The Importance of Fostering Digital Media Literacy in Primary Education

Presented by: Marian Henry

What does it mean to be literate in the twenty-first century? Over the past decade, with developments in the area of ICT, the information and communication environment has changed considerably. This has impacted on how and what we read and write. Given the current prominence of improving literacy standards in Irish education, it is timely to consider in more depth how literacy in understood at primary level. Using critical media literacy theory, underpinned by the writing of Freire, the concept of digital media literacy is explored. Notwithstanding the importance of developing the core basic skills of reading and writing, it is argued that literacy is now multimedia literacy and that this requires additional lessons. Digital media literacy represents an approach to literacy that is relevant to children’s digital media environments and fosters the critical literacy they need to participate as active citizens in the twenty-first century.

Presenter Biography:

Marian is a primary teacher working in Lucan for the past 12 years. She is most interested in the sociology of education and the dynamic, interactive relationship between society and education. This is particularly pertinent currently in light of develoments in digital media. She completed a Masters in Media Studies in 2004 and a Doctorate in Education in 2011. The title of her doctoral dissertation was “Is Learning Changing in the Digital Age?” and it explored the themes of change in society and children’s lives, and the changes in policy and practice in schools in relation to these.