Jamie Sproul, Sharyn Merrigan
Technology, Educational Technology
Material Type:
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Adult Education
  • wa-dcml
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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    Downloadable docs

    Year-Long Cohort Professional Development Plan: Integrating Media Literacy Education Across a District


    This document aims to provide support and guidance in developing and implementing a district-wide year-long professional development cohort to support media literacy education integration. This plan includes advice for developing objectives and outcomes for the project, implementing appropriate professional development to support teams in their work, and providing reflection opportunities at the end of the year. The ultimate goal is to encorage and support integration of media literacy concepts in all buildings and classrooms.

    Guide for Implementation

    Year-Long Cohort Professional Development Plan: Integrating Media Literacy Education Across a District


    The objective of a year-long cohort focused on media literacy and digital citizenship integration is to support and equip teams from school buildings with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to effectively integrate media literacy into their classes. The goals of this cohort are to 

    • Update, develop, implement, and share units and projects embedded with digital citizenship and media literacy concepts and skills across grade levels, content areas, and schools

    • Develop and implement a school-based project for engaging students and families in digital citizenship and media literacy education

    • Share regularly with building staff and other project stakeholders

    • Conduct PD sessions with staff 

    Support Considerations:

    A year-long cohort approach involves a large amount of planning, support from district and building administration, and a large time commitment from participants. Consider the following before implementing a project of this scale:

    • Alignment with District  and School Goals: How will this work align with the goals and initiatives of the district and each school building?

    • Benefits and Impact: How will this work impact student learning outcomes?

    • Resource Allocation: How will you ensure participants are allocated sufficient time and resources to implement their work?

    • Flexibility and Sustainability: How can you ensure team members are able to engage in the learning and implementation? (Will you offer asynchronous opportunities? Can you support work with professional development pay? Will you be able to fiscally support this work into the future?)

    Phase 1: Preparation

    This phase should be completed prior to the start of the school year.

    1. Data Collection and Needs Assessment

    • Gather information on the current state of media literacy and digital citizenship instruction across the district.

      • Is there a scope and sequence used across the district? Within each building?

      • Who is mainly responsible for media literacy and digital citizenship instruction across the district

    • Identify strengths, gaps, and areas that need improvement in media literacy and digital citizenship instruction across the district

    • Identify the major goals and outcomes for the project

      • Consider having three desired outcomes for each team: a classroom outcome, a building-wide outcome, and a community outcome

        • Example: each teacher implements a classroom lesson, the team plans a building -wide assembly focused on a media literacy or digital citizenship topic, and the team writes a newsletter for families focused on media literacy.

    1. Curriculum Development:

    • Identify a scope and sequence for the professional learning process, including key skills, concepts, and instructional strategies.

    • Identify resources and materials to be used (consider Common Sense Education and/or Developing Digital Detectives by Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins)

    1. Team Formation

    • Invite a wide variety of roles to participate on the teams

      • Consider building administrators, teacher-librarians, classroom teachers, para-educators

    • Develop and send an information sheet including the program objectives, expectations, and time commitments. Try to keep this short, one page if possible.

    Phase 2: Training and Implementation

    This is the longest phase of the cohort and should run from the start of the school year through March or April.

    1. Monthly workshops:

    • Schedule monthly workshops for participants to attend and learn about different aspects of media literacy and digital citizenship education. 

      • Consider having a kick-off event at the beginning of the school year to get participants engaged and excited about media literacy and digital citizenship education. Also consider having a wrap-up event at the end of the year to give teams an opportunity to share experiences, learning, and project outcomes.

      • Ideas for for monthly professional development:

        • Media analysis

        • Identifying bias

        • Ethical online behavior

        • Evaluating resources

        • Digital footprint

      • Include strategies and resources that teams can use in their buildings and classrooms

    1. Team Support and Coaching

    • Team Lead: Each team should have a designated lead. The teacher-librarian is recommended for this role, if the building has a teacher-librarian.

    • The project lead or project team checks in regularly with each team

      • Supporting project development and implementation

      • Answering logistical questions

      • Providing additional resources needed by the team

    Phase 3: Reflection and Sustainability

    1. Showcase/Exhibit: Provide a space/time for building teams to share the work they have done.

    • Showcase event: Consider planning a showcase event for participants to share their projects. Invite district staff, administration, school board, and community members.

    1. Reflection: Have team members reflect on their experiences throughout the year

    • Reflection activity for team gathering

    • Consider forms and feedback for improvement and/or changes in the future

    1. Sustainability: How will the work continue in the future?

    • What will professional development look like around media literacy and digital citizenship? 

      • Consider teacher leadership opportunities for team members moving forward.

    • How can the resources developed and used by teams be shared?

      • Consider having a collective location to house materials (Shared cloud drive, collaborative space on the district’s learning management system)