Discussing 21st Century Fluencies (Part III)

In the final part of a three part blog about 21st Century Fluencies, I’ll examine media fluency. This is discussed in the book,Understanding the Digital Generation: Teaching and Learning in the New Digital Landscape, by Jukes, McCain, and Crockett.  Additional information can be gathered at their web site as well (http://www.fluency21.com/fluencies.cfm).

Students are bombarded daily with digital communication from a variety of media. With this steady stream of information, there is an overwhelming need for them to be able to interpret the true meaning or message that is being conveyed.  They also need to be able to recognize how the media is being used to change thinking.  However, this is simply the first part of achieving media fluency. Students also need to be able to create their own digital communication using the proper media.

With the advent of the internet and multimedia tools, digital creation has become available for all! It used to be a skill for just programmers, graphic designers, and video producers. Now, children starting at late preschool age are able to create digital content. This type of digital production by our children represents a very popular and important way for them to communicate. Thus, it is important that they are well-versed in what types of media convey their messages in the most efficient and effective manner. In the previous school model, a student who was a good writer had the market cornered on effective communication. These days, just being a good writer is simply not enough. Students of the 21st century must know basic principles of design in video, web and sound as well as print.

As educators, we must empower our students with a variety of experiences that develop and enhance their technical skills as well as their ability to communicate content. The more we allow our students to create through different media, the more comfortable and proficient they become in the art of communication.

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