Aihearkisto: Kurssijulkaisut

Critical media literacy should get more attention in media education

Nowadays, a person living in information age is required to have the competences in analyzing and processing data. This qualification can be trained in media education or not?

Buckingham (2003, p.4) defines that ”media education is the process of teaching and learning about media”, while the knowledge and skills learners acquired, which considered as media literacy, is the outcome of media education. The reflection of this concept in case of Vietnam and South Korea indicates the fact that media education, in some ways, is equated with the idea of learning how to use media tools for producing media products, for example, how to use Microsoft PowerPoint to create an effective presentation. Focusing too much on technical skills leads to the misunderstanding of media literacy. The other important elements of media literacy, such as the ability of critically analyzing media messages and questioning what we see, read, watch (Chen, 2007), seem to get not enough attention.

The ”multiperspectival” framework by Kellner (1995, p.336), aims to enhance media literacy in media education, containing four approaches which have cumulative relation to each other’s, see below Figure 1.

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The protectionist approach is based on the limitation in the view point of media to guide the audiences’ perception. As I regard, the examples of this method are Media-avain (Finland), Common Sense Media (USA) and Media Smarties (Netherlands). These services provide information on media products for parents and school to educate children. This definitely can contribute to the improvement of analyzing skills for media audiences.

The arts education method is the way to make education more creative, attractive, fun and experiential. The particular models for this can be found, for example, in Tampere Media School or in Youth Activity Centre HAPPI.

The media literacy movement approach widens the conception of printed literacy to contain more diversified types of media and also require cognitive critical thinking skills of learners.  As I have experienced, the series of ordered activities in our master course ”Workshop in media literacies” at the University of Tampere is the good demonstration of this approach.

Finally critical media literacy integrates three above approaches and cultural studies to deepen the analysis of information and challenge learners to critically assessment media messages. Critical questions can be posed, for example: How media text are constructed and might be constructed differently? (Kavoori & Matthews 2004)? How might different people understand this message differently? What values and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message? (Chen, 2007).

In conclusion, the contemporary conceptualizations of media literacy should focus more on the ability to evaluate information, because this knowledge is essential and helps to improve the competence of an individual in digital age.

The author Hang Nguyen is a student in the international Master’s Degree Program in Media Education

 

References

  • Buckingham, D. (2003). Media Education: Literacy, learning and contemporary culture.  Cambridge, UK: Polity.
  • Chen, G. M. (2007). Media (literacy) education in the United States. China Media Research, 3(3), 87-103.
  • Kellner, D. (1995). Media culture: Cultural studies, identity and politics between the modern and the postmodern. New York: Routledge.
  • Kavoori, A & Matthews, D. (2004) Critical Media Pedagogy: Lessons from the Thinking Television Project, Howard Journal of Communications, 15:2, 99-114.

Why media literacy is necessary in consumption of entertainment media?

There is no surprise that nowadays media has become a large part of everyday life for most of people. Media usage is integrated in almost all spheres of our lives, which exerts a significant influence on our personality and the way of thinking.

According to the survey conducted by Elizabeth Tisdell and Patricia Thompson (2007), people, who don’t consume entertainment media frequently, are still fully aware of modern TV shows, their characters and main story lines. This finding can serve as a proof of the entertainment media power to affect users, even without their being conscious.

Nowadays entertainment media, particularly TV and movies, refers to the most popular types of media and consequently has its peculiar features.  As Giroux (2002)  notes, entertainment media often represents traditional norms and general values of the prevailing culture. Therefore most movies’ or TV series characters contain a number of particular features that correspond to the cultural or social norms of society. Elizabeth Tisdell and Patricia Thompson (2007) in their article ‘ Seeing  from a different angle’  depict this common character as a heterosexual married or hoping-to-get- married adult, who belongs to the middle or upper middle class and behaves according to his or her gender, race or class.

On the contrary, some entertainment media challenges usual norms and depicts characters, whose personality and way of life go against traditional norms and views. In this case, race, gender, social status, sexual orientation often become the subject of contradiction and heated disputes.

