What Does Media Literacy Mean To Me?

In class we were asked to do a couple of readings and watch a Ted Talk to prepare for our class that explored the topic of Media Literacy.  This was the first time I have ever thought about Media Literacy and what it means.  In Chapter One: “Why Increase Media Literacy” James Potter wrote how “our culture is saturated with media messages” (p. 3).   I never sat back to think about all the messages that a person views, reads, listens to, and watches throughout a day until I completed the readings.  I started to think about what different kinds messages there are and how I have responded to the messages.  I even thought about the lack of response I had when thinking back to some of the messages.  It made me begin to think about my students and in the importance of teaching them the decision making process and how to make positive choices.  Have you ever thought about the different messages you have been exposed to before?  On September 15, 2014 I wrote a blog post entitled “Digital Citizenship Webinar.”  At the end of the blog I discussed a poster that used the acronym THINK.  This poster was created to remind people about thinking before they post or respond on any digital format or social media.  I believe we can also use some of these ideas from the acronym to help us to be more critical when viewing media messages.  What are your thoughts?


Photo Credit: ToGa Wanderings via Compfight cc

Often people do not think about all the different forms of media we read and view.  I have heard many educators voice their options of the importance of reading and writing, but viewing and the other ELA strands are just as important.  In the chapter Potter explores how media is growing at a rapid pace and it is hard to keep up with all the knew technologies.  Young children and youth are exposed to media on a daily basis and students interact with many forms of media.  During the reading it caught my eye when Potter discussed how “everyone can generate and share information to large number of people every day”  (p. 4).  He talked about how people do not have to be professional artists, journalists, or filmmakers to share their messages using different forms of media.  People are connected to media throughout their day and I never thought about how I am directly and indirectly connected to media.  “Over the past three decades, every new survey of media use has shown that people on average have been increasing their exposure time every year” (Potter, p. 4).  Later on in the chapter Potter explored how humans perform many tasks through developing automatic routines and went on to discuss a concept called automaticity.    Throughout the day humans respond and view to so many different forms of media everyday that sometimes it becomes apart of our routine and we do not pay attention to everything we are viewing or reading.  I believe that it is important to teach our students about media so they can become more media literate since they are developing more positive routines when interacting with media.  It is also vital that they understand more about how they interact with media  because their interactions can affect their digital footprint in either a positive or negative way.  What are your thoughts with children and youth interacting with media?

To prepare for my Monday’s class I also watched a Ted Talk by  Sherry Turkle called “Connected, but Alone?” for my EC&I832 Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy class.

Sherry Turkle studies technologies and people’s plugged in lives.  She discussed and found that the devices are so powerful “that they don’t only change what we do, they change who we are.”  In her Ted Talk she talked about how people are plugged in during meetings and texting others instead of being present with the people and the company that they have.  Do you think people are not as present with the people they are interacting with in person?  Are people too plugged in when their focus should be on someone or on another task at hand?  Turkle talked about how “we are losing the true connectedness with each other.”  In my family we decided that cell phones were not allowed at the supper table and we always turned off the television.  Having family conversations was always important to my family!  It did not matter if a family member was away or not we always took the time to sit around the table and talk about our day.  I know when Damon and I start a family I want to continue that family tradition.  It is so important to stay connected with each other and make the time for loved ones!

The other day I was with some friends and one friend commented about feeling lost since their cell phone was left at home.  I know many other people who felt that way when they have forgotten their phone before or their cell had to be sent away to get repaired.  I usually always have my cellphone on me all the time, but when I walk into school I rarely look at my phone until I am finished work and leaving for home.  I like being able to keep my mind on work and not get distracted.  I try not to let my cell phone take over my life at home as well.  I am still someone who prefers to have a conversation on the phone or talk using Face time.  I am not a fan of having long conversations through text messaging.  I do not feel like I get to connect with the person I am talking to if only have a conversation with them through texting.  I know I do not give as much detail when I text someone a message compared to talking with them.  However, I do know many people who are the opposite of me and prefer to text.  Is technology changing who we are?  Are people leading their lives too plugged into the world instead of living in the moment?  Are we depending on technology too much? I know I will be reflecting on those questions throughout the next few months.