媒介素养应该尽早开始,并持续一生

Matthew Johnson父母认为我们的孩子天生就懂媒体,这是可以原谅的。当然,甚至在他们出生之前,他们就已经被中介化了:这是一个罕见的婴儿淋浴,没有艾尔莎或埃尔莫的任何形式。至于数字素养,孩子们会使用众所周知的“鸭子到水里”这样的设备,很快就成为寻找他们想要的视频和游戏的专家。

It’s essential, though, that we not mistake fluency for literacy. The average six-year-old is fully fluent in their native language, but rarely literate; most parents spend countless hours helping their kids learn to read, and we expect them to need a dozen years of schooling to become fully literate. In just the same way, our kids need digital and media literacy instruction in school and need us to guide and support them.

当然,不同的是,许多家长觉得他们自己对数字和媒体知识的了解不够,无法教他们的孩子。虽然这看起来是一个复杂的话题,但它的核心是帮助孩子们理解一些关键的概念。这些概念对我们来说很容易学习,并为我们的孩子们规划一条发展道路,因为他们能够理解更复杂的想法,并且随着他们的媒体习惯的改变。

The first and most fundamental key concept is that media are constructions. Because we experience media in the same way we do reality, we have to consciously remind ourselves that it is not reality – that it is constructed by people who made choices about what to include, what to leave out, and how those things that are included are presented. The difference between media and reality is why media have social and political implications: any choice made by media makers communicates ideas about who is important, what is worth our attention, which actions are punished and which are rewarded. While these implications are the result of media makers’ choices, though, audiences negotiate meaning as well, bringing their own viewpoints and experiences and, often, taking very different meanings from the same media texts. The meaning and interpretation of a text is influenced by the medium itself because each medium has a unique aesthetic form; media also have commercial implications, since most are made to make money and nearly all cost money to make. These concepts often overlap, of course: for example, the choices that lead to social and political implications – such as casting mostly white male actors as leads in movies – are often made on the basis of commercial considerations.

所有这些概念对于数字媒体和传统媒体来说都是正确的,但有一个重要区别:数字媒体是网络化的,它将我们从分销链末端的消费者转变为无限网络中的共同创造者。与传统媒体不同,在传统媒体中,分销是最大的成本之一,而数字媒体通常是免费的,几乎不费吹灰之力:因此,数字媒体是可共享和持久的,能够进行病毒传播,几乎不可能消除。同样地,数字媒体也有出乎意料的受众,因为你永远无法确定谁会看到你分享的内容,而且你可能很容易看到你不想看到的内容。正如传统媒体的媒介影响信息一样,数字媒体体验是由我们使用的工具塑造的,无论是像无休止滚动的新闻提要这样让我们难以将视线从屏幕上移开的功能,还是决定我们在社交网络和视频流媒体网站上看到什么的算法。最后,由于网络媒体是交互式的,通过数字媒体进行的互动可以产生真正的影响——既有负面影响,因为我们在网上说的和做的事情会对他人造成真正的伤害,也会产生积极的影响,因为孩子们有能力在网上成为正式公民,并能使用数字工具在他们的线上和线下社区中有所作为。

Though each of these key concepts is simple enough to understand (to make it even easier MediaSmarts has developed a series of short videos, Media Literacy 101 and Digital Literacy 101, that introduce and explain each one) the idea of teaching them all to our kids can be daunting. The good news is that there is no shortage of opportunities. When kids are young, taking advantage of the “why” phase can make a trip to the grocery store a media literacy experience: if your child asks why SpongeBob is on a cereal box, you can explain that it’s because the people who designed the box (media are constructions) know that kids will ask their parents to buy it (media have commercial implications). You can then show them a cereal aimed at adults and ask how it’s different (audiences negotiate meaning). Similarly, you can ask your kids if it’s okay before you post a photo of them, explaining as clearly as possible who’s likely to see them (digital media are shareable and persistent) so that by the time they’re active on social media they’re in the habit of getting consent before sharing other people’s photos (interactions through digital media can have a real impact.)

Once we realize just how mediatized and digitized our lives are, it becomes clear that there are connections to media literacy everywhere. As our kids get older, these teachable moments will develop into opportunities to be co-learners with our kids, as we explore together everything from the complications of communicating by text and the long life of childhood photos. By being open about the fact that we are learning alongside them, applying our understanding of media and digital literacy key concepts to new contexts and technologies, we can help them see that media education is not just for kids but for a lifetime.

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