Sometimes entertainment media can be a sarcastic or even aggressive reflection of particular social issues, cultural or political events. People should be careful in consumption of the entertainment media with such an acute content. Eventhough, most of the users claim that they watch TV series or movies in order to get some entertainment, they can’t be certain that they won’t be influenced by the content of the developing plot and the ideas it contain.

Since media provides people with enormous variety of information and ideas, the importance of media literacy is growing at a rapid rate and, professionals are trying to find out more effective ways to teach this subject to youngsters. For example, professionals claim that the content of pop culture can be a good learning material for practicing critical thinking skills (Armstrong 2005; Giroux 2002; McLaren 1995).

The findings by Tisdell and Thompson (2007) indicate that most of the educators confirm that entertainment media can serve as an effective medium for developing youngsters’ media education. For this reason, in order to increase youngsters’ media literacy, more than 40% of educators have already started to include discussions of the popular culture in their class activities.

The author Daria Erofeeva is  a student in an international Master’s Degree Program in Media Education.

 

References:

  • Armstrong , P. (2005) Satire as critical pedagogy. In J. Cardwell et al. (eds.) What a Difference a Pedagogy Makes: Researching lifelong learning and teaching. Conference Proceedings, Stirling: Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning, University of Stirling.
  • Tisdell, E. & Thompson, P. (2007) ‘Seeing from a different angle’: the role of pop culture in teaching for diversity and critical media literacy in adult education, International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26:6, 651-673, DOI:10.1080/02601370701711349
  • Giroux, H. (2002) Breaking into the Movies: Film and the culture of politics. New York: Blackwell.
  • McLaren, P., Hammer, R., Scholle, D. and Reilly, S. (1995) Rethinking Media Literacy: a critical pedagogy of representation. New York: Peter Lang.

How to promote SNSs to be more suitable for older people

We are in an aging world and nearly a billion people are over 60 years old. Even these one billion aged people are getting older and older. Many of them face the same problem- social isolation. One of the ways to fight against social isolation is to participate in SNSs. What is SNSs? SNSs mean social network services. It’s an on-line environment where people can meet their friends and family and know new friends like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and so on. According to former researches, there are 86 percentage of people aged between 18 to 29 use SNS, whereas few people older than 65 use it. (Coelho, J., & Duarte, C. 2016.) So we can see here is still a big space for SNS to promote in older age groups. But why few older people use SNS and how to promote SNS to make it more suitable for older segment of the population?

The thesis Obstacles to social networking website use among older adults aims to find more about SNS adoption among older internet users. Braun (2013) did a questionnaire based on TAM (Technology Acceptance Model- this model has two main factors: perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness). He picked up 124 internet users older than 60 to do the questionnaire. And the items in the questionnaire are mainly related to the following 6 domains:

  • Perceived usefulness: how users believe the usefulness of SNS as a communication tool is important in older people’s attitudes toward SNS.
  • Ease of use: how easy to use this SNS is partially important for older internet users.
  • Subjective norms (social influence): the usage habits of individuals around the older like his/her friends and family also affect their attitudes.
  • Trust of SNS: if the website is more reliable, users would more like to upload their identity information, pictures and other privacy information and also use that SNS more.
  • Age: it shows to be not a big factor for using SNS among older internet users. Maybe the participants are all internet users, so most of them are relatively open minded aged people.
  • Past behavior: to start to use a specific SNS is a big obstacle for older people sometimes, but after getting an account, older people may get familiar with the SNS much quicker.

(Braun, M. T., 2013.)

Based on these consequences given by Braun, SNSs Operators need focus more on security of accounts and users’ safety. In addition, according to A literature survey on older adults’ use of social network services and social applications, older people are more sensitive to images. SNS operators should make it easier to share photos on its interface, let older people easy to find privacy setting, provide settings like family group and make the direct communication interface easy to be found. (Coelho, J., & Duarte, C. 2016) All in all, every setting should be the simplest and direct communication interface and photos uploading pages need to be found easily.

The author Zihua AN is a student in the Master’s Degree Program in Media Education

 

References

  • Braun, M. T. (2013). Obstacles to social networking website use among older adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(3), 673-680.
  • Coelho, J., & Duarte, C. (2016). A literature survey on older adults’ use of social network services and social applications. Computers in Human Behavior, 58, 187-205.

