Digital media literacy in the context of higher education – Challenges and opportunities: CRADLE Seminar Series

A large audience at Deakin Downtown and online joined us to hear REDI’s Dr Luci Pangrazio discuss the challenges and opportunities surrounding digital media literacy in higher education, in the latest presentation in our 2019 CRADLE Seminar Series. Here, CRADLE PhD student Lincoln Then James shares his thoughts on Luci’s seminar – and if you weren’t able to make it on the day, a recording is now available! The recording, along with Luci’s slides, is available to view at the bottom of the page.

Luci discussed the need for today’s university students (and tomorrow’s professionals) to have strong digital media literacies. In an increasingly interconnected digital world, the ability to confidently navigate digital media is essential for students’ lives and future careers.

Dr Luci Pangrazio presenting her seminar before a large and attentive audienceLuci explored how stereotypes of Gen Y and Gen Z students portray them as ‘digital natives’ and unpacked how research does not support these stereotypes. The younger generations are no more confident or capable with digital technology than their parents and grandparents, and perhaps are even less so; as Luci noted, there is a concerning lack of effective digital literacy training in pre-university education. A key theme of the seminar was the need to reimagine how we educate our students to engage in this brave new (very digital) world. Some of Luci’s recommendations were:

  • Coming to a common understanding of what ‘critical digital literacies’ are;
  • The need to build digital skills in our students, without assuming they are digital natives, or even digitally literate;
  • Improving students’ information literacy, especially in foregrounding and critiquing passive consumption of information on social media; and
  • Developing students’ data literacy, and having an awareness of where data is being generated and collected.

Dr Luci Pangrazio presenting her seminarMy main takeaway from the seminar was Luci’s argument that we need to embed digital media literacies in the curriculum; updating how we approach, teach and assess our students. This sparked my attention as my teaching and research is concerned with embedding career education in the curriculum. Knowing that there is discussion on also embedding internationalisation, ethics, responsibility and sustainability into the curriculum got me thinking about the crowded curriculum and how universities can manage this. Luci wisely suggested that perhaps we should not think about this issue as adding and removing content from the curriculum, but rather reimagining the curriculum, how it is taught, and how we assess student learning and preparedness for the 21st century.

View slides from Luci’s seminar here.

Category list: CRADLE Seminar Series, News

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