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Small Steps to Essential Skills with PBS Media Literacy Certification

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Tuesday, December 1, 12:00–1:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

rik panganiban  
Belinda Shillingburg  

Media literacy is a series of steps on a journey to empowering students to be readers, writers and creators of media. Likewise, teachers can take steps toward becoming confident and skilled media literacy educators. Learn how PBS Media Literacy Certification can help you foster vital media literacy skills to students.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Windows, Android, iOS
Topic: Professional learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Social studies, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
  • Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

“Media literacy is not taught in one lesson or even one unit. It is a series of small steps that take the students on a journey of empowerment to become active citizens in the digital world.” This quote from STEM teacher and CUE Rockstar Mariana Garcia Serrato gets to the heart of what it means to become a highly skilled media literacy educator. Serrato was one of the first PBS Certified Media Literacy Educators, a distinction she earned by submitting a portfolio that showcased her skill in eight distinct facets of media literacy education. This portfolio process changed when KQED launched a stack of eight micro-credentials (MCs) in March 2019. Now, educators looking to build their skills and be recognized as expert practitioners can earn one micro-credential in their area of interest or earn the stack of eight and join Serrato in becoming a PBS Certified Media Literacy Educator. Regardless of their chosen pathway, educators who earn media literacy micro-credentials boost their ability to support students in gaining these vital skills.

This hands-on poster session will explore media literacy micro-credentials and look closely at how MCs can boost teacher professional learning and student growth across grade levels and content areas.

Participants in this poster session will:
- learn about PBS Media Literacy Certification by KQED and how it recognizes the media literacy expertise in teaching PreK-12 students to think critically about their roles as media consumers and creator

- explore how Media Literacy Certification can provide a clear pathway, through coursework and resources, for teachers who are looking to gain--and be recognized for--media literacy skills and competencies.

- discuss resources available to teachers for their continued media literacy professional development

- see examples of how teachers and students are using digital tools that demonstrate exceptional learning, sharing and creativity


* The many challenges of teaching media literacy in the digital age
* Small steps to media literacy expertise
* Resources for gaining media literacy skills
* The benefits of PBS Certification

Supporting research

Commission on Teaching Credentialing: California Standards for the Teaching Profession, October 2009

Ito, M., et al. (2013). Connected Learning. Irvine, California: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub.

Vander Ark, Todd and Schneider, Carri. “Deeper Learning for Every Student Every Day.” A report from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

More [+]


Belinda Shillingburg, James Denman Middle School

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