When media education meets English language teaching

Due to its importance nowadays, Media Education has been regarded a separate educational sector. What if Media Education meets English Language Teaching (ELT)? Can they be integrated to enhance each other?

The involvement of language is the first prominent similarity between them. ELT, by its nature, focuses on English language. Through training on receptive and productive skills of English, leaners learn to understand the language in certain contexts and produce appropriate language in realistic situations. For Media Education, the involvement of language is less tangible yet important because it is one means of expressing ideas and exchanging messages through kinds of media. Therefore, language can definitely assist users’ to critically analyze input from media so that they have reasonable judgments and finally make good use of the media.

Secondly, as culture is usually embedded in language, it goes naturally into the ELT process. Along with language input, learners gradually acquire the worldview from not only English-speaking countries but also places where English language is prevalent. At this point, awareness of cultural identity is essential to participate effectively in intercultural communication (Friedrich, 2012). Regarding Media Education, media users in different regions usually show distinctive habits and preference. However, due to globalization, it seems that worldwide media use are converging into certain features. Therefore, cultural sensitivity and transcultural perspectives are also what media educators have to take into consideration.

Thirdly, the possibility of this combination stems from the diversity of topics covered and teaching methods. While acquiring a new language, learners are exposed to various contexts and topics from daily life to global issues. To build up a proper language competence of such diverse disciplines and skills, teachers need to adopt methods flexibly which can range from mechanical practices to creative ones. About Media Education, it is also a cross-disciplinary field which requires a multidisciplinary teaching approach (Verniers, 2015) to train users towards thorough understanding and critical reaction. Basing on this similarity, the method of Integrated Practice in Teaching English as an International Language has been invented and welcomed by worldwide language and media educators (Nobuyuki, 2002).

These 3 similarities open up many prospects for integration of Media Education and ELT. When calligraphy met computers under the talent of Steve Jobs, the revolution of computing fonts and interface has been ignited. While media is spreading rapidly into every corner of life, it is high time to find out innovative ways to implement Media Education instead of considering it a “closed” discipline, and integrating it into other fields which share certain similarities can be a solution.

The author Thao Nguyen is a master student in the international Master’s Degree Program in Media Education

 

Reference

  • Friedrich, P. (2012). ELF, Intercultural Communication and the Strategic Aspect of Communicative Competence. In Matsuda, A., Principles and Practices of Teaching English as an International Language (pp. 44-54). Clevedon, GBR: Channel View Publications.
  • Nobuyuki, H. (2012). Participating in the Community of EIL Users through Real-time News Integrated Practice in Teaching English as an International Language. In Matsuda, A., Principles and Practices of Teaching English as an International Language (pp. 183-200). Clevedon, GBR: Channel View Publications.
  • Verniers, P. (2015). Four Scenarios to Consider Regarding the Future of Media Education. In Kotilainen, S., & Kupiainen, R., Reflections on Media Education Future (pp. 291-294). Göteborg, Sweden: The International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media.

Children and social media. Protection or media education?

Technology and media are rapidly developing and have become a big part of our lives, so we all, no matter of age, gender, culture and locality, need to exploit their advantages in order to engage in lifelong learning. A part of this technological development is social media.

Social media are defined as “A group of Internet-based applications built on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” (Kaplan & Haenlein 2010). As it regards their accessibility and purpose they are described to be “The many relatively inexpensive and widely accessible electronic tools that enable anyone to publish and access information, collaborate on a common effort, or build relationships”. (Murthy 2013). The free of charge and unconditional, in most cases, accessibility in social networks, the freedom of expressing your opinion and have your message heart in a global level, the unlimited by time and distance communication, as well as the convenience of being anonymous, are the characteristics that make social networks so popular and sometimes necessary for nowadays users.

Of course, these elements of social media could not have left children and youngsters untouched, who seem to spend much of their free time online. This engagement raised many dilemmas as it regards the inappropriate material and dangers lurking online, leading a large proportion of the population to adopt a protective or even prohibitive attitude towards children’s media usage. However, despite parental control applications and other limitations, such as age limits, latest survey showed that more than 38% of children under the age of thirteen have an account on one of the most famous social media. This brings media education, for both children and children’s care takers, as the solution for a safer and beneficial relationship between young people and social media.

