Reading Blog 15 – November 6, 2015

This week’s set of reading focuses on the divides caused by technology within a student’s learning. In the first interview, Henry Jenkins talks about how the internet is such a valuable resource to a student’s learning. These days, anyone can post their content online. Because of this, there are certain freedoms and powers granted to internet users that weren’t accessible before. Because of this increase in technology use, more and more kids are becoming media literate, and therefore media is becoming their main source of learning. However, Jenkins brings up the point that more classrooms need to facilitate and expand this media literacy. It’s not exactly a question of access, but rather strategies for getting people to participate in this new media environment. Eszter Hargittai also holds this point of view. She claims that in order to improve media literacy, it takes a lot more than providing access to different parts of the country or the world. She argues that parents, as well as educators, need to be supportive of media usage and literacy. A lot of the time, parents are fearful of what their kids will encounter online. Hargittai suggests that that is a contributing factor as to why there’s a discrepancy between lower class students and upper class students in terms of their online skils. Hargittai’s main point focuses on the socioeconomic gaps that only continue to grow wider in terms of using technology. Both authors want to explore new ways of bridging these gaps in order to effectively use digital media. 

Links:

  1. “Making a Case for Media Literacy in the Classroom” – http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/making-case-media-literacy-classroom
  2. “News literacy declines with socioeconomic status” – http://www.cjr.org/news_literacy/teen_digital_literacy_divide.php
  3. “Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century” – http://www.pbs.org/program/digital-media/

Discussion Questions:

  1. In what ways can we bridge the media literacy gap between lower and upper classes?
  2. If it’s not a concern of access in terms of media literacy, then is it about exposure? Are upper class students more media literate because they are more exposed to technology, and therefore have a better grasp on it?
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