Media education: do I need it?

Media studies are a rather popular trend in modern education. However, the question “Is media education necessary?” is still controversial. What is the role of this direction and does modern society really need it?

Nowadays, even simple communication is almost impossible without any manifestation of “media”. And there’s nothing wrong with that, except a decrease in the level of living, natural contact between people. And the older generation cares a lot more about it than the younger generation. But it is difficult to give up this kind of technology, and few people decide to do so. There is a fairly widespread belief that the use of different media reduces the culture of behavior and communication. Nevertheless, the pace of development in this area is striking. Today, “media art” is a truly independent art form, which is superior to others in terms of the number of fans. The choice of the future profession is also a good indicator of the level of development and the prospects of a field of activity. After all, young people make it based on the relevance and demand for a particular specialization. In recent years, an increasing number of applicants want to get education in the media sphere. Admissions commissions of higher education institutions quite often encounter applicants whose age exceeds the average. Consequently, the media sphere is interesting and relevant. Potential employees in this field strive to become professionals, to have a deep fundamental knowledge. So yes, media education is necessary. Ideological pressure has for many years prevented media education in Russia from becoming a full-fledged, self-sufficient area. Access to various sources has been difficult for censorship reasons. However, media education in our country has existed for over 80 years.

Media education

It was born in the early twentieth century. Then, in autumn 1919, the world’s first film school was opened in Moscow. Now it is VGIK – All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography. VGIK has prepared and is training specialists in all major areas related to film production, film financing, distribution, press analysis, etc. In the same 1919 in St.-Petersburg one more university – the Higher Institute of Photography and Phototechnics was founded. In the 20s, other educational institutions tried to produce film professionals, but by the early 30s they had disappeared for various economic and ideological reasons. Another important component of general media education in our country in the 1920s were film clubs, amateur film and photo studios, and a network of “junkor” clubs (young correspondents). And since 1925 the Society of Friends of Soviet cinema has been working intensively in Russia. Similar circles where films were shown, watched, discussed and shot, lectured, held exhibitions, worked in many cities across Russia. At the same time, in 1925, was published one of the first books in Russia on the problems of film education – “Cinema and Children”. At the same time, media education of schoolchildren and young people was developing on press, radio and television. And those goals and tasks, for which this specific direction was formed, are still relevant today.

But you need to understand the difference between media learning and media assisted learning. A person who has knowledge of media is able to perceive, analyze and create media texts. He understands what kind of reaction this text will cause in the society, how it will influence the culture of people. However, media education should not be viewed only as a training area for future professionals in the world of press, film, radio and internet. Media education has become part of the general education of schoolchildren and students, because it is an integral part of what each of us faces every day, regardless of age and activity. Anyone who wants to keep up with the times and get the most out of the level of technical development needs to have at least basic knowledge in this field. Media education is not limited to studying only technical aspects, rules and laws of media operation. It educates people, develops media culture in them. We should not forget that media is one of the main agents of globalization. Over the past 50-70 years, the number of Internet, television and radio users has increased several dozens of times, and the information space has expanded many times. People need media education to participate actively in public life, to perceive information quickly and correctly. This once again proves that education in this sphere is necessary for a full existence in modern society.

media education do I need it
Close up portrait of young students working on laptops at home.

Combining compulsory disciplines in schools and universities with special courses, electives or clubs is the most appropriate way of media education. In addition, researchers in this field believe that this way of learning will help a person develop the ability to think critically, communicate and express themselves creatively at a young age and prepare them for life in society. While older people are still unable to master many of the information and technological benefits and try not to use them, modern children are born in the Internet and television space. Therefore, to instill rational use of information and other media resources is a task not only for parents, but also for society as a whole. The introduction and development of media education is, above all, the development of a creative and humane personality as the foundation of modern society. And this is very relevant in our time.