Invited to the EGSA (Educational Guidance Service for Adults) bi-annual staff meeting today I was asked to give a talk on the importance of Media Literacy. This is a term that has not been in common usage for very long and has become popular with the rise of Web/Internet and the expansion of professional, amateur, citizen media production.
I think it’s important for two main reasons; first we need to know the agendas of those professional organisations that bring us News and Information every day, and we need to know how we can use the media (especially Web) to distribute our own information and news.
One of the points that was raised by someone of my generation was that all the words and terminology is difficult to follow sometimes. Words like Blog, Wiki, Podcast are new and everything moves so fast, it’s hard to keep up. I agree, but you need to take hold and learn about these things.
There was some discussion about Digital Natives (young people who have grown up with digital technology) and Digital Immigrants (older people who need to learn about it now). But I argue that there needs to be a third in that terminology; something like “Digital Conquistadors” people who invade the language and ideas behind digital technology and use it for their own needs.
We older users of digital media need to be even more aggressive and not just as consumers but as utilisers and for others who cannot do it for themselves, as enablers.