Where Learning Occurs
Where Learning Occurs
Strategic partnerships between families, schools, non-governmental organizations and libraries can help build a community education movement for digital and media literacy education. Consider where learning occurs.
In the Home – Digital and media literacy competencies can be learned in the home, where most people watch television and movies, surf the Internet, listen to music, read newspapers and magazines, and play videogames. With appropriate levels of parental engagement, many digital and media literacy competencies can be learned at home, provided parents have high levels of interest and motivation and the drive to gain knowledge and skills. Organizations like Common Sense Media provide parents with tools to help them start conversations with their children about the responsibilities of media and technology use.
K–12 Education – Programs in elementary and secondary schools can help students develop access, analysis/evaluation, and creative competencies in relation to the academic subjects of math, language arts, social studies, science and health education. For example, these programs may help children and teens use online databases to find information related to school subjects like science or health, create multimedia slide presentations, engage in group problem solving or work collaboratively on a video project related to school subjects in history or literature.
Library Programs – Libraries provide the general public with access to computers and the Internet and may offer programs to help people use technology tools. One third of Americans age 14 and over (about 77 million people) accessed the Internet at a public library in the past year (Becker et al., 2010). Libraries generally offer one-on-one support to patrons, helping them find information on the Internet or demonstrating how to use email and other software applications, library databases or search engines. This is the most personalized and effective form of education. Librarians connect people to jobs, news, education, services, health information, friends and family—as well as community engagement and civic participation. Librarians often model critical thinking skills in finding and evaluating information.
Youth Media Programs – Hundreds of small programs that serve teens provide them with opportunities to critically analyze and create multimedia messages using traditional and interactive media. These programs can help young people see themselves as active participants in their communities, helping to solve problems through the power of effective communication and social advocacy.
Local Access – In those communities where there is a cable public access system, members of the public can learn to use video and digital media and can create programs that reflect their special interests, issues and hobbies. These programs help people use video cameras to collect and edit footage and produce a in-studio talk show, “how to” program or documentary.
Higher Education – Programs offered through colleges and universities may emphasize competencies that focus on critical analysis and advocacy. For example, these programs may involve groups of people analyzing local press coverage of a particular event or topic of local concern or creating a public information campaign about an important issue to increase community awareness.