© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Media Literacy

You'll never watch TV the same way again.

If you're reading this, you're literate. Congratulations! But are you media literate? Can you read TV, ads, music, and Facebook posts as well as you read everything else?

In this lightning-fast fifteen-lesson course, we'll break down the main topics in Media Literacy: critical media consumption, bias, intellectual property, and basic communications theory. Oh, and because we love to have standards, the course has been designed to meet the standards for the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). You're welcome.

Course Breakdown

Unit 1. Media Literacy

These lessons will give you all the deets on how to read media: from TV to advertisements to the Interwebs and back again.

Sample Lesson - Introduction

Lesson 9: Private School, Part 1: Beware the Share

Don't you want everyone to constantly know exactly where you are, what you're doing, what you look like, what you're saying, and which websites you're visiting?

Unless you're a contestant on Big Brother, the answer is probably no. Most people in America want a little (or a lot) of private time, and they want to be able to do whatever they desire (ahem) without anyone watching.

You gotta watch what you do in public—you never know when Strawberry Shortcake may be spying on you.


At the same time, though, we're sharing more of our personal lives than ever these days. There's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, and hundreds of other places to share your personal information.

So how do we balance the desire to share information and the desire to keep some of it to ourselves? Phone number? Home address? Social security number? Pictures of your Superman underoos? You don't want that to be online, seriously.

But it's getting harder to control what's out there.

Almost everybody's got a camera in their pocket that can post photos to the Internet in seconds. Nothing's stopping anybody from snapping a picture of you, tagging it by time and location, and uploading that sucker online. And once a piece of information is out there on the Internet, it's really (really) hard to take down. As if that weren't enough, there are new inventions on the horizon that'll make it even tougher to stay out of the public eye. Google Glass, anyone?

We'll spend the next two lessons working through the question of privacy on the Internet. First stop: oversharing.

  • Course Length: 3 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, College
  • Course Type: Short Course
  • Category:
    • Humanities
    • Life Skills
    • Technology and Computer Science
    • Middle School
    • High School

Just what the heck is a Shmoop Online Course?

Courses Tutorial