“Literacy is a social practice, not simply a technical and neutral skill… It is about knowledge: the ways in which people address reading and writing are themselves rooted in conceptions of knowledge, identity, and being” (Street, 2003, p. 77).

Students of today’s generation cannot be deemed literate without consideration of their media literacy. While the social practices of their everyday lives are saturated with online posts, tweets, blogs and wikis, these literacies are rarely addressed in the classroom and instead are passed off as a practice reserved for the home. This curriculum not only legitimizes the value of these literacies but also recognizes the necessity of shaping students’ critical perspectives about themselves and society through these practices. To this end, the goal of Too Quick to Click is to transform students’ passive consumption of media to the active construction of their online identities and empowerment expressed through social activism.

This goal will be achieved cumulatively by exploring three essential questions: How do I express who I am? What is the purpose of the Internet? and How can I change my world? Through this framing, the first part of the curriculum will invite students to address a greater understanding of major influences on their identities, purpose and motivations behind media content, and the unlimited nature of audience online. This will culminate in a demonstration of students’ “impression management” - an informed expression of who they are - through the re-creation of an online profile. The curriculum then aims to empower students to critically analyze the varied sources of information and the motivations behind the companies that produce the majority of media content they consume. Students will have the opportunity to complete a final project through which they will demonstrate a comprehensive media critique highlighting the purpose and value of the Internet.

By the final unit, with the expectation that students will be familiar with social networking sites, search engines and online platforms designed for sharing media content, the curriculum then engages students in a discussion of how these various media platforms can be used to advance social causes. The final demonstration of understanding culminates in an attempt to actualize students’ personal passions in changing the world as they see it. While educators have been provided with the necessary assessment tools to formally evaluate students’ learning, the ultimate measure of achievement is in sustainable changes to the everyday behaviors and choices of students in their engagement with others and the world around them.

© 2014 Copyright Katie McNeil | All Rights Reserved