Parents and educators need to appreciate the pedagogical and social role of the several activities in which children are involved in by using social media, such us communicating with friends and classmates, getting informed, sharing photos and videos, involving in public discussion, and playing games. All these activities engage users in an interactive social environment, which is appropriate for social and peer learning.

Moreover, children need to gain skills in order to handle the plethora of information that they are bombarded by. Young users need to think critically, actively distinguishing, conceptualizing, analysing, synthesizing, and evaluating information that they confront when being online.

Furthermore, there is the need for children to distinguish what kind of information and content is safe and appropriate to be published online, as well as to learn how to participate actively in society through media. Social media should be considered from young users as means of entertainment, but also as an interactive mean that can assist them in having their voice heart and contributing in social change.

As nowadays’ mediated society demands people to develop skills and abilities in order to succeed in the information age, encouraging children to interact with social media and providing media education would be the best way to teach young media users how to be protectors of  themselves online.

The author Georgia Frysoulaki is a student in the international Master’s Degree Program in Media Education.

 

References

  • Kaplan A.M. & Haenlein M., 2010. Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons 53 (1), 61
  • Murthy, D. 2013. Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age. Cambridge: Polity, 7–8
  • Guard Child. Protecting children in the digital age. http://www.guardchild.com/social-media-statistics-2/

What can we do for teenagers to enjoy their web drama safely?

A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon an interesting web drama on my smartphone app lying in my bed. The title of the drama was ‘Pongdang-pongdang Love’. It was a time-warp love story between one typical high school girl and King Sejong who is the most famous king in Korean history. Once I saw the first episode, I couldn’t stop watching full episodes. It was a pretty short drama but has a well-made storyline and characters are adorable. This new kind of drama was definitely interesting!

Web drama is a type of web series which is released on internet or mobile. It is filmed about 10 – 20 minutes per episode and generally distributed through streaming service such as Netflix or online video site such as YouTube. In Korea, the internet service provider Naver and Daum have their own channels for transmitting web dramas.

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Popular Web Dramas in Korea: Exo Next Door, Lily Fever and Pongdang-pongdang Love in order. (Source: Naver TV Cast)

This new type of drama is certainly getting more popular for its various and creative themes compared to terrestrial TV dramas. It has appealed to producers and directors too due to its small production budget which is less than one out of ten of TV dramas’.

Keeping up with its popularity in both sides, the regulation-related issues are also emerging in online service industry and society. The biggest problem is that there is no appropriate regulatory system for web contents yet, even though the main users of web contents are teenagers who can be more easily affected by media. They are placed in the most important life stage of forming identity but it seems like web contents providers don’t care much about it.

As an example, the web drama Lily Fever revolved around lesbian-themed story which is not encouraged on terrestrial TV in Korea. It transmitted lesbian kiss scenes and other scenes provoking homosexuality via online channels. In fact, most web dramas in Korea have been produced for the purpose of promoting a corporate image, product, or even K-pop stars. So, it is more likely that it contains distorted and commercialized messages in it. Anyway, after the complaining by social associations, the Lily Fever changed its level to adults only. Korean Communication Commission has tried to solve this kind of problems and come up with new regulation system for web contents, but there still exist many obstacles in local media environment.

The situation is not so different in European countries. It is an admitted fact that the number of young people watching home TV is falling off while the number of young people watching web TV is increasing around European countries. Nevertheless, the OTT (over the top) regulatory reform by European Commission and European Parliament has not been done as there remains many challenges such as conflicts between traditional telecom and OTT service operator, regional fragmentation as a single digital market, etc.

The web platforms and digital devices are continuously transforming or converging. We are not sure whether the regulation system for web contents can keep pace with the swift tempo of this changing. One more thing we should give our attention is that many teenagers are using their smartphone or computer individually unlike watching TV together in the living room. In this situation, critical media literacy will be more important than in the period dominated by mass media.

We should give more attention back to strengthening critical media literacy of teenager, considering changed digital media platforms and newly created web contents. In addition to this, the voluntary programs or activities by independent social associations should be more developed to support teenager’s critical ability at the outside of regulatory boundary which is still unstable.

The author Sei Kwon worked in advertising and brand marketing agency and is currently studying for master degree in Media Education, University of Tampere.

