26 October 2006

Media Education in the 21st Century

Read a white paper on media education by Henry Jenkinds today. I found it on Peter Morville's blog. In Jenkins paper - Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education in the 21st Century - makes clear that we have to rethink how we define literacy.

As a teacher at different graduate schools, I have noticed (and have been vocal about) the lack of skill sets needed to cope with and engage in a world driven by multi-streamed communication messages embedded in multi-media and shared on web-based platforms. The average person has been educated to deliver transactional value by performing simple tasks repeatedly. The Internet changed all that at a speed of change not yet met by education, business processes, or daily life. Nor is there even awareness at the decision-making level responsible to adapt everything - from education and training through to organizational behaviors and simple communication - to address that speed of change and build the new skills required to cope with it.

Jenkins makes several points about the skills required to become literate in the 21st century. These skills require the same kinds of finesse that being good at sports or dance or music...playful engagement and practice that builds the kind of experience that makes someone feel comfortable playing that way.

I really suggest that you read both Peter's blog and Jenkin's white paper. We need to become more aware of these challenges and the gaps they have already created and will continue to create.

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