"We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge."
1. Meets the needs of students to be wise consumers of media, managers of information and responsible producers of their ideas using the powerful multimedia tools of a global media culture.
2. Engages students. . . bringing the world of media into the classroom connects learning with "real life" and validates their media culture as a rich environment for learning.
3. Gives students and teachers alike a common approach to critical thinking that, when internalized, becomes second nature for life.
4. Provides an opportunity for integrating all subject areas and creating a common vocabulary that applies across all disciplines.
5. Helps meet state standards while, at the same time using fresh contemporary media content which students love.
6. Increases the ability and proficiency of students to communicate (express) and disseminate their thoughts and ideas in a wide (and growing) range of print and electronic media forms - and even international venues.
7. Media literacy's "inquiry process" transforms teaching and frees the teacher to learn along with students -- becoming a "guide on the side" rather than a "sage on the stage."
8. By focusing on process skills rather than content knowledge, students gain the ability to analyze any message in any media and thus are empowered for living all their lives in a media-saturated culture.
9. By using a replicable model for implementation, such as CML's MediaLit Kit™ with its Five Key Questions, media literacy avoids becoming a "fad" and, instead, becomes sustainable over time because students are able to build a platform with a consistent framework that goes with them from school to school, grade to grade, teacher to teacher and class to class. With repetition and reinforcement over time, students are able to internalize a checklist of skills for effectively negotiating the global media culture in which they will live all of their lives.
10. Not only benefits individual students but benefits society by providing tools and methods that encourage respectful discourse that leads to mutual understanding and builds the citizenship skills needed to participate in and contribute to the public debate.
Like digital citizenship, media and information literacy has been explained by a range of definitions and different terminologies. Whether we use digital media literacy, information literacy, internet literacy or any of the other different expressions, the main idea is that literacy encompasses the ability to engage meaningfully with media and information channels.
Media, information channels and the ubiquity of the internet may leave the impression that the digital age has turned everyone into media users and that the digital can be found everywhere, including in schools. This impression is false and, moreover, schools are the notable exception. School is the one place where it is absolutely crucial to train future citizens to understand, to criticise and to create information. It is in schools that the digital citizen must begin and maintain constant critical thinking in order to attain meaningful participation in his or her community.
Media and information literacy is an ambitious goal in the 21st century because of the challenge of teaching users to critically judge, reflect and use the extremely broad range of available media. Not only must users become media literate with respect to traditional media and the representation of image, users now must become media literate with respect to the wealth of new technology available and the development of applications allowing entirely new ways of transmitting information.
Without media and information literacy, across the varied types of media now available, our children cannot act as responsible citizens, digital or otherwise, and the question of who will teach this to our children has not yet been established.
Generally speaking, if schools are the training grounds for critical thinking, analysis and judgment making, is it not logical that media and information literacy become cornerstones of the educational curricula?
What are some of the dimensions of media and information literacy?
Media and information literacy (MIL) is an umbrella concept that covers three often clearly distinguished dimensions: information literacy, media literacy and ICT/ digital literacy. As UNESCO highlights, MIL brings together stakeholders including individuals, communities and nations to contribute to the information society. Not only does MIL act as an umbrella, it also encompasses a full range of competences that must be used effectively in order to critically evaluate the different facets of MIL.
What will media and information literacy mean to our children?
Children and young people today are particularly savvy when it comes to finding and using media for entertainment and recreation. But how many of those children can use those same devices to find meaningful answers, conduct evidence-based research, spark a debate or follow the news?
Children and young people are confronted with all types of content and they should, indeed they must, be able to discern what is of value and what is not; what is real and what is not. Discernment goes beyond fake news and relates to their ability to process and interpret information.
Research is under way to investigate the learning potential of existing and emerging communicative technologies for children aged 0-8 years old. The DigiLitEY project specifically rests on the premise that “the early years provide crucial foundations for lifelong literacy learning, therefore it is important to ensure early education policy and practice across (all) countries are developed in order to equip our youngest citizens with the skills and knowledge needed in a digitally-mediated era”. Initiatives such as DigiLitEY and the Joint Research Commission project on 0-8-year-old children and digital technology should provide interesting conclusions and guidelines on media and information literacy in the near future.
Whether children are playing online games or watching endless videos, the ability to understand the stakes within the medium and potential implications beyond would serve our children well. They need to be able to process, analyse and make good decisions on their own, and media and information literacy can help children develop those skills.
Confusion between media and information literacy and digital citizenship
Often digital citizenship is confused with media and information literacy in that one of the nuances of digital citizenship is the ability to critically evaluate media and online technology, tools and information. While media and information literacy (MIL) is how we think (critical thinking) about all of the media around us, digital citizenship refers to how we live and how we engage with all of the technology around us. Media, like technology, can come in many different forms and can blend into a single form.
Rather than simply using cognitive, emotional and social competences as the basis of MIL, it is useful to apply some of the other media-related competences from the Council of Europe’s “butterfly” competence framework to the concept of media and information literacy (Figure 9).
Figure 9: Four steps underpinning the process of inclusion
Media and information literacy enables people to interpret and make informed judgments as users of information and media, as well as to become skillful creators and producers of information
and media messages in their own right. MIL combines media literacy and information literacy under one term, and includes a combination of competencies. Media literacy emphasizes the ability to understand media functions, evaluate how they are performed and use them for self-expression, while information literacy emphasizes the importance of access to information and the evaluation and ethical use of such information.It recognizes the primary role of information and media in our everyday lives. It focuses on the freedom of expression and information since it empowers citizens to understand the functions of media and other information providers, to evaluate their content, and to make informed criticism as users and producer of information and media content .
Information Literacy and Media Literacy are traditionally seen as separate fields. It is the strategy that brings together these two fields as a combined sets of competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude) necessary for life and work today. MIL considers all forms of media and other information providers such as libraries, archive, museums, Internet and other technology used.
What is the value/importance of being a media and information literate person?
The importance of being a media and information literate person is very crucial nowadays because we are living in the 21st century which revolves us with rapid growth of technologies such as television, computers, cellphones, radio’s and other medium for information. Being literate about media and information will give us advantage in our modern world today especially in terms of giving and gathering information knowing best most of the false and accurate information in different kinds of medium especially in media. A country with citizens that is media and information literate will gain more advantage compare to other countries which stays in traditional way of being literate such as referring to libraries, archive, newspaper and etc., Mostly in terms of good governance and accountability. Some other benefits are to improve the quality of life, improved learning environment and more cohesive learning units.
According to: Nordic Information Center for Media and Communication Research, Media and information literacy (MIL) is considered a crucial competence in today’s
society. MIL equips citizens with the competencies they need to fully benefit from media and information channels and to enjoy fundamental human rights, such as the right to freedom of opinion and expression stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
MIL basically gives us freedom to express our selves and information that is very important in our democratic government to give equal rights to the citizens and to create peace among’s all the culture. As a student we need to be media and information literate because it can help us in our learning process to gain more information to be used in our future endeavors specially in our future jobs. We can gain inspiration to become an future innovators to help our country to develop technologically and economically. Lastly we can promote our country and its rich in culture literature so that we gain more attention in the global community. To become a media literate is not to memorize facts or statistics about the media but rather to learn, to raise the right questions about what you are watching, reading, or listening to and to be Information Literate a person must be able to recognize when information is needed & have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information.
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