IFLA Media and Information Literacy Recommendations

Great statement from IFLA about the importance of media and information literary followed by some recommendations.

IFLA Media and Information Literacy Recommendations:

In order to survive and develop, make decisions, and solve problems in every facet of life – personal, social, educational, and professional, individuals, communities, and nations need information about themselves as well as their physical and their social environments. This information is available via three processes: observation and experimentation, conversation (with other persons), and consultation (with memory institutions). The competence to do this effectively and efficiently is called Media and Information Literacy.

Media and Information Literacy consists of the knowledge, the attitudes, and the sum of the skills needed to know when and what information is needed; where and how to obtain that information; how to evaluate it critically and organise it once it is found; and how to use it in an ethical way. The concept extends beyond communication and information technologies to encompass learning, critical thinking, and interpretative skills across and beyond professional and educational boundaries. Media and Information Literacy includes all types of information resources: oral, print, and digital.

Media and Information Literacy is a basic human right in an increasingly digital, interdependent, and global world, and promotes greater social inclusion. It can bridge the gap between the information rich and the information poor. Media and Information Literacy empowers and endows individuals with knowledge of the functions of the media and information systems and the conditions under which these functions are performed. Media and Information Literacy is closely related to Lifelong Learning. Lifelong Learning enables individuals, communities, and nations to attain their goals and to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the evolving global environment for the shared benefit of all individuals, not just a few. It assists them and their institutions and organisations to meet their technological, economic, and social challenges, to redress disadvantages, and to advance every individual’s well-being.

Under the umbrella of the developing information/knowledge society at all levels – local, regional, national, and international, we urge governments and intergovernmental organizations as well as private institutions and organisations to pursue policies and programs that advocate for and promote Media and Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning for all. In so doing, they will provide the vital foundation for fulfilling the goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the World Summit on the Information Society.

In particular, IFLA recommends that governments and organisations to do the following:

  • Commission research on the state of Media and Information Literacy and produce reports, using the Media and Information Literacy indicators as a base, so that experts, educators, and practitioners are able to design effective initiatives;
  • Support professional development for education, library, information, archive, and health and human services personnel in the principles and practices of Media and Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning;
  • Embed Media and Information Literacy education in all Lifelong Learning curricula;
  • Recognise Media and Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning as key elements for the development of generic capabilities which must be demonstrated for accreditation of all education and training programs;
  • Include Media and Information Literacy in the core and continuing education of information professionals, educators, economic and government policymakers and administrators, as well as in the practice of advisors to the business, industry and agriculture sectors;
  • Implement Media and Information Literacy programs to increase the employability and entrepreneurial capacities of women and disadvantaged groups, including migrants, the underemployed and the unemployed; and,
  • Support thematic meetings which will facilitate the acquisition of Media and Information and Lifelong Learning strategies within specific regions, sectors, and population groups.

Endorsed by the Governing Board of IFLA, at its meeting in Den Haag, The Netherlands, 7 December 2011

Lee Rainie on Libraries and the New Community Information Ecology

Lee Raine from the Pew Internet and American Life Project talks will Bill Densmore from Journalism that Matters about journalism, libraries, librarians and the new media environment.

Love how he says librarians infect our conversations with facts :-) He mentions medial literacy, Henry Jenkins and participatory culture which we have on our reading list.

You read Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century for free as a Kindle ebook or as a PDF from the MacAuthor Foundation

Posted in Media Literacy. Tags: , . Comments Off

Social Media and the End of Gender

In her Ted talk, Social Media and the End of Gender, Johanna Blakley, the Deputy Director of the Norman Lear Center, does not so much predict the end of gender but more so the end of media created stereotypes of gender. She believes that social media will “free us from absurd assumptions about gender.” She believes this change is possible because social media transcends the old demographics that media corporations use to sell culture back to us. Through social media, people aggregate according to interests and values rather than overly general categories of age and gender. She points out that, worldwide, women outnumber men in use of social media technology, which could drive a change in the media landscape.

What’s interesting for our discussion is her analysis of how companies are beginning to look at how individuals use social media and the recognition that old media types are being reconsidered in light of how people interact with it. Most importantly, she describes a major culture shift in which members of social media groups, because they aggregate around tastes and interests, no longer needing the help of a media company to navigate the ways in which they spend their time and money.

Part of the definition of transliteracy put forth by Sue Thomas, et al, includes a very similar concept:

The literacies (digital, numerate, oral) may be different, but the transliteracies (social, economic, political) often transect them in similar ways, depending on cultural context. For example,  in recent years we have begun to switch from searching for information in encyclopedias, indices and catalogues to querying the kinds of data collections that existed before books–that is to say, we are asking each other.

In other words: “knowledge networks are inherently people-to-people.”

What Blakley’s talk also gets at is the notion that Thomas, et al, develop based on the ideas of Bernard Stiegler. Stiegler proffered that discussions of technology are “polarized between anxiety and euphoria” and that his response is a refusal “to distance technology from life; and to suggest that human individuation and technology have always had a transductive relationship.”

Social media, as Blakley describes, allows technology to return some level of human individuation. Although media companies still monitor user behavior, they can do so in a more respectful way because they are monitoring actual interests and values and not just making assumptions based on broad demographic categories.

Libraries use social media mainly to promote collections and services, but they can also use social media to aggregate students by meaningful categories, such as research interests, rather than overly broad categories like “millennials,” which may do more of a disservice to students by not exploring a more insightful understanding of their interests and values.

Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action from the Knight Commission

Today the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy announced a new policy paper

The Knight Commission recognized that people need tools, skills and understanding to use information effectively, and that successful participation in the digital age entails two kinds of skills sets: digital literacy and media literacy. Digital literacy means learning how to work the information and communication technologies in a networked environment, as well as understanding the social, cultural and ethical issues that go along with the use of these technologies. Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, reflect upon, and act with the information products that media disseminate.

Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action, a new policy paper by Renee Hobbs, Professor at the School of Communications and the College of Education at Temple University and founder of its Media Education Lab, proposes a detailed plan that positions digital and media literacy as an essential life skill and outlines steps that policymakers, educators, and community advocates can take to help Americans thrive in the digital age. (Download PDF or Read online)

I haven’t had time to read and digest the whole thing but I’ve skimmed it and here are some of my favorite bits

Full participation in contemporary culture requires not just consuming messages, but also creating and sharing them. To fulfill the promise of digital citizenship, Americans must acquire multimedia communication skills and know how to use these skills to engage in the civic life of their communities.

The report defines a digital and media literacy and outlines necessary skills:

In this report, we define digital and media literacy as a constellation of life skills that are necessary for full participation in our media-saturated, information-rich society. These include the ability to do the following:

  • Make responsible choices and access information by locating and sharing materials and comprehending information and ideas
  • Analyze messages in a variety of forms by identifying the author, purpose and point of view, and evaluating the quality and credibility of the content
  • Create content in a variety of forms, making use of language, images, sound, and new digital tools and technologies
  • Reflect on one’s own conduct and communication behavior by applying social responsibility and ethical principles
  • Take social action by working individually and collaboratively to share knowledge and solve problems in the family, workplace and community, and by participating as a member of a community

These digital and media literacy competencies, which constitute core competencies of citizenship in the digital age, have enormous practical value. To be able to apply for jobs online, people need skills to find relevant information. To get relevant health information, people need to be able to distinguish between a marketing ploy for nutritional supplements and solid information based on research evidence. To take advantage of online educational opportunities, people need to have a good understanding of how knowledge is constructed and how it represents reality and articulates a point of view. For people to take social action and truly engage in actual civic activities that improve their communities, they need to feel a sense of empowerment that comes from working collaboratively to solve problems.

The report calls for a plan of action

These action steps do more than bring digital and media literacy into the public eye. Each step provides specific concrete programs and services to meet the diverse needs of our nation’s citizens, young and old, and build the capacity for digital and media literacy to thrive as a community education movement.

Support Community-Level Digital and Media Literacy Initiatives

1. Map existing community resources and offer small grants to promote community partnerships to integrate digital and media literacy competencies into existing programs.

2.
Support a national network of summer learning programs to integrate digital and media literacy into public charter schools.

3. Support a Digital and Media Literacy (DML) Youth Corps to bring digital and media literacy to underserved communities and special populations via public libraries, museums and other community centers.

Develop Partnerships for Teacher Education

4. Support interdisciplinary bridge building in higher education to integrate core principles of digital and media literacy education into teacher preparation programs.

5.
Create district-level initiatives that support digital and media literacy across K–12 via community and media partnerships.

6.
Partner with media and technology companies to bring local and national news media more fully into education programs in ways that promote civic engagement.

Research and Assessment

7. Develop online measures of media and digital literacy to assess learning progression and develop online video documentation of digital and media literacy instructional strategies to build expertise in teacher education.

Parent Outreach, National Visibility, and Stakeholder Engagement

8. Engage the entertainment industry’s creative community in an entertainment-education initiative to raise visibility and create shared social norms regarding ethical behaviors in using online social media.

9. Host a statewide youth-produced Public Service Announcement (PSA) competition to increase visibility for digital and media literacy education.

10.
Support an annual conference and educator showcase competition in Washington, D.C. to increase national leadership in digital and media literacy education.

You can read the Executive Summary or browse the sections online or download the entire pdf

The New Media Literacies from USC

Project New Media Literacies was established at MIT Comparative Media Studies and now housed at USC’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism.  The project is led by Henry Jenkins III, Erin B. Reilly and Vanessa Vartabedian.

Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement. The new literacies almost all involve social skills developed through collaboration and networking. These skills build on the foundation of traditional literacy, research skills, technical skills, and critical analysis skills taught in the classroom.

The new skills include…

  • Play – the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
  • Performance – the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
  • Simulation – the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
  • Appropriation – the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
  • Multitasking – the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details
  • Distributed Cognition – the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
  • Collective Intelligence - the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
  • Judgment – the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
  • Transmedia Navigation – the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
  • Networking – the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
  • Negotiation – the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms
  • Visualization – the ability to interpret and create data representations for the purposes of expressing ideas, finding patterns, and identifying trends

from Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, by Henry Jenkins, with Ravi Purushotma, Katherine Clinton, Margaret Weigel, and Alice J. Robison

The site also includes resources like  Reading in a Participatory Culture

The Teachers’ Strategy Guide: Reading in a Participatory Culture, offers strategies for integrating the tools, approaches, and methods of Comparative Media Studies into the English and Language Arts classroom. This guide is intended to demonstrate techniques which could be applied to the study of authorship in relation to a range of other literary works, pushing us to reflect more deeply on how authors build upon the materials of their culture and in turn inspire others who follow to see the world in new ways.

Mapping in a Participatory Culture

This online guide is related to mapping in a participatory culture. The framework provides the guidance and the strategies are illustrated through the resources, projects, ideas, and people profiled. It is not meant to be complete. It is meant to keep growing as technology and the needs of educators evolve. It is meant to be more aggregate than prescriptive.

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