Monday, 25 July 2011

Thoughts for the Summer

Thought- provoking as ever - find David Buckingham and Cary Bazalgette's  full interviews, and 18 others, for the Center for Media Literacy here.

'Today, seven year-olds can edit films on iMovie or any other program. And in our research they are doing that. There is a danger of them confusing media education with technology. People think that if they are doing things with technology then they are doing media education and they’re not. What they are doing is a very instrumental use of technology which is very uncritical and unthinking. It is driven by technology hype - over-excited view of the wonders of technology. This is a very dangerous moment for us. How do we insist on the critical dimensions of media literacy being important at a point when everybody seems to be rushing to get kids doing very functional things with technology as though by wiring them up we are somehow going to solve the world’s problems?
I think it is exciting that children are capable of creating content but it needs to be accompanied by a kind of critical thinking about what you are doing and a certain level of reflection on the choices you are making, and undertaking the process consciously. I think that often gets lost as people get carried away by creativity and the wonders of technology. All of the critical questions get pushed to one side.'
David Buckingham

I believe, however, that the biggest challenge that faces us is how to establish media education as 
a normal part of schooling for every child from the very beginning of schooling.  I see the way to 
achieving this as being through the transformation of the literacy curriculum so that all children 
learn about books, films, broadcasting, photography, computer games, social networking, and 
whatever other media forms may evolve, as an everyday part of their schooling.  It would be nice 
if I could start to see that happening in my lifetime but I shan’t be surprised if it doesn’t.
Cary Bazalgette