Talks and Poster Presentations (with Proceedings-Entry):
R. Planinc, E. Wetzinger, M. Di Angelo:
"Information Technology Education Add-on: "Improving Media Literacy"";
- 2011-10-29; in: "Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution and Perspectives",
D. Bezakova, I. Kalas (ed.);
New media, especially the Internet, have spread vastly and are omnipresent nowadays. Media
literacy is seen as a key qualification and considered to be a basic cultural skill. As a
consequence, great importance has to be attached to the promotion of media literacy,
particularly in regard to school education. Due to the fact that nowadays most teenagers widely
have access to computers and the Internet, its handling and competent use is increasingly seen
as the key factor of media literacy.
The first part of this paper discusses the terms "media" and "media literacy". We present some
popular approaches defining "media literacy" and point out that various different attempts exist.
A consolidated view at these attempts identifies the following key points: operational
competence and design competence, utilization competence as well as competences in regard
to social, ethical, informative and analytic aspects.
In the subsequent parts we present different (exemplary) approaches that aim at the
improvement of media literacy as part of IT classes. The cutting-edge topics, chosen with
respect to everyday relevance for teenagers and their interests, are centred on "General Terms
and Conditions of Online Social Networks" and "Digital Images and Videos". The majority of
young people use social networks extensively. Therefore it is important to encourage a careful
and responsible usage of it. The first step towards this aim is to instill that awareness in the
teachers, which for the most part are not "digital natives". This awareness is a prerequisite in
order to appropriately educate young people. The General Terms and Conditions (GTC) of a
web service provide an overview of the rights, duties, risks and responsibilities when using it.
However, hardly anyone reads the GTC before accepting them. A closer look at the GTC proves
to be worthwhile as it uncovers some frightening details. Due to the popularity of Facebook,
Netlog and MySpace the GTC of these online social networks were analyzed and taken as
Though often reduced to these two aspects, media literacy is still more than privacy and social
networks. Children and teenager naturally deal with pictures, audio and video every day. But
often they do not have a consolidated knowledge of the technology they use. It is important that
media literacy also deals with some fundamental basics of these media. This does not have to
be done using ex-cathedra teaching, but can be done in interactive and interesting ways as
presented in the paper using a combination of circuit training exercises and the jigsaw method.
New media, media literacy, online social networks, Facebook, Netlog, MySpace, education, information technology
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