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APPROACHES TO MEDIA LITERACY AND eLEARNING Professor Tapio Varis, Finland European Commission Workshop ”Image Education and Media Literacy” November 16th, 2000, Brussels European perspectives

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Approaches to media literacy and elearning l.jpg

APPROACHES TO MEDIA LITERACY AND eLEARNING

Professor Tapio Varis, Finland

European Commission Workshop ”Image Education and Media Literacy” November 16th, 2000, Brussels

Tapio Varis, November2000


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European perspectives

  • Media literacy is a perspective from which we expose ourselves to the media and interpret the meaning of the messages we encounter. We build our perspective from knowledge structures

  • Europe: 500 million Eurocitizen-democracy with more than 20 different cultures and languages

Tapio Varis, November2000


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American ”media literacy”

  • ”The ability to communicate competently in all media, print and electronic, as well as to access, analyze and evaluate the powerful images, words and sounds that make up our contemporary mass media culture. These skills of media literacy are essential for our future as individuals and as members of a democratic society” (Center for Media Literacy)

Tapio Varis, November2000


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The media as a European cultural tool

  • Awareness: culture as a mental dimension which embraces ideas, knowledge, concepts, values, etc.

  • Communicative dimension: give these components an external form in which they make them accessible to one or more of the human senses

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Visual literacy as an example

  • ”A democractic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of image into a stimulus for ctitical reflection, not an invitation to hypnosis” (Umberto Eco)

  • We construct the world we see: seeing is believing - visual experiences are tied to our intellectual and emotional ones

Tapio Varis, November2000


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THEORETICAL ISSUES

  • What is a ”medium” and should we concentrate on particular media?

  • Is media literacy a perspective to the media culture, writing and reading skills, or knowledge about the media

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Multidimensional Media Literacy(James Potter)

  • Continuum

  • Needs to be developed

  • Multidimensional: cognitive, emotional, aesthetic, moral

  • Purpose: more control over interpretations

  • Effects & influence

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Some basic elements of media literacy

  • All media are constructions of reality but not the same as ”real”

  • Media language is unique to each form of communication

  • Audiences negotiate meaning

  • Media have commercial and value bias

  • Media critique is essential

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Media critique and skills

  • Media literacy is about understanding the sources and technologies of communication, the codes that are used, the messages that are produced, and the selection, interpretation, and impact of those messages

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Practical questions

  • Can we teach media literacy?

  • What would be the discipline and contents?

  • What are the elements of media literacy and competence?

  • How to evaluate them?

Tapio Varis, November2000


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What is the goal?

  • To prepare people to communicate with the traditional and new media, especially multimedia using the combination of human senses

  • The analysis, critique and skills are not limited to the mass media but include the Internet, computers and networks

  • Media competence

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Applications: the curriculum

  • Curriculum (K-12): The objective? Integration to other programmes? What principles and elements should be taught?

  • Should we give special skills (expected by the working life) or general preparedness for society?

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Applications: teaching

  • Democratic and non-hierarchial teaching approach

  • Diverse ways of learning, collaborative learning

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Applications: evaluation

  • Who evaluates?

  • How to decide when the learner is media literate?

  • What to evaluate? Knowledge? Skills? Behaviour? Attitudes? Values?

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Some controversial issues

  • Protect the youth? Popular culture?

  • Political & ideological issues?

  • The role of home, school, media?

  • Own subject (discipline) or integrated element to other subjects?

  • Disappearing childhood?

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Towards European eLearning

  • Global network economy

  • Information and communication technology: from distance to eLearning

  • Identities, culture, media, learning and education

  • National and European strategies

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Some general objects

  • Competency in communication with the new information infrastuctures on a Pan-European level

  • Competency in using modes of thought characteristic of the major areas of thought and knowledge

  • A knowledge or our basic cultural heritage

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Scepticism of educationists

  • Concepts like ”collaboration” or ”asynchronous education” reflect the necessities of the evolution of society than purely educational argumentation

  • Digital literacy, learning environments, network pedagogy etc.

  • New approach to teaching needed

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Common European and American characteristics

  • Liberally educated people listen and they hear

  • They read and they understand

  • They can talk with anyone

  • They can write clearly and persuasively and movingly

  • They can solve a wide variety of puzzles and problems

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Tapio Varis, November2000


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CONTENTS, METHODS, RESOURCES of seeking truth

  • Risk of the hegemony of one single language to the detriment of multilingualism

  • Risk of the hegemony of one single culture to the detriment of plurality

  • Future lecture rooms: the challenge of digital sites, virtual seats of learning

  • Teacher becomes the mediator of knowledge

Tapio Varis, November2000


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Communication gaps of seeking truth

  • Communication between different disciplines (inter- and transdisiplinary) and two cultures (natural science and humanities), new renaissance

  • Communication between diferent social institutions (universities, media, church)

  • Communication between different generations

Tapio Varis, November2000


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COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE of seeking truth

  • Jürgen Habermas: ”In a sense we are talking about universal skills of communication. We are born with the potential to use them to create a better society.

  • Communicative competence = several means of using language to create concensus and agreement between two or more speaking and acting subjects.

  • Cognitive, performative, temporal and spatial skills

Tapio Varis, November2000


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More of the author of seeking truth

  • Http://www.uta.fi/~titava

  • e-mail: [email protected]

  • University of Tampere, Media culture and communication education, P.O.Box 607, 33101 Tampere, Finland

Tapio Varis, November2000


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