, October 12.


Work time for both the homework assignment and the project. Bring headphones.


Sydney is bringing the Song of the Day. The form is found below and also on the About section of our Google Classroom.

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Week Four Syllabus Update


Below is the Media, Gender, and Identity form we will all fill out in class.

We will then discuss the results with partners and then as a large group.


We will begin looking at documentary clips about media and masculinity.

We will continue this viewing on Thursday, and you will have class time on Friday to work on the response.

We will use the TodaysMeet Backchannel linked below to discuss as we view:

Documentary Backchannel


Bryce has (reluctantly) agreed to bring the Song of the Day. Below is the form for the response; the form can also be found in the About section of our Google Classroom


Complete viewing of the documentary clips. With any time remaining, we will discuss what we've viewed. 

For tomorrow's forum response, you need to read the article linked below and address it as part of your response:

Target and Toys/Gender

Your response to the documentary is due in the Media Literacy Forum by the end of class time on Friday. You will have the class time to work on the response, but remember that with the early-out for the Homecoming Parade, class is only 30 minutes long.


Class time to finish your responses to the documentary. 

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Week Three Syllabus Update


We will complete the remaining small group social media presentations. When all have presented, each group will write a reflection and self-assessment, to be shared with me via a Google Document.


We will review for our first terms/understandings quiz. I will attach a "prep" quiz below to help us study for Thursday's quiz.

Terms Quiz One Study Guide

Wednesday (shortened day):

Kylee will share her Song of the Day with us. Below is the response form, which is also found in the "About" section of our Media Literacy Google Classroom.


We will take our first terms/understandings quiz. Look back to your review work on Tuesday to prepare.


Tyler B. will share his Song of the Day with us. You can use the embedded form above or the link in the "About" section of our Google Classroom.

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Week Two Syllabus Update

Here's a social media app/site we DIDN"T put on the survey (because you are too young), but this video is amusing and also says a lot about how social media influences our culture as a whole:


No school.


We will review the concept of ephemeral media and discuss how it connects to the concept of virality.

We will also introduce the concept of the attention economy, the better to prepare us for the documentary we will watch.

We will start watching the documentary Generation Like by Douglas Rushkoff. We will once again make use of a Todaysmeet backchannel to discuss as we watch.

Generation Like


We will continue to watch the documentary and respond in the backchannel. You will have the last ten minutes of class to meet with your social media groups to finalize your presentations, which will begin tomorrow. All groups need to be prepared and ready to go on Thursday. Share anything you will be presenting with me ahead of time so we have no technology issues or wasted transfer time.

Presentations tomorrow will begin with volunteers; volunteers can then choose the next groups, if they wish.


Social media group presentations. If we run out of time, we will finish presentations on Monday.


Taylor N. has graciously agreed to bring the Song of the Day. The form is below (you can also access it on our Google Classroom):

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Week One Syllabus Update

Watch this video–it's the best piece of online wisdom I saw all summer:


I will introduce the Song of the Day, and I will present my Song of the Day as we model the process. All the support materials for Song of the Day duty are available on Google Classroom. Each of you will have song duty during the semester, and we need our first volunteer for Friday.

link to Song of the Day response form


Continue social media analysis/discussion. Form our groups for your social media presentations. We will look at an amusing article listing rules of Snapchat for clueless old people.

Snapchat Etiquette

What are your "rules" for using your particular app/site? That's what your group will be presenting next week. We will have some class time Thursday (and maybe tomorrow) to continue to work on your group projects.


Let's consider the value of boredom (what social media tries to make us think we should never feel). Below are two videos. One we will watch together and use a TodaysMeet backchannel; the other you will watch and discuss with a partner. Your assignment for Thursday is to respond in the forum found under the "Media Literacy Forum" tab found on the menu bar to your right. That response is to include both videos AND the article linked below:

The Value of Boredom

Turkle Together Alone backchannel


We will read and respond to an interesting article about a social media phenomenon I was previously unaware of.


All remaining time will be for you and your social media group to work on your rules presentations.


Our first brave student song of the day presentation. Presenter--make sure you share the lyrics with me beforehand so I can make copies for the class, and make sure you have shared your song of the day lengthy response/analysis with me before class as well.

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Week Zero Syllabus Update

Welcome to Media Literacy! If you are reading this, you have successfully joined our network. (Unless you are reading this on someone else's account.)

We will also make use of Google Classroom. The code to join our class=fu5f48

I have an opening introductory video for us to watch. Normally, I would embed a video right here, or at least link it, so you could watch it before class.

But this video is password protected, so I am linking it only to speed up our watching of it in class.

This Is Media

We will jump right in using a TodaysMeet backchannel as we watch. (We never "just" watch anything in media literacy--the whole point of the class is to be active rather than passive consumers of media).

Here's the link to join that discussion:

Backchannel for opening video

1. I will hand out a printed copy of the syllabus. You can always use the electronic copy as well, attached below:


2. With any remaining time, we will work on this brief social media survey and start our discussion.

Generic Brand Video:


3. For Monday, please complete this online questionnaire about your media life. The information you provide helps me structure the course.

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Week Sixteen Syllabus Update

Week Sixteen (12.8-12.12):

Monday: Begin our mini-unit on the news and media bias.

Here's a link to provide some perspective on recent news:

Bias in the news

We will be using the document attached below as our guiding text:


news bias red state/blue state

police violence coverage

 In groups of three (one group of four), we will find examples of each kind of bias our “guiding text” describes. I suggest you look online and at print newspapers; video examples are also an area to analyze.

Tuesday: Taylor’s song of the day. The Way Way Back response needs to be posted by today.

Wednesday (shortened classes): Joe’s song of the day.

Thursday: We continue with our small group media-bias-finding missions.

Friday: We continue with our small group media-bias-finding missions. Groups will quickly present on Monday, December 15.

On Tuesday, December 16, we will begin our review for the semester final. This will continue on Wednesday, and our final is on Thursday, December 18. I will post the review for the semester final in the final syllabus update–this will be posted on Friday, December 12.

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Week Fifteen Syllabus Update

Week Fifteen (12.1-12.5):

Monday: We will begin our third and final film, The Way Way Back. I will once again create a Todaysmeet backchannel for discussion as we view the film.


Tuesday: Tyra’s song of the day.

Wednesday: Continue viewing and discussing The Way Way Back.

Thursday: Kyler’s song of the day.

Friday: Complete our viewing and discussion of The Way Way Back. We should have time to begin your forum response, which will be due on Tuesday, December 9.

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