Media education, (or "media literacy training") should become an integral part of classroom work. Students watch more hours of TV than they spend in school, so the "tube" is a huge influence over their lives.
Media education in the classroom can be highly effective at helping students break the cycle of mindless absorbtion of commercial messages and oversimplified reality; critical thinking skills will help them imn every aspect of life. Media education helps undo the serious health effects (obesity, aggressiveness, eating disorders) that excessive TV watching produces.
An extensive Stanford University study has established clearly that media education in the classroom can have an enormous impact on the viewing habits of students and their general relationship with TV.
Helpful reading and related sites:
University of Oregon: Media Literacy Review
A bi-annual on-line publication and resource site that offers educators and parents teaching tools, list of media education organizations and articles on different topics.
This website provides links to other websites on: Alternative media, culture jamming, international media literacy organizations, and media archive sites.
Eight Key Concepts to Media Literacy
Outlines 8 basic concepts of media education/literacy.
The New Mexico Media Literacy Program
NMMLP provides media literacy CD-ROMS, videos and curricula that are used in thousands of schools, worldwide. They also offer trainings and workshops for educators and activists.
The Center for Media Literacy
This website provides other media literacy links, an on-line catalog of resources for parents and educators, and seminar/workshops for professional development.
Connects hundreds of affiliate organizations and sites involved in media and human rights concerns globally.
This website offers briefs and reports on the media's impact.
Challenging racism, sexism and violence in the media through education and action.
A moderated e-mail list to help families, parents, children, and communities defend themselves against harmful, immoral, or intrusive advertising and marketing, and the excesses of commercialism.
A listserv open to teachers, administrators, media professionals, researchers and others with an active involvement in projects or issues related to media literacy. This site is primarily used by teachers actively involved in teaching media literacy in both elementary and secondary schools.