Understanding Media

By Media Literacy No Comments

There are three purposes of Media – To Persuade, To Inform and To Entertain, however, in my opinion, there is the fourth purpose and that is understanding perspective. Many young people are sharing their ideas, opinions and views on social media using self-created media. With over 1 billion people using Facebook, 1 million using Instagram, 1.5 billion using Whatsapp on a daily bases, it is so important for librarians, teachers, and technology teachers to have students understand media.

All our news, entertainment comes from Media. Dr. Anubhati Yadav, Department Head of New Media and Course Director of Advertising and Public Relations Course says, from 2 years old to adults all respond to media, therefore, it is important for students to learn about the purpose of media, how it is created and how students can use media effectively to create, learn and share. Today, being literate, meaning able to read and write is not adequate, it is important to be meta-literate, that is individuals can draw inferences, conclusions, and ideas from a variety of media products like infographics, maps embedded with media, videos, and virtual reality products.

Media literacy is the ability to understand how the media work, how they convey meaning. Media Literacy also involves critical thinking about the thousands of messages we are bombarded with on a daily basisFrank Baker in Media Literacy

Other than reading to students, librarians can embed “Media Literacy” in their curriculum. They can use advertisements in magazines and digital media products to teach students the elements of media and what it takes to create a message for the audience.  Common Sense Media and Media Smarts, have resources to support teachers. Mr. Frank Baker, a specialist in Media Literacy has a Media Literacy Clearinghouse to support educators. Renee Hobbs founder of Media Education Lab has resources to teach media literacy. Check out this video from Common Sense.

360 Degree Videos to Curate

By Digital Resources, General, Media Literacy, Media Literacy & Information Literacy, Virtual Reality No Comments

There is a tsunami of information available in the world. As librarians, our key role is finding and matching the right information with the right reader or inquirer. This is becoming increasingly important and an added asset to the education system today. Teachers are using differentiated instructions to help students learn, communicate, create through collaboration and critical thinking. We as librarians are partnering with teachers to help students become successful. Therefore, our role as curators of information, supporters of information – seekers. (Teachers & Students) This compels us to learn about new content that will serve the needs of our clients.

Librarians are curators, we curate lists of titles for teachers, students, and parents. We are constantly reading and learning about new books, eBooks, eZines, articles and videos to help teachers deliver their lessons effectively and help students learn and enjoy the gift of reading literature.

Presently, librarians curate list of titles embedded with youtube videos and teaching materials to help students.  Recently, librarians are including 360-degree videos. According to Wikipedia, “360-degree videos also known as immersive videos or spherical videosare video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback on normal flat display, the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama. It can also be played on displays or projectors”.

Here are some examples for you to check out Ancient Egypt Temple, National Geographic 360 degree Videos, virtual 360 degrees tours from Nasa, Explore India 

Add these to your list when you curate resources for your teachers or students or simply evoke a discussion with your students about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, show them one of the above resources and ask them how they could use these tools in education, how could they use them in the world, what are the benefits and drawbacks of this kind of resource? How are these videos made? Could you make one? These will make your class interesting, and engaging, nudging students to think and wonder.

Other resources for you:

5-Minute Film Festival: Teaching With 360-Degree Videos: Check out these immersive 360-degree videos you can use in your classroom—no special equipment needed.

Other 360 Degree Channels on Youtube

A blog post on the benefits of 360 virtual reality videos in education

And, how to find the best educational videos

Digital Storytelling – What it really is?

By Digital Storytelling, General, Media Literacy No Comments

We all have stories to tell by Favin under Fair Use Guidelines

What is a good digital story? I used to think that using a digital tool to create a story becomes a digital story. That’s not true! I learned from my Digital Storyteller Guru – Bernajean Porter, that “When a story making is finished, it should be remembered for its soul, not for the bells and whistles of technology tools.” ~ Bernajean Porter, 2004.

Digital stories exist in our world in many different forms. Digital stories are used in advertisements to sell products, impact society through public service messages, inform consumers about something and also used during elections to win votes.  Presentations, often include a story to create an impact on our audience. They add meaning and stir the soul. Movie making is an expression of digital stories. Children can tell stories that are persuasive,  or have a public message to bring about change or simply share their personal experiences. This adds rigor to storytelling.

So, how does one create a good digital story?

