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January 3, 2007

Personal Media

Part of the Web 2.0 paradigm is the idea that information is becoming more democratized. That means that control of information is increasingly being put into the hands of average people.

An early example of this would be the Rodney King video footage. While the officers involved were acquitted, the power of the bystander's video is evident.

Today, that power is increased as average people (in the developed world, at least) have ready access to a distribution channel for their personally recorded media: The Internet. Take the execution of Saddam Hussein. There was a controlled release of footage from the Iraqi government (with no audio), then there was the more complete footage that someone who was present at this gruesome event took with their cell phone and posted to the internet.

Today's students need to learn more about 21st Century literacy. This includes much more than reading and writing. It is focused on being critical thinkers about media and information. I believe that media and data will become more and more pervasive in our everyday lives. Today's students need to know how to evaluate it, use it, and create it.