ERG SES G 03, Media and Education
As information and communication technology (ICT) spreads around the world and plays a significant role in social changes, digital media literacy has been recognised as a key competence that people should possess in our information and knowledge society (European Commission, 2007; Ferrari, 2012). As such, people should not only master simply technical knowledge and skills, but also process higher-order competence to create, communicate with and critically reflect on the digital technology and media (Aesaert, van Braak, van Nijlen, & Vanderlinde, 2015; Calvani, Fini, Ranieri, & Picci, 2012; Hatlevik & Christophersen, 2013). Although “digital native” and “net generation” have emerged in educational field, as the young generation is surrounded by and develops familiarity with digital technology in a nature way (Helsper & Eynon, 2010; Prensky, 2001), younger generations’ digital competence is generally low not only in China, but also in the Western context (Aesaert & van Braak, 2015; Calvani et al., 2012; Li & Ranieri, 2010). For instance, Aesaert & van Braak (2015) conduct a performance-based test to investigate ICT competence in Belgium, primary school students show particular difficulties in higher-order processing that involve communicating in an appropriated way. Similarly, primary students reported lowest in terms of communication and creation in China (Zhang et al, submitted for academic journal). Moreover, Li & Ranieri (2010) investigates the digital media literacy of secondary school students in China, results show that the performance of secondary students was just “pass” rather than “good ” or “excellent”. Previous studies indicate that although young generation have more access to digital technology and media, there is less ability to make educational use of it (Hobbs & Jensen, 2009). Therefore, integrating digital media literacy education in K-12 is needed to bridge the gap between students’ achievement in digital media literacy and the outcome they need to live and work in the 21st Century (Calvani et al., 2012; Erstad, 2010; Lau & Yuen, 2014) .
Additionally, the importance of being digital media literate has been recognised by Chinese teachers in the digital and new media context. They tend to concern about the negative effects of digital media and how school education can help students to tackle these issues (Cheung and Xu, 2014; Zhang and Xu, 2011). Xu (2013) conducted media literacy education in a Chinese primary school encouraging students to interact with digital society from the perspective of constructivism and critical pedagogy. They cultivate critical thinking about new media not only by implementing media literacy education as an independent course, but also by integrating it into multiple subjects. With regard to implementation of digital media literacy education, most teachers still focus on at the stage of self-concern, which implied that teachers concern about their role in digital media literacy education (Zhang, Zhu, & Sang, 2014).
Promoting digital media literacy education as one part of formal education to cope with new challenges in the knowledge and information society has been stressed (Hobbs, 2004; Ottestad, Kelentrić, & Guðmundsdóttir, 2014). Based on this consensus, researchers have studied the way to integrate digital media literacy into school in Western context. At the current stage, digital media literacy education has not yet included in the Chinese national school curriculum, empirical research focusing on digital media literacy education is limited. Therefore, the present study implements a digital media literacy education course in China and to investigate the effect of the DMLE course on primary students’ digital media literacy.
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