Best online resources for information and/or media literacy?

Last week I had a brand new middle school teacher ask me what the best online resources were for learning about (and teaching about) information literacy and/or media literacy. Since this isn’t the world I live in on a regular basis, I thought I’d throw the question out to you. What sites do you find valuable related to this topic?

11 Responses to “Best online resources for information and/or media literacy?”

  1. Hi Scott:

    The Minnesota Education Media Organization (MEMO) has Information and Technology Literacy Standards and a corresponding Scope and Sequence that may be useful to people who are trying to find ways to approach this topic. Both items can be found at under “Publications.”

    In addition, teachers should always talk with their school library media specialist, who is the content expert when it comes to information/media and technology literacies.

  2. Hi Scott,

    The MEMO standards Mary lists above are of course outstanding. I would also point your teacher to the granddaddy of all information literacy resources, The Big 6 at There is a tremendous amount of support materials – lesson plans, guides, etc. that had grown up around this simple framework.

    All the best,


  3. Single most important thing for middle schoolers to learn is online safety. Netsmarts, i-SAFE, CyberBee, and the like all have valuable content. I really like Woogi World, a virtual world that teaches online safety.

  4. 21st Century Information Fluency Project at is a great site with lot of modules that include lessons, background information and online practice for students with immediate feedback. It is a project of the Illinois Math and Science Academy.

  5. Hey Scott:

    Frank Baker runs the Media Literacy Clearinghouse website ( which consistently has the best collection of timely, free resources for educators. (Like you, Frank is a 2007 winner of a Leaders in Learning Award). The Center for Media Literacy ( has lots of information and teaching resources. The National Association for Media Literacy Education ( is a professional association where one could find and network with other practitioners. Your teacher could also check Cable in the Classroom’s media literacy section ( I’d be happy to talk to him or her if you want to put in touch with me.

    Frank Gallagher
    Dir. Education & Media Literacy
    Cable in the Classroom

  6. Media literacy is so important. It’s great that more teachers are taking an interest in helping kids think critically about media and marketing.

    We just did a blog post about great book and online resources for parents and concerned people wanting to know more about media literacy. There are several resources listed that might be helpful, and we also have a link to some of our own lesson plans and activities focused on media, marketing and culture. Here’s the URL for the blog post:


    Marsha Rakestraw
    Web Content/Community Manager
    Institute for Humane Education

  7. Scott, though it’s geared more for elementary students, and it’s limited in its scope (basically a simple introduction to doing Internet research), I thought I should toss in a site that some colleagues and I developed:

    There are lesson plans and other teacher information also available at the site.

  8. Several people have mentioned the big media literacy sites but sometimes when one goes to a big site there’s so much you hardly know where to start. Here’s a cheat sheet to some of the best materials for middle school teachers on the major media literacy sites:

    Center for Media Literacy ( – check out the 25 lesson plans in “Five Key Questions that can Change the World” – on the home page. It’s an excellent set of lessons built on a comprehensive framework — framework? Yes, it’s important to start with some kind of organizing framework. Download the first copy free.

    NAMLE — National Association for Media Literacy Education ( — four things here:
    1) JOIN the organization! Once you join, you’ll get access to lots of information, networking and resources.
    2) Check out the tab titled “M.E.A.L. Project” –it’s a case study ofa media literacy program in two middle schools in San Francisco – lots of lesson plans, teacher blogs and other usable information.
    3) Don’t know where your teacher is but NAMLE’s next national conference is August 1-4, 2009 in Detroit. It’s three days of non-stop media literacy! Plan now to BE there.
    4) “Core Principles of Media Literacy Education” — it’s not just what is taught but HOW it is taught that’s important. The tab for the “Core Principles” will give you plenty to chew on — and you’ll never teach the same way again

    Not everything is available online and you may also want to invest in some key resources in print or DVD. NAMLE’s new online Marketplace is the one-stop shop for all things media literacy — particularly resources for staff development and teacher preparation. Go to their “search and shop” page and use the many search functions to find all the resources available for middle school, topic areas or standards — it’s mind-blowing. Lots on sale, too! Plus buying from the Marketplace is a good cause — all profits go to promoting media literacy education so that posts like this can be written!!

    Good luck.

  9. Hi Scott,

    MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Project New Media Literacies (ProjectNML) currently explores participatory culture with an eye toward identifying the social and cultural skills that we think young people should learn and be given the chance to practice in order to successfully navigate a contemporary media culture. It is our belief that young people need to both make and reflect upon media and in the process, acquire important skills in teamwork, leadership, problem solving, collaboration, brainstorming, communications, and creating projects.

    ProjectNML is developing a range of materials, including an application that will house interactive learning challenges offering teens a rich variety of ways to explore and practice the skills needed in the new media culture; a series of teachers’ strategy guides designed to show the fit between media literacy principles and traditional school content; and a case book for media ethics (in collaboration with Harvard’s Project Zero).

    There are a couple of ways to stay informed of the research we’re conducting and the resources we’re developing at ProjectNML.

    1. Join our mailing list on our homepage: – we often send out announcements and updates on a quarterly basis

    2. Subscribe to ProjectNML’s blog: — this blog is written by all the researchers of NML

    3. Join our social network: — this is where we load all of our curriculum we’re developing. We love to hear what worked, what didn’t and how the new media literacies are taken up in different contexts.

    We also will be hosting a conference in March 2009. The mailing list will learn more about that soon.

    Please let me know if you have any more questions.
    Erin Reilly
    Research Director
    Project New Media Literacies

  10. Hello Scott,

    Common Sense Media has media literacy resources for parents and educators. Here’s a direct link to the resources page:

    There’s a new media education program for parents launching in mid-October, too:

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