The production and consumption of media has evolved with 21st century technology. As such the way we access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate information should follow suit. We are exposed to thousands of media messages every day, ranging from Tweets containing status updates to Instagram photos of dinner choices. Weeded between those are ads for products claiming to help you lose weight and blogs defaming individuals and organizations. We’ve all been taught to “read between the lines”, however it is often difficult to discern what is true or accurate given the volume of media we consume.
Techniques used to spread propaganda decades ago are being repurposed today using the latest social crazes and technology trends. While these practices don’t seem to be going away any time soon, we should all take time to reevaluate how we teach the consumption and production of media in this ever changing technological era. What better time to reassess current teaching methods than Media Literacy Week.
Media Literacy Week is a time to bring attention and awareness to media literacy education in the United States. Teachers, employers, and organizations are joining NAMLE to expand and improve the practice of media literacy education in the Unites States. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today. This is especially relevant for youth, who tend to be more susceptible to misinformation than other age groups. With information so readily available they tend to not question the authenticity of information they see, read, and hear. In addition they are more likely to use social media platforms to express their opinions and share content without thinking of potential consequences for their actions. The information they choose to share publically could create a negative impression of them that could affect their college and employment opportunities.
So what will you do? NAMLE has suggestions for ways you can participate in Media Literacy Week, most of which could be executed any time during the year. Whatever you decide to do keep in mind the role media literacy plays in our everyday lives and the importance its education plays in helping many navigate this new digital world.
Jason France is a Co-Founder of PocketGuardian, a parental monitoring application that detects Cyberbullying and Sexting on children’s mobile devices while maintaining their privacy. Prior to PocketGuardian he founded Tangent Engineering, which creates custom software applications specializing in CyberSecurity, Natural Language Processing, and Web Design. Jason graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering and a Masters in Information Systems Management with a concentration in CyberSecurity. Follow PocketGuardian on Twitter @PocketGuardian.