The Importance of Media Literacy

Being literate nowadays goes beyond the traditional understanding of how to speak, write, and use arithmetic.  Literacy opens doors to many opportunities and allows us to be free and express ourselves.  With a constant evolving world that surrounds us, we need to be able to process information faster than ever.  Literacy is embedded in everything we do.  It is the basis of human culture, knowledge and social connections.  Learners need literacy to be able to explore, learn and share their knowledge with the world.

Nonetheless, being able to speak through computer programming has become today’s literacy.  As learners and educators, media and technology is starting to creep into the education system and we need to be prepared to face this change.  From building e-portfolios, creating photo essays and video projects, the digital platform in education is omnipresent.  This media literacy ranges from music, TV, video games, magazines, etc.  Media education, as defined by the dictionary, is the process through which individuals become media literate – able to critically understand the nature, techniques and impacts of media messages and production.  The ability to read many types of media has become an invaluable asset for learners and teachers, however, careful attention must be put into critically analyzing the media source.

With the growing popularity of easy media access on social media, we need to teach students to be smart and aware of where they inform themselves.  It is our duty as educators to make our students be able to recognize bias, spin, misinformation, and lies when gaining information of the Internet.  In my opinion, media education is the way we should approach education in the 21st century since children need to be able to access media, analyse media in a critical manner and evaluate it to come to a clear and concise conclusion.

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