A good way to get students thinking about Media Studies, both those who are new to the subject and those who have already had some experience of thinking and understanding the subject is to get students to look some research studies that Ofcom have undertaken. For example, at this report from Ofcom: Adult’s Media Lives, which is is a long term study that looks at the way people use and think about the media.
For example, the study looks at some of the following, which you can students to look at in the report and then think about such ideas in terms of themselves, their families and their friendship groups:
- Technology (in general)
- Smart phones (in particular)
- Social Media (issues of connectivity)
- Viewing habits (TV and streaming media)
- News and Information sources (issues of trust)
- Costs and Expenditure (ie being a customer)
You can add or adapt any of the categories and then divide your class up into groups to read, reflect and present informally as a discussion or as a more formal presentation to the rest of the class or as a written report.
You can find a copy of the report here: Adults-Media-Lives-2018
This approach should work really well to get to understand the contemporary context of media studies and can then be designed to link to a set of lessons that look at MEDIA FORMS and MEDIA LANGUAGE which will probably form the basis of your first teaching modules.
If not it could work as a stand alone with a group that needs to reflect on Media for other curriculum activities.
Another starting point could be the recent report on Children’s Media Lives that could also be used a good starting point for an A level or GCSE media course.