CHAPTER 1 – WHAT IS MEDIA LITERACY?
Level : Intermediate
Objective 1: Instructors are able to define media and information literacy
Objective 2: Instructors have a grasp of MIL issues.
Objective 3: Instructor are familiar with various approaches to MIL
ISSUES SURROUNDING MEDIA AND INFORMATION LITERACY
In general terms, media and information literacy encourages knowledge and understanding of media and information to improve public debate and social participation.
MIL brings together two separate areas: mastering information emphasises the importance of access to information, analysing it, and using it ethically. Media literacy emphasises the ability to understand the purposes of media, evaluate how media work to achieve these purposes, and make rational use of media to express oneself.
This field allows instructors to:
- Emphasise the role and purposes of media in society as well as the conditions under which media achieve these purposes.
- Integrate and convey the tools to evaluate media content critically.
- Create quality information media with the target audience.
To fully grasp the global impact of MIL, it must be stressed that a society that knows how to handle media and information and encourages the development of free, independent, and pluralistic media is more likely to encourage meaningful public participation.
TEACHING MIL: VARIOUS APPROACHES
Teachers of MIL should use a variety of pedagogical approaches:
- The ‘problem – research’ approach consists of identifying an issue, recognising the attitudes and beliefs surrounding it, clarifying the facts and principles associated with the issue, organising and analysing avenues of research, interpreting and resolving questions, enacting measures, and reconsidering the consequences and results of each phase. This approach allows students to develop critical thinking skills and can be useful for analysing fake news and conspiracy theories.
- Case studies involve examining one situation or event in depth. This approach provides a systematic method of observing events, collecting data, analysing information, and communicating results.
- Cooperative learning can mean simply working in pairs or extend to more complex methods such as project-based learning, learning with puzzles, guided questioning by peers, and reciprocal teaching.
- In textual analysis, students learn to identify how codes and linguistic conventions are used to create particular perceptions targeted at certain audiences (‘technical’, ‘symbolic’, and ‘narrative’ codes for media content).
- Contextual analysis seeks to help students become familiar with topics such as classification systems for film, television, and video games, the link between property and media concentration, and matters of democracy and the freedom of expression.
- In rewriting students can, for example, collect a series of existing visual documents connected to a person’s life and use them as a starting point for planning and creating a short documentary on that person.
- In simulations, students can, for example, roleplay as a television crew producing a programme on young people. The strategy is discussed with students as a pedagogical process.
- Finally, production gives students the chance to dive into learning through discovery and practice. By producing media content (audio, video and/or print), students can explore their creativity and express their own opinions, ideas, and perspectives.