The Importance of Media Literacy in Schools


Media literacy

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Today, more than a third of the world’s population uses the Internet, and this number continues to grow. It is difficult to imagine any field of human activity that has not been penetrated by the Internet: endless sources of information, digitized maps and books, social networks, online commerce, digital libraries and museums, news… These spheres have changed how people live, communicate, study, work, and rest. A person living in the 21st century is an active media consumer and receives the main supply of information from the Internet. Willingly or unwillingly, what we hear or read affects our behaviour, decisions, worldview, and preferences, especially school-age children and teenagers. The media consumer should have appropriate knowledge and critical thinking to navigate the media field correctly.

According to Fresno Pacific University, “Media literacy helps students become wiser consumers of media as well as responsible producers of their own media.” Teaching media literacy helps to foster critical thinking in students. This type of thinking can eventually become second nature, which will help them in many areas as they grow older.

Nowadays, children can access reliable and unreliable Internet materials and sometimes distorted facts. The main purpose of such materials with unusual headlines and bright photos is usually to attract an audience, increase views and likes, thereby receiving more advertising and earning a lot of money. So, it’s very important to raise awareness of media literacy for students because they spend much time on the Internet.

Unspecified or fake information is also found on social networks. In many cases, information is deliberately falsified to attract people’s attention, to make money from it, or, conversely, to distract and confuse people. Many people believe that teenagers, being fluent in digital tools, have a very good understanding of everything they find in media. But research shows the opposite. It is necessary to make students aware that what we read, hear, and watch in the media field is not always reliable and real. Often on the Internet, we come across inaccurate information with catchy headlines. So it’s very important for learners to become more critical thinkers about the information they find through social media and use practiced strategies to fact-check information.

Anush Ghevondyan, author of "The Importance of Media Literacy in Schools".

CC-BY, provided by the author

Anush Ghevondyan is an ICT teacher at a secondary school in Vanadzor, Armenia. She has been a Scientix Ambassador since 2023. She believes STEM education is very important in pupils’ lives because it connects lessons to real life.

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