A Parent's Role In Media Literacy

from the shaping,-not-prohibiting,-a-child's-view dept

Professor Henry Jenkins at MIT has written a very interesting piece in MIT’s Tech Review about a parent’s role in the media literacy of children. He points out that, too often, parents take a simplistic limiting approach to all media. They simply tell their kids what they can’t watch on TV, play on their video game console or visit on the internet. Or, they limit the amount of time they can spend on any of those things. While there’s nothing wrong with any of those things, he suggests it’s not doing what’s really important: which is teaching the kids some media literacy and getting them involved. Instead of just banning things, he suggests, getting involved with what media the children are consuming, asking them questions, and teaching them to think critically about what they are seeing. This way, they learn to have a real understanding of what they see, and can deal with it on their own – rather than just be blocked off from the material and pretending it doesn’t exist. He also talks about the importance of encouraging the kids to become producers of media as well. This way they can learn what’s really happening when they see things online, on TV or in games – and have a better grasp over what’s real and what’s created.

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Comments on “A Parent's Role In Media Literacy”

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Chris (user link) says:

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I thought the “your kid is not media literate if he can’t produce too” point was particularly interesting. I’ve pinged my kids on interest in building their own web site, or programming, No interest so far. My son did get interested in how a computer works, so he got a couple books at the library and them I took a PC apart and we looked at the hard drive, motherboard, cpu etc.

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