Media fluency, also known as media literacy, is one of the 21st-century skills for learners today. Digital media is a vital part of our everyday lives, and it is the gatekeeper to the amount of information we intake, whether good or bad. Therefore, consumers of the information need to understand how to evaluate the overwhelming amount of information and the importance of how it is processed (Bulger & Davison, 2018).
According to Valtonen et al. (2019), media literacy is necessary for students to understand and flourish. Our daily lives revolve around the use of digital tools, and the more students are equipped, the better they will be in navigating digital media in their daily lives. Additionally, as students move to different educational levels or into the workforce, they will meet expectations that they understand how to use digital media and use it to enhance their lives, which is profitable for their employers.
There are three main issues surrounding media literacy. The first is media literacy should encompass all forms of media, the second is that media literacy should be considered a skill and knowledge. Finally, when used appropriately, media literacy should improve users' lives by extending more control over how media influences them (Valtonen et al.,2019). Understanding that media literacy includes all forms of media is vital for educators to articulate to the learner. Helping learners process and think about the angle that the information is being presented is one way to help learners critically think about how the content. Valtonen et al. (2019) indicate that critical thinking is an essential component in evaluating media and should be exercised each time one views or uses media.
Resources available to help educators fully comprehend the nuances around media literacy are available at:
Valtonen, T., Tedre, M., Mäkitalo, K., & Vartiainen, H. (2019). Media literacy education in the age of machine learning. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(2), 20-36.
Bulger, M., & Davison, P. (2018). The promises, challenges, and futures of media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 10(1), 1-21.
Establishing a learning culture in the organization is not just about learning it is about creating an environment of open-mindedness and sharing. Learning culture stemmed from organizational leadership studies from the 1990s and 2000s and is now resurfacing in organizations, especially as the pandemic forced many organizations to pivot quickly (Learning Insights, 2018). By the name, one would think that creating a learning culture has to do with creating more learning opportunities via formal courses. However, it involves creating a culture that can take information from the outside and turn it into actions with the organization, keyword ACTION. It is not about learning for the sake of learning but learning to take bold action. van Breda-Verduijn & Heijboer (2016) defines learning culture as “a collective, dynamic system of basic assumptions, values, and norms which direct the learning of people within an organization.”
According to Nigel Paine on building a learning culture (Learning Insights, 2018), he discusses five ways to create a Learning Culture. Those five steps include staff engagement, technology, autonomy, trust, respect, and space. After digging deeper into the learning culture theory, I was intrigued by how each of these steps plays a role in creating a learning culture, especially staff engagement, technology, and autonomy. Research suggests that a learning culture is one where learning is consistently happening, so engagement, technology, and autonomy are needed for employees. To create a learning culture, leadership needs to reflect on if their organization is ready to adopt a learning culture. van Breda-Verduijn & Heijboer (2016) introduced a model for analyzing learning culture, which includes a series of questions:
Huang (2016) describes e-learning in a learning culture environment and believes that eLearning supports learning at a higher level across the organization by providing flexibility and the ability to reach employees worldwide. As organizations strategize the next steps to grow, pivot, and adapt to changes post-pandemic, it is vital to create a solid learning culture so that employees can thrive in the 21st century, ultimately impacting the bottom line and success of organizations.
Learning Insights (2018, October 26). How organizations build a learning culture. [Video] YouTube. https://youtu.be/yOCEoaf_tTA
van Breda-Verduijn, H., & Heijboer, M. (2016). Learning culture, continuous learning, organizational learning anthropologist. Industrial and Commercial Training.
Yoo, S. J., & Huang, W. D. (2016). Can e‐learning system enhance learning culture in the workplace? A comparison among companies in South Korea. British journal of educational technology, 47(4), 575-591.
If you conduct a Google search of social responsibility, there are hundreds of million results which led me to think more about social responsibility in my terms. Social responsibility, in my opinion, is doing sustainable, consistent actions that will impact and equip others to flourish in life. As educators, it is our responsibility to model social responsibility for all learners. That means being committed to being a lifelong learner, being transparent, being a leader, being courageous to challenge the status quo for the sake of our learners. It means being critical thinkers and being inquisitive and hungry for truth no matter the cost. It means being innovative and looking for new and exciting ways to challenge our learners (Camerino et al., 2019; Davis et al., 2017).
Modeling the behavior we want to see in the world is imperative to influence young minds, because they grow up to be adults who will influence the world. As educators of young people, a teacher's role is probably one of the most critical roles in a young person's life. Many of us remember at least one teacher who has inspired us in and outside the classroom. It may have been a formal teacher in a school or a community teacher such as a scout leader, pastor, or Sunday school teacher.
Christian educators should play an even more significant role because we have the playbook to guide us, written by the best teacher who ever lived, Jesus Christ. As we rely on Him and allow Him to guide us, He has given us the roadmap to navigate the world and has given us examples of how to do so socially responsibly. Many of us do not allow Him to guide us and instead lean on our understanding instead of His. John 14:12-14 (New Living Translation) says that we should be doing even greater things, and I believe Christ knew the tools and resources we would have in 2021 to use in pursuing socially responsible behavior. I believe we can accomplish all the things that make teachers socially responsible if led by the Holy Spirit.
Davis, S. L., Rives, L. M., & de Maya, S. R. (2017). Introducing personal social responsibility as a key element to upgrade CSR. Spanish Journal of Marketing-ESIC, 21(2), 146-163.
Camerino, O., Valero-Valenzuela, A., Prat, Q., Manzano Sánchez, D., & Castañer, M. (2019). Optimizing education: a mixed methods approach oriented to Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR). Frontiers in psychology, 10, 1439.