Introducing Your Child to the Arts: Media Literacy (page 3)

— National Endowment for the Arts
Updated on Mar 14, 2011

Education and Special Programs in Media Arts

Elementary schools offer children a wide range of technology experiences. Although computers can be found in many preschool classrooms, more formal involvement in media arts instruction begins with older children. Schools can enhance children’s educational experience by providing students with opportunities to express themselves using media arts tools. Computer labs and Internet access are becoming more and more the norm in elementary school buildings.While the basics begin in elementary schools, they serve as a foundation for more advanced media productions in middle and high school.

In schools with quality media arts programs, instructors encourage children by answering their questions and by taking students’work seriously without holding children to unrealistic standards. Good teachers gently critique student work in ways that help children understand how to achieve their own goals. That kind of feedback not only helps hone artistic skills, but also provides a positive model for children to share their opinions with others.

As a parent, you can reinforce the efforts of media arts educators by providing students with opportunities to continue their work
outside of school, and by attending student performances or art shows. Work with schools to help them get and maintain the equipment they need. Schools can create programs that offer free computers, digital cameras, and other media tools. Offer to share your own skills with teachers and ask them to help you get to know your child better through the art your child produces.


Web Sites

Alliance for a Media Literate America
This membership organization for people involved in media literacy education runs the National Media Education Conference.

Center for Media Literacy
The Center for Media Literacy provides a comprehensive catalogue of selected publications, videos, and teaching materials. This Web site also offers resources for preschoolers and early elementary students.

National Alliance for Media and Culture
The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) is a nonprofit association comprised of diverse member organizations that are dedicated to the production, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of film, video, audio, and online/multimedia arts. Its mission is to strengthen media arts organizations as an integral part of the community; facilitate the support of independent media artists form all cultural communities and regions; integrate media into all levels of education and advocate for media literacy as an educational goal; promote humane uses of and individual access to current and future media technologies; and encourage media arts that are rooted in communities, as well those that are global in outlook.

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
The Public Broadcasting Service, created and owned by the nation’s public television stations, exists to serve its members with programming and services of the highest quality and to demonstrate the imaginative use of technology to advance education, culture, and citizenship.


Voice/TYY: (202) 682-5496 For individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Individuals who do not use conventional print may contact the Arts Endowment’s Office for AccessAbility to obtain this publication in an alternate format.
Telephone: (202) 682-5532
National Endowment for the Arts
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20506-0001
(202) 682-5400

Additional copies of this publication can be obtained by contacting the NEA Web site:

A Great Nation Deserves Great Art.
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20506-0001
(202) 682-5400

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