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  • Writer's pictureGuru Press Staff

The need for more media literacy in post-pandemic schooling

By: Divine Grace D. Canite, Teacher I/ Mawigue Elementary School

The internet and digitalization of processes, including schooling, have opened up many opportunities for learners in accumulating knowledge and honing their skills in various ways. Many learners these days can access the net and learn by themselves, giving them multiple means to level up their academic performance.

Nevertheless, the same source of great knowledge can the source of garbage information and unwanted persuasions that can destroy learners’ innocence, positive mindset, and focus.

Studies on social media usage among youth in the Philippines showed that those hooked to it have tendencies to do poorly in school, develop bad study habits, and easily lose concentration and memory regarding their lessons (Almojuela et. al. 2019; Raganta, 2021).

While other studies undoubtedly showed some positive effects, these are usually in foreign countries where they have good media regulations and strong media literacy advocacy.

As we go back to face-to-face classes, students have not let go of their gadgets, nor have they stopped using the internet and social media platforms. While it is understood that the media is just a tool, it cannot be discounted that the media is also being used to shape and reshape opinions and perceptions of how people see realities of the world and places angled, framed, and represented according to the purpose and wants of content makers.

If students are not equipped with the skills and knowledge to be media literate, I am afraid that we will see more students being controlled by the media instead of being in control – in control of their media usage, consumption, and appropriate information sources.

Information is what we use to make decisions in our lives, if too much garbage and misleading information are inputted into the brain, we cannot expect our young people to perform better.

Some recommendations we are working on at school are activities that uncover some truths about the media as a business, media as one with a voracious competitive appetite, media as representing the reality of content creators, and media techniques professionals use to persuade and make media users believe manufactured reality. This shall protect students from the negative effects of the media by giving them the skills and knowledge to analyze, criticize, challenge, and avoid bad information.

On the other hand, for student empowerment, we thought of offering after-class lessons on news writing, advertising, video, and photography, as well as creating their own advocacy using the media. This is to show to students that they can use the media to counter its negative messaging and effects. Through these, students shall get the skills to create, produce and disseminate their own media content to benefit their classmates and their community.

Media literacy is now a must as we are increasingly being tied to this mediated world. Having inadequate media literacy will endanger learners from becoming controlled media users rather than becoming empowered ones.

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