The Impact of Digital Fluency

The Impact of Digital Fluency
Posted on 11/14/2014
The father of media studies, Marshall McLuhan, is oft-quoted as having said, “The medium is the message.”  McLuhan would be staggered by the seemingly countless variety of message-carrying media available for the choosing.  It seems that never before has the mere choice of specific media been so impactful on the import of the message.  Crockett, et.al. speaks to the importance of media fluency in education in the insightful work, Literacy is Not Enough—21st Century Fluencies for the Digital Age.  One position the authors take is that graphics, once static illustrations, photos, or diagrams used to clarify or amplify accompanying text, are no longer just that.  Today’s learners—all digital natives—learn best when the former roles taken by text and graphics are completely reversed, “The digital generation has been continually exposed since childhood to television, videos, and computer games that deliver colorful, high-quality, highly expressive images and multisensory experiences with little or no accompanying text.  The role of text has become to provide more detail to something that is first experienced as an image or a video.  As a result, to the digital generation, images and video are powerful enough on their own to communicate messages.  The role of words is merely to complement the images.”  This is certainly thought-provoking for educators as we continue to focus on why education must change and how to do so in the most effective ways.
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