Teaching and Learning

Words Matter: A short blog post in which I attempt to convince people that words have power and we should consider the complexities of messages before just taking things at face value…

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Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

Media literacy.

We talk about how students need this skill.

But it’s not just them.

It’s adults, too. Educators even.

Media literacy is defined by the Media Literacy Project as the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media. Media literate youth and adults are better able to understand the complex messages we receive from television, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, books, billboards, video games, music, and all other forms of media.

“Complex messages.” Media literacy isn’t just about fake news. It’s about bias, and persuasion, and subtle manipulation. Understanding complex messages is hard. It’s exhausting to have to question everything you read. But like Doug tweeted, words matter. And not just the connotations and expressions like Doug explained, but also who speaks those words.

Because words matter. They have power. So, so much power. And when spoken by those with power they matter a whole lot more.

Not sure I’m right? Kim Kardashian convinced the President of the United States to pardon a woman in prison. I’m not sure what words she used, but I’m pretty sure those same words spoken by me would not have rendered the same outcome.

We need to become better stewards of our words, and of the complex messages that may be heard by those receiving our words. And we need to be more critical of the words, and the messages, presented to us.

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