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Digital and Media Literacy: How Am I Investing My Time?

virtual learning

Like many educators teaching and learning online, I am wondering about the amount of time and the quality of interactions that we are experiencing. In the next series of articles, I want to explore what this concept is, how to apply knowledge to my classroom and faculty, and how to help students/adults to be more discerning about their use of media. 

I am thrilled with a few tools that I am learning about to facilitate ideas with faculty, leadership, parents and learners. The item below is from  I urge you to sign-up and extend your thinking in the content of digital an media literacy. 

winkThe first suggestion is to take an inventory of your online time. I am attaching the document below for your use This is a simple tool and we can all have an "ah-ha" moment when we complete the experience! I suggest that you have the users chart their time for a week. 

winkThe second suggestion is use the tool for a family, a classroom or a faculty discussion. Facilitate the conversation with a few key questions:

  • How did this chart surprise you?
  • How is it confirmation of your thinking?
  • Will this realization of how you are spending your time cause you to change any behaviors?
  • Are you feeling conflicted about anything you are discovering about your time

My Media Log: Inventory of Time  

How much time do you spend with different types of media in a given day? Fill in the log below to track your media habits. Use the log to track your device use and media habits; remember to include activities that you do during the school day and at home. 

1. In the left column labeled DEVICE, list which of the 5 types of technology you used: cell phone, TV/DVD player, video console, tablet, computer. 

2. In the middle column labeled ACTIVITY, write a short description of the type of activity you did on the device. 

3. In the right column labeled TIME, track how much time (in minutes) you approximately spent doing each activity. 




Cell-Phone, TV, DVD, Video, Tablet, Computers (include the day and highlight/color each day in a differently) 

Include a short description 

Track the amount of time you are spending 




SUNDAY: Cell phone 10, 6, 2, 1, 20, 2, 5, 2, 40, 

Computer: 20, 90, 100

TV: 90

Texting, social media, chatting, chatting, texting, social media, text, social, texting, chatting

Total time: 388 minutes or 6 ½ hours on a device

My Media Bar Graph 

  1. Make a bar graph to show how much time you spent with media in one day (refer to your My Media Log). Create five bars that show how many minutes you spent using media by device. 
  1. Use a bar for each of the following: Cell Phone, DVD/TV, Computer, Tablet, Video 
  1. Take a bar on the left side for minutes 0-15, 15-30, 30-45, 45-60, 60-75, 75-90, 90-105, 105-120, 120-135, 135-150, 150-165, 165-180, 180-195, 195-210, 210-225,225-240
  1. So the left (Y) axis is time and the bottom (X) axis is device 

Challenge: My Media Pie Graph

Look at which device you use the most. Can you create a pie chart that breaks down the time spent on each type of activity? For instance, on your cell phone, how much are you talking versus texting versus using the Internet versus using apps? 

Written by Dr. Dianna M. Mattern, Education World Contributing Writer

Dr. Dianna M. Mattern is an educator with 50 years of uninterrupted service, and has taught a myriad of AP courses including Art History, Human Geography, US History, and US Government. She has been a high school principal for 36 years and dedicated her career to both public and faith-based schools.

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