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The importance of media literacy for teachers, students and the public

Posted: Tuesday, May 5, 2020. 6:48 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes in the way people interact, do business and study.

Yes, online courses, online degrees and online trainings have been used before COVID-19 but now that our children are out of school, and now (for study purposes of course), they may have access to the internet.

Parents are tasked with home-based teaching to keep students actively involved and for the learning process to continue.

As we explore the worldwide web, educators as well as parents are reminded of the great advantages of having access to the internet and some basic but very important tips to present to their children.

Apart from their study time online, children are curious and may have a lot of questions about social media.

The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) provides free resources for educators and parents to teach the core principles of media literacy.

Educators and parents can teach children to be critical thinkers, to analyze, inquire and determine if the information shared on social media is true or not.

A person who is media literate is curious, inquisitive and skeptical and asks questions about everything.

Media literate people around the world understand that media influence beliefs and behaviors.

The advantage of practicing media literacy is that it expands the concept of literacy, reading and writing to all forms of media.

Also, introducing our children to media literacy education maintains them informed, reflective, engaged and alert.

Often times, message chains are passed on without verifying the information or the source even if it harms someone’s character or reputation, spreads false information for virality.

So, when your phone vibrates, your email beeps or you received a new Whatsapp message, as you view the content of the message, here are some questions to ask to verify if the information is true:

1.    Who made this?

2.    Who paid for this?

3.    Who might benefit from this message?

4.    Who may this harm?

5.    What would someone learn from this?

6.    When was this made?

7.    How was it shared with the public?

8.    Is this true, is it an opinion?

9.    Is this source credible?

10.  Can I trust this source or do I need to seek another source?

Media literacy is about providing students with their own skills for them to be able to take responsibility for their own media use.

After all, this is a global digital community, we can be connected with family and friends from thousands of miles apart, information, pictures, videos can be shared.

Let us practice and teach healthy and safe media management.

 

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