By joining bodies of research in media theory, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy, Developing Media Literacy in Cyberspace offers a vision of learning that values social empowerment over technical skills. An inquiry into the existence and range of models equipped to cultivate critical teaching and learning in the Internet-supported classroom, this new study argues that media literacy offers the best long-term training for today’s youth to become experienced practitioners of 21st-century technology. Author Julie Frechette helps educators develop and provide concrete learning strategies that enable students to judge the validity and worth of what they see on the Internet as they strive to become critically autonomous in a technology-laden world.
Part of this effort lies in developing a keen awareness of the institutional, political, and economic structure of the Internet as a means of communication that is increasingly marketing products and targeting advertisements toward youth. Values on the Internet are discussed constantly both by the major media and by the private sector, with little regard for the pervasive interests and authority of profitable industries staking out their territory in this new global village. Unlike other studies that provide a broad sociohistorical context for the development of theoretical uses of new technologies in the classroom, Developing Media Literacy in Cyberspace lays the groundwork for establishing critical thinking skills that will serve students’ interests as they navigate this vast and complicated cyberterritory.