 

References

Reasons for Media Education on International News

International news is well-known for its function to help domestic citizens to see the world. Through media, people are able to build a picture of foreign countries and cultures which they have never been to. They are able to learn the convention, absorb new ideas, and expand their horizon about exotic matters. Gurevitch (1990) indicated the power of international news to influence audiences’ cognitive maps of the world. However, the international news may be harmful for the audience in some ways. Galtung and Ruge (1965) explored what made foreign events newsworthy, examined the selecting standard of foreign news and provided eight “culture-free” factors and four “culture-bound” factors for “northern-western” countries. Among them, three factors deserving to get media educators’ attention are relevance, consonance, and unexpectedness. Relevance means the more meaningful, related, connected the foreign sources are for the domestic users; the more possible it will be picked. The danger of this factor is the way that the source is meaningful to the domestic users can be manipulated by interpretation of sources and angle of reporting. There is a possibility that the relevance does not come from the sources alone. Consonance means how much the sources match the pre-image and expectation of domestic users. The problem is if media keeps passing and emphasizing certain image of some countries and cultures to its users, it may be hard for the users to accept various aspects and new progress of foreign cultures in the future. The last one, unexpectedness or rarity means media try to find the source as unusual as possible to attract users. This is one is also very common in domestic news but the media effect happens in a different way. If there are a lot of unexpected foreign news circulating about some cultures, users will easily build a wrong notion or stereotypes through them or, even worse, they start generalizing from the unexpectedness to the whole foreign culture or society and ignore the normality and reality of foreign matters.

In the end of Galtung and Ruge (1965)’s article, they advised some policy implications to prevent these factors in news selecting process. Their suggestions were based on the first half of the chain which they presented to show the flow of new communication (see figure 1), but, by contrast, media educators should be more aware of the rest of the chain. It is a truism that the individuals with low media literacy skills will be guided by the media and people who are strong enough can protect themselves more. Furthermore, with good media literacy skills on international news, citizens will act better in today’s so-called ‘global village’.

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Figure 1 (Galtung and Ruge 1965)

 

Jui-Ping Hung, the author, is a student in the Master’s Degree program in Media Education

 

References

  • Galtung, J., & Ruge, M. H. (1965). The structure of foreign news. Journal of Peace Research, 2(1), 64-91.
  • Gurevitch, M., & Levy, M. (1990). The global newsroom. British Journalism Review, 2(1), 27-37.

 

 

Ubiquitous Era: Digital media requires intercultural competence in Education

We are living in a ubiquitous era. Everywhere and anywhere, computers are inherent. Toys, means of transportation, market place and so on, whatever you name it. With such a comfortable life style, people are getting addicted to internet or media. Some even show withdrawal symptoms when computers, nowadays mainly mobiles, are removed from them. Without the devices, we feel restless, anxious, and lethargy. For example, one of the broadest internet using country (Figure1), South Korea, shows 6.9% of internet addiction and shows 14.2% of smartphone addiction (Figure2). Considering the fact that the survey age expanded and the smartphone addiction percentage increased, it is hard to say the number of actual addicted decreased, even when the graph shows downtrend in the percentage of internet addiction risk range.

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Figure 1. Number of Hot spot per 100km2 comparing Korea versus Latvia (Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea, aim of 2017)

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Figure2. Internet and smart phone addiction % of 2014 South Korea (2015.04 NIA Korea)

But even with various side effects, such technological development offers new opportunities to us including marginalized students. Finland, one of the most advanced educational country, tries to apply such media use in practice in context of Media Education. From our field trip to Helsinki mediakasvatus koulukino, KAVI, HAPPI and Tampere Media School, I realized how much Finland is dedicated to Media Education. Starting from provision of age rated audiovisual program list, they have media literacy week every February and education system to assist people to develop their Media Literacy abilities. According to KAVI institute [1], improvement of media and information literacy(MIL), and related skills are the goal of Media Education. Such literacy skills are considered to be a civic competence and to raise people’s critical thinking. Based on the fact that education policies and systems are supported by national policies and various organizations, Finland became one of the front runner in Media Education.

