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Prepare Youth for Civic Engagement with Free Media Literacy PD

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The new, completely reimagined KQED Teach provides free award-winning professional development that helps educators level up their media literacy and media making skills. 

Media Literacy & Student Voice

High-quality media literacy instruction is vital for the health of individuals and communities. Without these skills, people lack the means to contribute to public conversations or engage in efforts to improve our communities. This limits people’s ability to have their voices heard on the issues that matter to their families, their communities and themselves. They’re also left vulnerable to misinformation, disinformation, propaganda and other spurious claims pervasive on social media, TV and even group messaging apps. This leads to a devaluation of truth and endangers our democracy and our world.

We all know that young people already make and share (and consume) A LOT of media every day. According to Pew Research Center in 2018, 95% of teenagers had access to a smartphone for personal use. This percentage was consistent across differences in ethnicity, class and gender. But only a small percentage of teens post frequently and most post rarely, or never: 29% of teens never post videos online, and 91% of teens never post content about political or civic issues. 

The voices of young people must be present in the conversations we are having as a community and as a nation. Young people need media literacy skills to more confidently join these conversations safely and respectfully–while powerfully representing themselves and their views. Responsible media making about the issues that confront our communities requires youth (and everyone else, too!) to have the skills necessary to evaluate the trustworthiness of sources and identify the ways in which bias might impact media.

Meaningful Media Creation for the Classroom

Educators are well positioned to meet the need to support and empower students to develop their voice through the creation and sharing of stories about their place in the world. Meaningful media creation inspires classroom engagement, builds critical literacy skills essential for engaging in modern society and supports the social and emotional health of students who are empowered to tell their own stories. 

And, of course, storytelling with media addresses many writing, reading, speaking and listening skills required by both the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and it is ideally suited to project-based learning (PBL). With digital media consumption becoming a regular part of classroom instruction, media literacy is relevant across all subject areas and essential for civic engagement, as well as college and career readiness.


That is why, this spring we launched a re-imagined version of KQED Teach, our free, award winning, professional development platform designed for educators to level up their media literacy skills. Rather than just providing instructional or curriculum support to teachers, our learn-by-doing approach supports educators to improve their own media literacy and plan instruction to support their students’ media literacy development around the content they are already responsible for teaching. For example, investing in gaining the technical skills to make their own instructional media provides the confidence and know-how to better engage their students with media making projects. Likewise, gaining a better understanding of how to properly validate digital sources and identify misinformation is an important precursor to supporting students to learn these skills. 

I really appreciate that when I’m looking through KQED Teach, I’m learning, I’m playing around with things and then I’m thinking of new ways to introduce the material to my students. – High School Language Arts Teacher

Media Training from Media Makers

KQED is a nonprofit, public media station with more than 65 years’ experience in education, and student media literacy and digital citizenship are at the core of the work we do here. We are passionate about the elevation of diverse youth voices to KQED’s airwaves and digital platforms. Our focus is on supporting educators and their students to gain the skills and knowledge required to evaluate information quality, communicate effectively using a wide range of media and be better prepared to join the civic conversation as adults.

We regularly see the positive impact of student media making as a pathway to student engagement and the necessary media literacy skills that will serve them throughout their lives as both consumers and producers of media. We support teachers in understanding the ways that storytelling—across a variety of media and in all subject areas—can help students approach complex topics more easily, effectively demonstrate their mastery of standards and acquire critical media literacy skills. 

What makes KQED Teach different from other PD learning platforms is our focus on providing teachers with the same experiences the current standards are asking of students. Learning-by-doing, producing for an audience, sharing work publicly, and giving and receiving feedback are all essential components of 21st century learning. We want teachers to experience the things we often ask students to do without a second thought, like adopt new media-making skills and take the emotional risk of publicly sharing personal work. We believe that focusing on the development of 21st century literacy skills for teachers leads directly to opportunities to integrate these skills into their learning environments, thereby better engaging students.

KQED Teach has been the most helpful to me in feeling more confident in being able to be a cutting edge media literacy teacher. The courses helped me to learn how to teach the kids not only how to make their own podcast but the value of listening – not just looking at images, but listening. – High School Science Teacher

PD Designed For Teachers, By Teachers

Designed to be completed in between 2 and 10 hours, KQED Teach courses make it easy, engaging, and fun for K-12 educators to level up their media making skills and learn how to support their students to do the same. Each completed course earns you a Certificate of Completion and helps you earn micro-credentials toward PBS Media Literacy Educator Certification.

Courses are designed by KQED’s own professional media literacy educators, for educators around these core skills and provide resources and access to skills that can immediately be applied in the classroom:

  • Making Media for Classroom Use: Create original audio, video, image-based and interactive media content to support learning.
  • Evaluating Online Information: Learn how to access valid and credible resources and identify misinformation.
  • Analyzing Media: Gain an understanding of how production choices influence the way media messages are interpreted and acted upon.
  • Evaluating Online Tools for Classroom Use: Learn to evaluate the online tools you use with your students with respect to student safety and federal rules and regulations.
  • Implementing Media Projects: Create projects specific to your content area in which students learn and demonstrate understanding by accessing, creating and sharing media.
  • Assessing Student Media: Design and implement high quality assessments for student-created media that align to standards and provide learners with quality feedback.

To ensure that KQED Teach courses are best positioned to meet educators’ learning needs around media literacy and media making for the classroom, they are: 

  • Always available. All courses can be taken anytime, anywhere. 
  • Self-paced – with instructor support. You learn when you can. When you’re ready, our instructors will be there with advice and feedback. 
  • Accessible and welcoming to educators with limited technical knowledge or previous experience with media making. 
  • Relevant to educators working within a wide variety of classroom technology set-ups and differing levels of student access to technology. 
  • Relevant to educators serving in a variety of roles from librarians, to instructional coaches, to teachers in any grade level or content area. 
  • Focused on project-based learning practices that center student choice, self-expression, meaningful engagement with curriculum, critical thinking and creation for an audience beyond the classroom.
  • Designed to foster connections. Through public sharing of your work, you contribute to an ever expanding course text with other contributors a click away.

The instructors understand so much about teaching and teachers and, of course, the subject matter. The courses inform my lesson plans and keep subjects exciting for me and for my students. – Middle School Language Arts Teacher

Many organizations already trust KQED to provide educators with an outstanding professional development experience. KQED Teach has been recognized by Common Sense Media as a “Super resource for making media in the classroom” and is recommended by the California Department of Education as a high quality provider of media literacy professional development for educators.

Get Started!

Whether you are a traditional classroom teacher, a librarian, an instructional coach, leading an extra-curricular program or any other role you might play where you support young people using media for learning, KQED Teach is here to help. 

If you’re a K-12 teacher looking to level up your media literacy skills so you can help your students find their voices, head on over to KQED Teach and sign up for your first self-paced course. You’ll be online and learning in minutes!

And if you’re wondering what kinds of media you might inspire your students to create, our KQED Youth Media Challenges provide a starting point to connect audio, video and graphic storytelling projects to content you are already teaching. Check out our newest Call for Change Challenge, designed to help students reach beyond the classroom and share their ideas for how to make the world a better place.

Are you a district or building leader looking for a customized sequence and scope for professional learning? Reach out to our partnerships team to collaborate on a plan.


See you on Teach!

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