Definitions are always difficult things to pin down and coming up with an overarching explanation of digital literacy is no different. With the growing quantity of information and the increased options of receiving this information, the way in which we process and interpret electronic messages has become crucial, especially to our students.
Before we look at Media Literacy perhaps we should look at things Media Literacy is not.
It is not the memorization of facts and figures.
To become media literate is not to memorise facts or statistics about the media, but rather to
learn to raise the right questions about what you are watching, reading or listening to.
It is not about controlling or limiting information.
In order to teach media literacy students need to engage and be exposed to age appropriate media. This can not be achieved by providing blanket bans on platforms or publications. Rather it comes through quality teaching and engagement.
Media literacy is more than memorization and limiting accessing. It should empower students and educators to be both critical thinkers and creative producers of an increasingly wide range of messages using image, language, and sound.
Media literacy is the ability to sift through and analyze the messages that inform, entertain and sell to us every day. It’s the ability to bring critical thinking skills to bear on all media. The aim of media literacy is to increase awareness of the many forms of media messages encountered in their everyday lives. It should help citizens to recognise how the media filter their perceptions and beliefs, shape popular culture and influence personal choices. It should empower them with the critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills to make them judicious consumers and producers of information.