"Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word." (Drobnic Holan 2016).
Key findings of a recent survey are that most Australians have a low level of confidence in their own ability to recognise and prevent misinformation, with the younger generations placing more importance on this than older Australians.
In recognition that the way we work, learn and play has been transformed by technology over the last 20 years, a new report from Western Sydney University, QUT and University of Canberra has been released on Adult Media Literacy in Australia.
Whilst the survey of over 3500 adult Australians looked to understand the different types of media used, the value held for different activities, and confidence in own ability, it also examined what access people had to support for media literacy.
Nearly one-third of respondents indicated they had low levels of media abilities and no support available to help navigate areas of media literacy, with some groups over-represented in areas most likely to have the lowest levels.
Whilst there is widespread support for media literacy to be taught in schools, research shows teachers struggle to develop rich learning experiences for their students and more needs to be done to ensure teachers are well trained and have access to media literacy professional development.
The ability to critically engage with media and media technologies in all aspects of life is essential for full participation in society. And key fundamentals of media literacy intersect with those of digital literacy, whereby digital literacy is “having the skills you need to live, learn, and work in a society where communication and access to information is increasingly through digital technologies ...”
Building digital literacy in students is vital to ensure they not only know how to use technology for learning, but can do so to the depth and with the critical application required for successful participation and access to education and work opportunities.
For more information, see the following:
Notley, T., Chambers, S., Park, S., Dezuanni, M. 2021, Adult Media Literacy in Australia: Attitudes, Experiences and Needs. Western Sydney University, Queensland University of Technology and University of Canberra.
(from Skills Education direct mail 19.4.21)