NAME: Jodi Moscato
SCHOOL/ORGANIZATION: MacArthur Elementary School, Binghamton City School District
TITLE: Library Media Specialist/Certified Teacher Librarian
DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE: My role as an Elementary Librarian is so many jobs combined into one. I think the two most important jobs are introducing children to all types of books and to teach them how to be outstanding digital citizens.
I have the opportunity to introduce all genres, styles, topics, formats, and reading levels to our students PreK – 5th grade. When a student doesn’t know what book to get I always ask them, “What is your absolute favorite thing in the entire world?” I then find a book about that topic; it’s even better if I can find a fiction and a nonfiction book for them to choose from.
I also take great pride in teaching our students how to be outstanding digital citizens. I teach 6-10 digital literacy lessons a year, with smaller lessons built into our library lessons, as well as the on-the-spot mini-lessons. I start with online safety with the littles and work up to digital footprints & online identity for the older kids. We cover protecting information online & passwords, media balance, and cyberbullying just to name a few topics. This year I worked with our 2nd graders to come up with their own Online Family Agreements to share all of the digital citizenship knowledge they have to help keep their families safe online too.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP AND MEDIA LITERACY? Digital Citizenship, in my opinion, is how a person behaves on the internet and how they treat technology. Being a good digital citizen is doing the right thing when you are using any type of technology; video games, computers, tablets, phones, etc. It is how a person responds or talks with others online, what websites they go to, if they are appropriate or not, and how they take care of their devices. I teach my students to think about the person who means that most to them in the world, if they were to see what you were doing, saying, or what websites you are going to, would that person be proud or embarrassed. Also, think about if that person was on the other side of the screen and someone was speaking to them the way you are speaking to other online, would they be sad or happy?
I think that digital citizenship is a smaller part of media literacy. Media literacy, in my opinion, is the knowledge of how to successfully work and work with technology. Media literacy is about learning how to explore, analyze, and use the information found on the internet (or even how to explore, analyze, and use computers, tablets, etc.) There is so much information out on the world wide web and if you can determine what is useful and why that is having strong media literacy. Knowing how to properly and responsibly use that information is digital citizenship.
WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY AROUND THIS AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU?: My philosophy about both DigCit and Media Literacy is that you can never be too young or too old to learn more about how to be informed about technology. In the digital world, things change often and quickly, staying on top of the newest scams or most useful sites is being insightful and that can help everyone.
WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO RESOURCES TO RECOMMEND IF PEOPLE WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT MEDIA LITERACY?: For the age group I teach, I always recommend and personally use CommonSense Media. I love their lesson ideas and how they give ratings on all things media; books, movies, cartoons, websites, etc. It is a great tool for both educators and families.
WHY DID YOU APPLY TO WSKG’s PBS MEDIA LITERACY ACADEMY? WHAT IS A POSITIVE ABOUT THIS EXPERIENCE SO FAR FOR YOU?: Teaching Digital Citizenship is such an important part of my job, and as I said earlier DigCit is just a piece of Media Literacy as a whole. I really wanted to expand my education on the subject and I’m so glad I did because it has opened my eyes to how much more Media Literacy is than I actually thought.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR CULTIVATING A CULTURE OF MEDIA LITERACY?: My vision for cultivating a culture of media literacy is to start teaching our youth the importance of it. Obviously, I teach my coworkers and share information whenever I can but teaching children young will build this literacy into their everyday education and become the norm.
WHAT IS ONE SMALL STEP PEOPLE CAN TAKE TO BECOME MORE MEDIA LITERATE?: One small step I think people can take to become more media literate is to be open to learning, acknowledging they may not know everything, and learn from media information mistakes they or others have made. For example, if a person finds out they have been sharing information from a non-credible source, acknowledge the mistake, and learn what to do to ensure future sources are credible in the media.
Learn more about WSKG’s PBS Media Literacy Academy here.