Ruff Ruffman Helps Teach about Media Literacy

ITRT and eMediaVA Ambassador Monica Mitchell explains her favorite resources for Digital Citizenship Week.

eMediaVA’s collection of Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius resources address the red-hot topic of how kids use technology, and allows students and teachers to explore four topics with original animation and interactivity—texting, sharing photographs, conducting searches, and finding an appropriate balance of technology and media use.

The episode “Technology and You” focuses on the latter. Ruff helps early learners consider all of the wonderful things about technology, but also discusses knowing when it’s the right time to turn them off or put them down.

Here are some sample discussion questions you can use when sharing the video with your students.

Q: Before watching the video, ask the question: What are some technologies we use every day (at home and at school)?

Q: With the list you just gave, do you think we have too many technology resources?

Q: Ruff gives examples of the use of digital maps and GPS and he states, “Life is so much better.” Do you think technology has made our lives better? Explain how it is better and how it is worse.

Q: As Ruff says in the video, “Technology is amazing!” It gives us a tool that lets us do countless things that we haven’t been able to do before. Ruff reiterates, however, that “the trick to making the most of it is knowing when it’s time!” Do we spend our time wisely using technology?

It is so easy to keep caught up in the latest and greatest, but we need to teach our students to be good stewards of technology, and as Ruff says, we must teach students to know when it is time to turn off our screens. The Ruff Ruffman series is a great resource to introduce students to all things technology in a fun and creative way.

Monica Mitchell is an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher with Martinsville Public Schools and an eMediaVA Teacher Ambassador.

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