What caught my attention was not the suggestion that media course integration is increasing across traditionally non-media intensive disciplines (from geology to anthropology), I have been observing this positive trend over the past few years here at Minnesota. What intrigued me most is the suggestion that some institutions are beginning to consider digital media as a potential core student outcome, as Young suggests, along with "writing, reading, and 'rithimatic." Of course, this recognition that modern day students need to be media and visually literate, and the potential for effective media projects to engage students in deeper subject knowledge acquisition, is what fuels our Library Media Services program.
The article also mentions that Purdue's lib. science prof. Michael Fosmire was surprised in the amount of time and energy students are spending on these video assignments. In a focus group interview with students as part of my recent production study, I was also struck by how much time they spent on these projects, and also that they were happily spending the time. This potential level of engagement and motivation (media assignments certainly do not always work out this way) is one of the benefits of media projects that excites and continues to confound me, but I arrived at some clues that might explain why.
Finally, the article acknowledges the excellent work of the Visual Literacy Task Force of ALA's Association of Colleges and Research Libraries division (ACRL), in constructing specific core standards for being visually literate. I was fortunate enough to participate in an early session last year of this Task Force in providing feedback with several other media-type librarians that appears to have been included in the draft report. As newly elected Chair-Elect/Chair of the ALA's Video Round Table, I hope to work with this group and consider development of media literacy standards as well.
We live in an increasingly media saturated society, where media in its multiple forms both informs and shapes our ideas, calling for newly developed skill sets. I am very excited to see academe taking notice...though I am hoping for a continued steady acceptance of digital media while we continue to try and build capacity to support the needs of these students. Afterall, while a Macbook Pro or Dell may have a webcam, it's not likely you will see one perched a top a tripod shooting footage anytime soon. And beyond the equipment, students need a place to edit this footage, and sometimes a little help with production as well - all of which requires infrastructure and investment.