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EDITOR'S NOTES: Media Literacy and Security

By David Hoffman - Posted Mar 1, 2012
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"It’s a media-saturated world.” Curiously, that’s a statement that sounds almost old hat to me. It seems as though we’ve been hearing about our kids, our society, and ourselves being inundated with commercial messages for many years now, via television, print, and, more recently, the internet. But now, it’s safe to say that the statement “It’s a media-saturated world” refers to media saturation that’s orders of magnitude more intense than it was as recently as 5 or 10 years ago.

With the plethora of tools available to create, send, and receive messages; the astonishing array of devices on which to do those things; the ubiquity of connectivity to just about everyone everywhere; and the mashup of the variety of messages now flying about—commercial, personal, social, informational, all of the preceding, none of the preceding but something else entirely—it is indeed safe to make that assertion above. But is it safe to experience it?

That’s what we’re trying to determine through the March/April issue theme of Media Literacy and Security.

To that end, Victor Rivero has stepped up with a Tools for Learning roundup of companies, products, and services to help you help yourselves, your students, and anyone else who wants to know just how to, as he puts it, “evaluate what is important and what is not, and apply critical thinking and analytical thought to such a wide, dynamic flow of messages from all manner of media in this digital age.” See Into the Zone: Media Literacy and Security on page 8.

Also check out Victor’s interview with Gaggle.Net, Inc.’s founder Jeff Patterson, whom he draws out on this same theme. It’s titled Watching Over Your Gaggle With Jeff Patterson (p. 12). And round out your media literacy and security tools tour by reading Charlie Doe’s and Sally Finley’s reviews, starting on page 28, of four products that help all of us who are “in the zone.”

Internet@Schools at Computers in Libraries 2012

March is Computers in Libraries month. The conference takes place March 21–23 in Washington, D.C., and, as last year, we’ve integrated our own 2-day K–12 Internet@Schools track into the fabric of the larger event. We hope you’ll consider joining us. Everything you need to know is at Or check out our specifically K–12-oriented program at and at

David Hoffman , editor

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