One needs to learn the craft of storyboarding, voice, music, and images to create your very own digital story. Check out the difference between media-making and digital storytelling by Bernajean Porter. It’s more than just technology tools added to the images. Check out the different Types of Communication to add rigor to your digital stories and go beyond book reviews and translate them into book trailers or stories that explain a math concept or explain a historical event. It’s time to nudge ourselves and students and go beyond regurgitating facts.

How do you know your news is fake, real or filled with bias?

By General, Media Literacy, Media Literacy & Information Literacy One Comment

News From Different Sources Photo Credit: Sollok29 Source: Wikimedia Commons Under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

How do you know your story is fake, real or filled with bias?

Well, it is challenging. The news comes in many different forms – from Newspapers, Whatsapp Messages, Facebook, Television and of course from other forms of social media. But how do we recognize real news from the fake news?

Here are key features to keep in mind when reading the news as well as coaching this to our students or patrons.

  1. Consider the origin of the news: Where has news item come from? Who is the author of the article? What are his/her credentials? If there is no author, I would ignore the message.
  2. Go beyond the headlines: Check if the headlines match the content of the article.  The headlines can often be misleading, and the headline could only tell you half the truth.
  3. Check the dates of the article: Sometimes, news stories are repeated, that doesn’t mean they are irrelevant, it just means you need to know if the story has been told before and is misinterpreted in present contexts.
  4. Look for biases: If the article has a leaning towards a particular viewpoint – then you know that it leans towards the left or right. Bias articles often don’t give you both views. Always check the links of the stories and see where it leads. If it evokes strong emotions, know it could be biased.
  5. Check the urls of the websites: Sometimes the news websites do not match the URL’s you may at this point want to check the “About us” page to tell you about the authenticity of the website.
  6. Slogans and breaking news items evoke many  strong reactions, check the URL, whole story and of course the author/source of the item.

There are few Fact Checker extensions that you can use to check for the authenticity of your news. One such one is First Draft News Check that you can download on to your phone or your computer.

This is short video and article from Swachh Digital India by The Quint

 

Whatsapp Messages: How True Are They?

By Information Literacy, Media Literacy No Comments

Watsapp Messages by Riomar Bruno, – CC0 Creative Commons

Whatsapp messages: How accurate are they? According to the International International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, there are 750 million Watsapp users in the world. And 20 million are added every month all over the world. That’s a lot!

20 Million Watsapp Users in India by Statistics Inc

In India alone, according to the Mashable Survey. There are 200 million WhatsApp users, and if we put these two statistics together, there is no doubt that the numbers of social media users in India are growing at a rapid rate.  This is fantastic news! Information and media are being used by every person to communicate their thoughts, ideas, and messages efficiently.  Advertisers, political, social, religious and other parties are promisingly using the social media to benefit them.

As consumers, of these messages, it is essential for all: children, the youth, and adults to be able to evaluate these messages.  Three Questions to ask when you view a message:

  1. Why was this message/media created? [ Was it to educate me, persuade me, or entertain me]
  2. Who created this message? [ Marketers, Educators, Political or Ideological Parties]
  3. What values and points of views are embedded in this message? [Have they covered both pros and cons of the message]

Most messages on Watsapp are created without the author’s name. It is, therefore, crucial to know who the creator is. Is he/she an expert in the field?  Is the information or media backed up by real evidence? Is he/ she trying to persuade you towards the object or idea?

What if your best friend sends you a message about a remedy that will help you lose weight quickly or some herbal concoction that will help improve our child’s memory? For an intelligent adult like you, it is imperative to make a rational decision and not jump on the bandwagon of believing everything you read to be true. The internet has all kinds of information, and it is up to you to make right decisions for you and your family.

Here is another example of the Plastic Rice video that went viral last year. There were questions all over India that plastic rice was being substituted for real rice. Nobody did a fact check, the blame game and fear of plastic rice spread virally, hurting the rice manufacturers, hoteliers, and others. What a shame! We thought wise to pass on the messages to help our friends and family – Did we stop to ask these three questions. Did we check the origin of this video? What we did was add fuel to the fire. Think, evaluate before you forward any message next time.

You will need to do a fact check and research on the information you have received before accepting it or forwarding it. Is there enough evidence to back the claim that is being made, if yes,  go ahead and share otherwise PAUSE?  Boomlive. In, Factchecker are some of the fact-checking websites, that can help you identify fake from real. Adding a Fact Checker Extn on your internet browser can help you check your facts.