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Guide to Contextual Learning Projects

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Environmental literacy
Media literacy
Health literacy
Economic literacy
Civic literacy
Computer Technology
Data Analysis
Writing Skills
Creative and Critical Thinking

Media Literacy

How can an organization gain visibility through effective use of media? How can an organization create an effective public education campaign using media? What are the characteristics of a high-quality website, video, newsletter, e-newsletter, or other media communication? How can I organize and synthesize information to be presented via various media? What are the technical steps involved in creating websites, videos, booklets, brochures, e-newsletters, podcasts and other media?

Communication skills, information skills, critical thinking and creative, artistic and technical skills come together when students use electronic, print and other media in their classroom, community and workplace projects. Through exposure to a variety of projects, youth gain skills as thoughtful and effective producers, consumers and planners of a variety of media.

Contextual Learning Projects: Projects in the Contextual Learning Portal shows a variety of uses of media:

  • Elementary school students research and produce a booklet about emergency preparedness, covering how to take care of people and pets during power loss;
  • High school students research a local proposal to restore flood chutes on the Hoosic River and produce a documentary about the issue;
  • After a technology class about cyber-bullying, students conducted an online survey about bullying and used Excel and PowerPoint to present the results to the school community;
  • Students research and analyze media coverage of a presidential election;
  • Grade 8 students produce a video about the scientific process based on a project done by grade 6 and 7 students;
  • Students create a video as part of an anti-bullying project;
  • Elementary school students write, edit and print a school newspaper;
  • Students use media and primary and secondary documents to research the life of a local artist, while learning about general local history and arts; students work with local artists to produce works for an art show.

    Workplace Experiences:

    Examples of youth working with media as part of jobs and internships include:

    • Writing press releases;
    • Writing for newsletters and e-newsletters;
    • Researching topics for newsletters and e-newsletters;
    • Working on scripts for television, radio and in-store voice-over promotions for a supermarket;
    • Posting news and announcements to local cable TV;
    • Posting updates to social media;
    • Setting up daily podcasts for school announcements;
    • Creating or updating a website for an organization or project;
    • Producing a promotional video;
    • Researching media coverage for a media book for an organization;
    • Participating in the development of social media strategies.