What We Do

GCMLP/Critical Media Minds is a digitally connected network of educators, activists, and students dedicated to cradle-to-grave education in critical media literacy. Our goal is to empower learners of all ages to engage deeply with the world and to take action on issues that matter to them.

GCMLP/Critical Media Minds brings together teachers, learners, and activists from the full range of education contexts: K-12; college, including graduate and postgraduate programs; libraries; community programs; makerspaces; homeschooling and unschooling. Our work extends well beyond traditional education spaces because education is not limited to formal schooling.

Presence and Purpose
Critical media literacy spurs deeper understanding and civic engagement by focusing on multiple literacies and competencies for engaging as citizens of the digital world. This pedagogical model is founded on the idea that humanistic objectives should determine the technological choices we make.

The work of GCMLP/Critical Media Minds occurs primarily though this website, secondarily through conferences and other face-to-face opportunities.

The Big Picture
The site features three main aspects:

Resources and Tools: a bank of crowdsourced, Creative Commons-licensed activities, assignments, and tools for use in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school and in nontraditional contexts for all ages;

Student Work: a publication venue and discussion space for students, featuring work mostly based on the resources and tools and linked reciprocally with those items, providing a publishing opportunity for learners of all ages;

Forum: an electronic forum where members of the GCMLP/CMM community can engage in collaboration around resources and tools, student work, and other issues related to critical media literacy education and its impacts on our society.

The Details: Action for Students and Educators
The goal of critical media literacy education is to enable citizens to analyze the social forces that shape media messages. A critical media literacy education puts emphasis on power and influence, including, for example, how media industries establish standards of authority regarding whose voices matter and what narratives are predominant, and how media messages are targeted to specific audiences. CML education seeks to teach students a critical awareness of power in media, including the production of alternative media and the relationship between media and audiences. Service learning is an essential component of CMM, providing contexts for students to collaborate with one another and with faculty to investigate solutions to problems of the media and attendant social concerns.

Through institutional analysis, students engaging with GCMLP/Critical Media Minds will

• analyze the unprecedented amount of media content and digital technology that targets them;

• recognize and investigate how corporate media capture their time, money, and intellectual focus; and

• track the differences in how commercial messages solicit them as consumers rather than as public actors.

More specifically, students can

• publish local investigative journalism;

• generate advertising analyses;

• nominate and research Validated Independent News stories;

• learn to use social media for publishing and activism;

• work with faculty from a variety of institutions to research and write articles for publication;

• present at national conferences; and

• produce and/or assist in radio, podcasting, and short film projects.

Participating educators (in traditional and nontraditional contexts) can

• find and contribute educational activities and tools that can be used across the disciplines;

• engage in collaborative creation or refinement of CML activities, assignments, and tools;

• collaboratively design programming and courses in critical media literacy and related fields;

• engage in professional learning; and

• present at national conferences.