Even though media includes print media, image media, and electronic media in whole, it is clear that electronic media expanded and is keep expanding its territory evidently.  Nowadays, there is even a phrase that “learning is just under your fingertips”. To some, it might still sound like a mirage, but already our technology is advanced enough to provide service such as 1:1 tablet teaching. Teachers can have constant connection with their students, and distribute contents according to students’ ages and considering their learning conditions. This type of 1:1 media distribution will obviously help students to exchange thoughts, interact, access to online information and also help to develop their media literacy skills. This is also my sincere hope but it is said with guided access, it will accelerate learning for those with attention deficits or other learning disabilities. Such technology progress allows teachers as well to access towards various types of tools and teaching materials. Hopefully this will level up the quality of teaching. Practically, there will be barriers having enough fund to purchase and maintain such electronic equipment, but considering the usage of smartphone rate, hopefully there would be other options for schools to make this become reality.

On the other hand, there are some concerns regarding such technology development. The software allows to track and control(lock, limit, monitor etc) students devices under the excuse of letting the educators and students focus on each other’s roles and blocking them from misusing the device. It is important function to help students concentrate but we should take into consideration of students’ privacy and their free will as well. According to KAVI guidelines, the best way of Media Education is sharing media-related conversations not just banning and restricting things. In short, it is important to form a well-balanced Media Education environment. Not just for children but also for every individuals, we should provide a safe media environment. As media environment can not be just limited to single country, this brings us to think about cultural diversity and intercultural competence. According to Jokikokko, education and media make us be conscious of the world and diversity. He claims cultural diversity doesn’t just mean national cultures but also subcultural characteristics and small parts that form our identities. Teachers will be obligated to maintain intercultural competence which covers both “encountering ethnic, racial or linguistic differences and other subcultural differences”. Finland’s discussion about teachers’ intercultural competence started from late 70s and 80s (Jokikokko K. 2010, p.13-14, p.22). Also Kotilainen(2010) claims the need of Global Media Education based on the facts that global publicities increased cultural diversities expanded around the world (Kotilainen S. 2010, p.65-74).

It may sound a bit like daydreaming but when we accept cultural diversity and bring up the intercultural competence, we can embrace marginalized others, immigrants, refugees and multi-culture backgrounded peoples.  To do this, we should realize that every individual is different and that there is no correct answer for learning and teaching. As Latin phrase says “Non scholæ sed vitæ discimus”, we should ‘learn’ to nourish our lives. Hope we all, regardless of nationality, gender, age and wealthiness, accomplish our rights to express, share and produce our thoughts under critical thinking and discernments in ubiquitous era.

The author You Kyung Kim is a student in the Master’s Degree Programme in Media Education

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] https://kavi.fi/sites/default/files/documents/mil_in_finland.pdf

Mediakasvatus ja informaali oppiminen identiteetin vahvistajina nuorisotyössä

Nuorisotyö ja mediakasvatus. Kaksikko, joka nykypäivän haastavassa ja myllertävässä mediamaailmassa on vuosi vuodelta lähentynyt toisiaan. Nuorisotyö tavoittaa eri toimintamuodoillaan huiman määrän nuoria joka päivä. Nämä nuoret elävät maailmassa, jossa mediaa ei erotella omaan lokeroonsa, vaan jossa se kuuluu nuoren elämään kiinteänä, arkipäiväisenä osana niin ystävien tavoittamisessa, asioiden hoitamisessa kuin ympäröivän maailman seuraamisessa. Nuoremme ovat kasvaneet maailmaan, jossa media on itsestäänselvyys ja Y-sukupolven diginatiivius meille mediakasvattajille uusi ja mielenkiintoinen haaste. Siksi nuorisotyössä tulisi ottaa iso harppaus kohti digimaailmaa ja nuorten tavoittamista siellä, missä he viettävät aikaa. Julkinen tila on muuttumassa virtuaalitilaksi, sinne on mediakasvattajan ja nuorisotyöntekijänkin mentävä.

