Sunday, November 18, 2012

724 E Media Psych/Overview of Media Literacy

Conducting a personal media bias inventory revealed the areas in which I exercise bias in everyday life.  Consuming media at a rapid rate provides a filter or lack there of, through which I collect information and apply it.  The results of the inventory impacted my understanding of media 2.0 as well as the persuasive nature of media as it influences generations to come.

I was surprised to find the media I consumed on a daily basis. More so, I was alarmed when I recorded the times at which I consumed specific media. We’ve all done it. The kids are taking a nap, no one is in the store, right before bed, or maybe it’s a quick moment before stepping out the door. Even worse, we’re double fisting technology with an iPad in one hand while sitting in front of the television. We plug in, tune in, sign on and engage. These are the moments I found media to be most dangerous after conducting the media bias inventory. I discovered that I consumed media without filter or care. More importantly, I developed opinions based on information received in short amount of time with a “barely there” attention span. “Some experts expressed concerns that trends are leading to a future in which most people become shallow consumers of information,” (Communications, 2012). This quote becomes alarming when “most people” is replaced by my name.

If the trend is continuing towards an unparalleled mass consumption of media technology, we must protect against the “shallow consumers of information.” Rob Williams of ACME believes that we must not only become “critical media consumers but powerful media producers,” (Williams, 2005).  Applying Michael Shermer’s Baloney Kit is first step, but it is only the beginning. As consumers of media, awareness and knowledge are merely the doors we should walk through. Once inside, we must accept the role of producers as Media 2.0 participants. “There is no better way to understand the persuasion of media than to reflectively create media,” (Ohler, 2010). Williams later explains that, “90 percent of our children’s media content is owned by one of six transnational corporations whose number one goal by law is to make money at the expense of all other social values in terms of their priorities,” (Williams, 2005). Taking this into consideration, educating youth not only as critical thinkers but producers of media becomes the key to media literacy.

Educators have the ability to create honest persuaders of media through the introduction of visual learning. Learning that applies creativity through multi-media develops a student’s ability to reason while consuming information. “Critical knowledge includes discussing the ways images have been used throughout history, awareness of intentionality, of how an image, object or event has been put together to offer a particular kind of experience or to set up a certain kind of spectator. This should be done in a creative and innovative way so imagination is interwoven through the idea of being ‘critical’ and reasoned responses are combined with affective and imaginative responses. The aim is to create students who have a sense of aesthetic openness, but are also critically aware of the capacity of images to manipulate,” (Bamford).

As we move forward in a technology driven society riddled with media bias, there have been positive movements forward. The more we educate ourselves with the media we digest; we become honest participators in a media 2.0 society. Understanding habits formed while consuming media plays an integral role in the development of individual media consumers. Perry Hewitt, chief digital officer at Harvard University, says this evolution is positive. “It seems easy to decry the attention span of the young and to mourn the attendant loss of long form content—who will watch Citizen Kane with rapt attention when your Android tells you Rosebud was a sled? On consideration, though, the Internet has brought forward not only education, but thinking. While we still want to cultivate in youth the intellectual rigor to solve problems both quantitatively and qualitatively, we have gotten them out of the business of memorizing facts and rules, and into the business of applying those facts and rules to complex problems. In particular, I have hope for improved collaboration from these new differently ‘wired’ brains, for these teens and young adults are learning in online environments where working together and developing team skills allows them to advance,” (Communications, 2012).

Bamford, D. A. The Visual LIteracy White Paper. Art and Design University of Technology Sydney, Interactive Media. Adobe Systems.
Communications, E. U. (2012). What Is The Likely Future of Generation AO in 2020. Retrieved from Imagining the Internet:
Ohler, J. (2010). Digital Community Digital Citizen. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Williams, R. (2005, May). What is Media Literacy. (M. Johnson, Interviewer) See Thru TV.


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