With the school year underway, students at the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte are busy inside the classroom. But they’re also busy outside of it - looking for ways to bring what they’re learning about digital and media literacy to the larger community.
Students are already working with several local libraries where they volunteer weekly as tech tutors. There, students provide one-on-one computer help sessions and teach other library patrons how to access the Internet as well as how to use online applications like Microsoft Office.
Undergraduates have also partnered with Citizens Schools, which promotes student achievement and education in Charlotte and several cities around the United States. Through Citizens Schools, students are working with low-income elementary schools in the community to help build digital media apprenticeships for kids. They also teach valuable skills like how to do news reporting and what it means to blog.
Last year Knight Foundation endowed the James L. Knight School of Communication so that it could develop programs to teach digital and media literacy to its students and the community, a priority of Knight’s journalism and media innovation program.
Jennifer Hull, community coordinator at the Knight School, says she hopes these types of activities are just the beginning of others that will be rolled out later this year, such as a partnership with the YMCA of Greater Charlotte to implement digital literacy programs.