We need to be more digitally and media literate

In a recent workshop I held here in Ottawa, the topic of digital and media literacy came up on a few occasions. I wanted to examine this a bit further and share some quick thoughts.

Let’s start with some definitions courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • Digital Literacy is the knowledge, skills, and behaviors used in a broad range of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs, all of which are seen as network rather than computing devices.
  • Media Literacy is a repertoire of competencies that enable people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and formats.

If the global events of the last few months have reinforced anything in my mind, it’s that digitally literate internet users tend have low levels of media literacy and media literate internet users tend to have low levels of digital literacy. I would love to see an evolution occur where media literacy includes digital literacy and vice-versa, as I think they are inseparable in this day in age. Continue reading “We need to be more digitally and media literate”

Stop Complaining about Lineups and Just Vote!

Dear “frustrated advance poll voters” in Canada. I really think that we should be treating the fact that there were such long lineups at some of the advance polling stations this weekend as great news. That’s nearly a 35% increase [update: it was actually a 71% increase! – confirmed by Elections Canada] over the last federal election, and you were a part of it! The more people participate in the democratic process the better it works. Please keep things in perspective and realize that a minor inconvenience in your schedules for a few hours approximately every 4 years is not a lot to ask for given how lucky you are to be a citizen of this great country. Continue reading “Stop Complaining about Lineups and Just Vote!”