One aspect of media literacy I have chosen is that of digital literacy.
Digital Literacy, as described in this article from MediaSmarts.ca, falls under three main principles; use, understand & create. In short, these three principles can each be summarized as: having the technical know-how to navigate the internet and use a computer, to be able to critically analyze and comprehend what is found online and make informed decisions. Finally, to then be able to create content and communicate through an array of tools.
In the present age we are living in, it is extremely important to be literate in every possible aspect. Especially when it comes to media and technology. I see my younger nieces and nephews playing with their tablets and it becomes easy to assume that they are fully aware of how to use technology. However, are they truly literate? Sure, they know how to download apps and play games, but are they knowledgable enough to discern what’s a scholarly article and what is an opinionated blog post? As society advances onwards, it will be necessary to educate children on how to be critical thinkers now only in the real world, but in the digital one as well.
Digital literacy was a major factor in my personal and professional development. When I have free time, I tend to focus on a passion of mine: filmmaking. Telling a story through a visual medium requires being literate in the use of digital mediums, such as word processors for scriptwriting, and editing suites for producing the film itself.
While working at the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK), I was a Communications Specialist, and this required that I create and distribute media content needed to be informative, accurate and engaging. I learned that the credibility of a news source depended heavily on whether its content was legitimate and credible.
As a pre-service teacher, I must take into account that the digital aspect of literacy is going more prevalent as time goes on. For the Use principle addressed in the article, my students would be introduced to the fundamentals of using technology and programs (much like how my current professor has been guiding me through WordPress). Regarding the Understand principle, it is pertinent that I educate and inform my students on how to be critical of the information presented online. Not only that, but the Create principle would require that in order to be fully literate, students will need to be able to take what they’ve learned, and use the tools provided to communicate their ideas and concepts. Again, much like how I’ve learned how to use this site, how I comprehended the article mentioned, and how I’m now creating a digital post that communicates what I’ve learned.