Media literacy was a new definition for me until I read Potter’s book (Chapters 1 and 2). Media is an integral part of today’s society, I probably don’t realize how much media I encounter on a daily basis and don’t realize how it is important for us. Because we are surrounded by so much media information, it is essential to understand the messages that are being communicated to us and how to use this massive media information. Fake news is everywhere, so it is especially important for children who are not only more susceptible to the influences of the media but who are also more adept and creative when it comes to manipulating and utilizing media. It is important to incorporate media literacy into education because we are currently living in a digital world.
There is no doubt that media literacy has already become an essential skill for everyone’s life in the ever-changing world. A person who is media literate can clearly describe the role of media in their lives. According to Potter, media literacy is a set of perspectives that we actively use to expose ourselves to the mass media to interpret the meaning of the messages we encounter. Media literacy can help people identify reliable sources and filter through an information maze to get the truth. Media literacy helps you save yourself from information overload. It helps you access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in a variety of forms. Being media literate, you can find the right way to the correct information instead of being overwhelmed by fake information.
How To Teach Media Literacy to Kids?
Firstly, I feel it is important to integrate media literacy early in children’s lives. Much like swimming or piano lessons, children should start learning media literacy early because they are exposed to media earlier than kids in the old days. Kids are curious. They know how to use Google or ChatGPT to find the answers they are looking for. Therefore, parents should teach them how to find trustworthy information. For example, lessons about identifying URLs.
Secondly, as Potter mentioned, the skills crucial to media literacy are analysis, evaluation, grouping, induction, deduction, synthesis, and abstraction. Those skills are important for kids to acquire. Being able to critically analyze and evaluate the power of mass messages conveyed through media is an essential class for kids.
Finally, critical thinking is important for kids to learn as well. Kids will learn that texts have more than a single level or meaning and learn how to discover the second and possibly even third or fourth levels of meaning in media literacy texts through critical thinking.
At this point, I have reflected on the importance of media literacy in education and ways to help children develop media literacy. Kids need to be able to recognize bias in the media and avoid only looking at sources that confirm the view they already have. Media literacy is important in schools and society, especially with the advent of AI-generated content. In navigating the vast ocean of information, let’s teach our kids how to informed and responsible engage with the media that shapes our world.