Kun puhutaan mediakulttuurista sosiaalisten tilojen luojana, jossa nuoret rakentavat identiteettejään (kts. esim. Kotilainen & Rantala 2008, 64), tullaan lähelle informaalin oppimisen ydintä. Janet R. Batsleerin (2008, 17) mukaan informaali oppiminen tarjoaa tukea identiteetin kehittämisessä sekä auttaa nuorta tulemaan tietoiseksi omista kyvyistään sekä omista oikeuksistaan. Voidaan siis nähdä kytkös mediakasvatuksen, ja erityisesti medialukutaidon, sekä informaalin oppimisen välillä. Kuten Kotilainen & Rantala (2008, 64) toteavat tämän päivän nuoret ovat aktiivisia ja teknisesti taitavia mediankäyttäjiä ja aikuista tarvitaan enemmänkin tueksi avamaan arvokysymyksiä, pohtimaan ja rohkaisemaan. Media luo nuorille tiloja ja mahdollisuuksia toteuttaa omaa identiteettiään, ja tässä identiteettityössä tulee aikuisen olla läsnä ja tukemassa. Jokaisella nuorella on kykyjä ja potentiaalia ja oikeus niiden kehittämiseen. (Batsleer, J. 2008)

Mitä me mediakasvattajat voimme sitten tehdä? Ymmärrys median prosesseihin kasvaa itse tekemällä ja kokemalla. Voimme tukea nuoren kasvua mediassa tarjoamalla mahdollisuuden kokeilevaan mediatuottamiseen ja omaa mediasuhdetta reflektoivaan toimintaan (kts. esim. Kotilainen & Rantala 2008, 71). Yksi nuorisotyön tärkeimmistä kulmakivistä on tarjota nuorelle mahdollisuuksia aktiiviseen toimijuuteen ja osallisuuteen. Mediakasvatuksen avulla on mahdollista lisätä nuoren tietoisuutta omista mahdollisuuksistaan vaikuttaa ja osallistua. Nuoret ovat taitavia mediantuottajia, rohkeita ja ennakkoluulottomia kokeilemaan uusia asioita sekä tuomaan mielipiteitään esiin median avulla. Noora Pyyry on tutkinut vuonna 2015 julkaistussa väitöskirjassaan nuorten hengailua julkisissa tiloissa. Hän puhuu kehollis-tilallisesta oppimisesta, jota hengailu synnyttää, kun nuoret luovat kaupunkisuhdetta, tekevät kotiaan maailmaan, haltioituvat ympäröivästä maailmasta. Samalla lailla näen, että me mediakasvattajat voimme luoda nuorille niitä kokemuksia, joissa heidän on mahdollista uusintaa suhteitaan ympäröivään maailmaan.

Mediakasvatuksella on siis erityinen roolinsa nuorten identiteetin rakentumisessa ja kehittymisessä. Se, miten näymme ja kuulumme somessa, elämme elämäämme julkisissa tiloissa ja virtuaalimaailmoissa, muokkaa maailmankuvamme lisäksi myös identiteettiämme.

Kirjoittaja on mediakasvatuksen maisteriopiskelija Jaana Ranta-aho.

 

Lähteet:

  • Batsleer, J.R., 2008. Informal learning in Youth Work. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications ltd.
  • Kotilainen S. & Rantala, L. 2008. Nuorten kansalaisidentiteetit ja mediakasvatus. Helsinki: Hakapaino.
  • Pyyry, N. 2015. Hanging out with young people, urban spaces and ideas: opening to dwelling, participation and thinking. University of Helsinki.

Why advertising companies should care about media education

“What information consumes is the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” – Herbert Simon, Nobel winner, Economics (1978)

According to the research conducted by Microsoft Canada, three types of human attention exist: sustained, selective and alternating attention. Among them, human’s sustained attention span has been dwindled due to the increased usage of digital devices such as laptop, smartphone or PDA (Microsoft, 2015). Reduced sustained attention span posed challenges to advertisers because they should maintain the message simple and easy to understand corresponding to consumers with weak concentration. Also, companies try to produce more advertisements to receive enough attention from consumers and the messages become inappropriate and provocative to achieve that. The problem is that if more advertising messages are produced because of the fierce competition among companies, consumers’ attention span becomes weaker responding to that. The vicious cycle would not stop unless companies cooperate each other to send less and more effective messages.

