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In order to define the role of media it is not enough to speak of the omnipresence of media in everyday life. Rather, this is a case of mediatization, understood as processes of a fundamental social ...
In order to define the role of media it is not enough to speak of the omnipresence of media in everyday life. Rather, this is a case of mediatization, understood as processes of a fundamental social and culture change (Krotz 2011: 24) that result in far-reaching competence requirements for everyone – even for the so-called Digital Natives (Prensky 2001): Although today’s adolescents grow into the use of digital media in the same way that they learn their mother tongue, thereby implicitly acquiring numerous media-related skills, a reversal of expertise only exists to a limited extent – if it exists at all. In fact, the competence advantage vis-à-vis many adults is generally limited to a few of the areas included in the definition of media literacy. All things considered, it still requires informed external stimulation – especially in contexts of academic education. However, reviews of the literature regarding adult media literacy suggest that teachers, who should be helping adolescents overcome the challenges posed by mediatization, can only do so to a limited extent (namely due to their own limited knowledge and skills passed on through parenting and education). A conceptual change in the training of school teachers is certainly an important step toward a new practice of media education in schools. But those who already are teachers, and who will be for many years to come, will no longer profit from it. In terms of lifelong learning their media education competence needs to be fostered on the job. Own pilot projects have shown that intergenerational on-the-job trainings that are guided externally and that include the pupils in their implementation are particularly successful, for it is meant to forge a reciprocal relation in which participants from different generations exchange and complement their knowledge, skills and individual experiences.
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