Friday, 1 June 2018

Media Education for Net-Generation

Using new information technologies to teach media is effective because it can create “meaning” and “relevance” for the Net-Generation students.

The basic definition that one can give for ‘Media’ is, “The preparation and passing of information among humans on a wider scale is media.” It has started thousands of years ago. The earliest known journalistic product was a news sheet name ACTA DIURNA (meaning daily events that have happened) started publishing in ancient Rome in 59 BC. The ACTA DIURNA recorded important daily speeches especially public speeches for convenient understanding of its habitants. It was published daily and hung at some prominent places.  Since then media has underwent huge changes and has come up to a new era of itself.

Passing through Print Journals, Radio, conventional and modern Television, media has entered in the era of New Media while developing all its previous forms as well with new technologies.

In 20th century, journalism was marked by a growing sense of professionalism owning to the following three trends:

1.     Specialized education for Journalism;
2.     Increasing media organizations;
3.     Growing literature related to the history, problems and techniques of mass communication;
4.     Increasing influence of media on common citizen’s lives.

All these trends have also increased the interest of students for building up their career in mass communication/media/journalism. Not only career in media is a fresh option unlike traditional career options but it is one of the most challenging and exciting career as well, as it never remains same and thus doesn’t let you get bored of it. For media professionals ‘change is the only constant’. You will be seeing a new project with a new theme with a new emotion every day. But with all the developments in this sector, the pattern of learning media has also changed.

Instead of using pen and paper which were once supposed to be the basic requirement of journalism, students today are using laptops, computers and iPads to explore and discuss media issues in the classroom. However, effectiveness and challenges of learning media literacy through these new media technologies are yet to be analyzed, a general observation reveals that students are highly motivated by the new media and express great interest in the media literacy via technology. The new methods not only enhance students’ media literacy but they also strengthen their communication and creative skills. The reason is that the students get to learn it the way they like to spend their time most i.e. on electronic gadgets.

However, this trend is yet to get extensive in Indian Media education System but it has marked its start. Standard colleges along with the equipments required for practical training, are also having their computer labs, smart classes, projectors and other related equipments in order to convert the otherwise boring theory classes into interesting and more explanatory.

Time never stops; we all have to run with time. Let’s hope for happy media literacy.

-Arshi Ansari

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