In order to reduce the quantity of ads and mitigate this tragedy of vicious cycle, online behavior advertising(OBA) strategy was developed. By analyzing big data of people’s Internet usage pattern and location information, companies can figure out people who would be interested in their products. Then, they can send personalized ads tailored to each consumer by utilizing mobile applications or online banner on the Internet. One male subject in the Microsoft Canada research mentioned that “Offering an ad I don’t like is SPAM. An ad that I can use and like is a service (Microsoft, 2015)”. It shows the positive effect of reducing the intentional ignorance from customers.

However, this OBA strategy created another issue regarding misuse of personal information without consent because producing tailored ads starts from gathering personal information of each user. According to the PageFair and Adobe’s 2015 Ad blocking report, among subjects using an ad blocking plug-in, 50 percent of them started because they felt that “their personal data is being misused to personalize ads”. Moreover, “Globally, usage of ad blockers grew 41% YoY (Q2 2014 – Q2 2015)” and “As of June 2015, there were 198 million monthly active users for the major browser extensions that block ads.” (PageFair & Adobe, 2015) It indicates that people’s concern for the misuse of personal profile and information has been increasing rapidly and severely.

In response to this issue, online ads blocking programs were invented by several companies and industry groups: DAA (Digital Advertising Alliance), Evidon (a company which help advertisers to comply the advertising regulations), PrivacyMark. These programs help consumers opt out advertising companies which track their internet use tendency or location information. Ad blocking tools not only assure that users can protect themselves from collection of information without consents, but also provide the personal freedom to select the companies from which they want to receive information by opting in and out.

However, companies providing ad blocking programs need to improve its limitation from many aspects. According to the usability evaluation report conducted by Leon et al, users experience many difficulties in utilizing the opt-out tools.

First, users are not capable of distinguishing the online advertising companies. Even though the main service of these tools is setting opt-out or blocking preferences, users not having information of advertisers cannot set up the settings as they want to.

Second, tools provide the inappropriate default settings. Most users expect that they would not be tracked or receive fewer ads when they install this software, and they also expect the effect of blocking will start as soon as they finish installing. However, trackers were not blocked in the default setting of many tools: Ghostery, TACO, DAA and Evidon.

Third, communicating the goals and instruction of configuration was ineffective to educate the users. Tools used either too simple words which do not convey the information properly or too technical words which users cannot understand. Furthermore, participants had misconception that they are safe against tracking, when in the truth, they just see no more personalized ads and continue to be tracked.

Fourth, tools provided insufficient feedback to users. Participants were uncertain of what the function of opt-out means and whether it is working or not. However, Ghostery and TACO provided users with the feedback on all websites they visited and they could understand the actual role of tools.

Fifth, tools sometimes break the parts of websites, and participants thought the internet connection is the main problem of that.

In the conclusion, the researchers explained that “There are significant challenges in providing easy-to-use tools that give users meaningful control without interfering with their use of the web”. (Leon et al, 2011) If we failed to overcome this challenge, users will notice that they actually could not set up the mode to stop trackers and they will continue receiving the personalize ads from the companies they thought they blocked. Since people will feel unsafe of being tracked and losing their personal right, the vicious cycle of weaker concentration span and more advertisements will continue.

The main problem of ad blocking software is not able to communicate its purposes and functions properly. Giving proper feedback to help users to check their own decision was insufficient, and the usage instruction was full of technical jargons which normal people do not use in their daily lives. In order to solve this problem, media educator can cooperate with the software developer to adopt the understandable terms when they produce the tools. Media education emphasizes the lifelong learning and the understanding of ad blocking software and the tragedy of advertising commons can become an important subject for adults.

The system of providing proper feedback to each movement of users can be advised by media educators as well. In the education discipline, providing students with proper feedback to reinforce their right decision or behavior was researched throughout the history. It is nearly impossible to figure out the problem which the future users will face, but software providers still manage to provide the right feedback at the right time with the help of media educators and teachers.

The author, Woojung Park, is a student of the Master’s Degree Program in Media Education

 

Reference

  • Microsoft Canada (2015) “Attention spans”
  • PageFair & Adobe (2015) “The cost of ad blocking”
  • Leon & Ur & Balebako & Cranor & Shay & Wang (2011) “Why Johnny Can’t Opt Out: A Usability Evaluation of Tools to Limit Online Behavioral Advertising”