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Based on the results of several projects carried out with children and adolescents, we can state that knowledge of production and broadcasting aids the acquisition of critical media skills. This article combines three media education experiences in Venezuela, Colombia and Spain driven by a critical reception approach. It presents leading indicators for determining the level of critical audiovisual reading in children aged 8-12 extracted from intervention processes through workshops on media literacy. The groups had been instructed on the audiovisual universe, which allowed them to analyze, deconstruct and recreate audiovisual content. Firstly, this article refers to the evolving concept of media education. Secondly, the common experiences in the three countries are described, with special attention to the influence of indicators that gauge the level of critical reading. Finally, we reflect on the need for media education in the era of multi-literacy. It is unusual to find studies that reveal the keys to assessing the levels of critical consumption of digital media content in children, and this is essential for determining the level of children’s understanding before and after training processes in media education.