Digital Skills via Creation
Similarly, students need to be given the tools to tell the difference between fact and opinion. Today, we have a crisis of authority. Anyone can put something up on YouTube and far too many people treat it with the weight of a peer reviewed journal article.
We’ve been teaching students how to tell truth versus opinion in written texts, yet video has a way of bypassing some of those defenses. The very qualities—immediacy, visual impact, emotional engagement—that make video an incredibly powerful communication tool also make it a potential propaganda weapon. We need to give students the ability to step back and think critically about video.
The only way to help students determine multimedia quality effectively is to teach them to be video creators—removing some of the magic by showing them how they, too, can manipulate video can help students gain necessary distance.
For instance, when students are mere consumers (whether the medium is digital or not), they’re in a passive mode, and that’s not what we want education to be. The only way to truly understand the medium being consumed is if the viewer is no longer just a consumer.
Digital critical thought and discussion around digital objects is going to happen largely in a digital world. To participate, students will need to be digital creators. Here is where the real gap comes into play. In the world we’re building now, the difference will be ‘are you a creator who actively participates in the world, or are you a consumer?’