Media literacy has been a component ofSouth African schooling for some years.(Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)MEDIA CONTACTS • Jaco du ToitUnesco regional office, Windhoek+264 61 291 7221RELATED ARTICLES• Unesco, AU to boost African journalism• Unesco lauds SA literacy project• Social development in SOuth Africa• SA celebrates media freedomJanine ErasmusA three-day regional teacher workshop to be held in early November 2009 in Pretoria, South Africa, aims to boost literacy in new media and information skills. The workshop is a joint project of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) and the University of Pretoria.At least 20 teacher trainers from countries in the Southern African region, including South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia, are to attend. Similar regional events will take place in Montego Bay, Jamaica, to cover teacher training institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean; as well as in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for teacher training institutions in the South Asia region.The event centres on Unesco’s draft media and information literacy (MIL) curriculum for teacher education, which is soon to be piloted in teacher training institutions in at least eight developing countries.Trainers at the African event will be brought up to speed with the latest developments in the field of media and information literacy as it pertains to teacher education. They will also have the opportunity to discuss the draft curriculum and give their feedback on it, both as a whole and for specific modules. This feedback is expected to enhance the draft.The development of the MIL programme is steered by an international expert group. Local media education expert Professor Fackson Banda, the SABMiller-Unesco Chair of Media and Democracy at Rhodes University’s journalism school, represents the country in this group. Visiting professor Albert Boekhorst, an information scientist connected to Pretoria University’s Department of Information Science, also works on the project.The group meets regularly to review the curriculum’s progress and make recommendations for its further improvement. The upcoming workshop is an extension of the ongoing validation process.Media expert Professor Birgitte Tufte of the Copenhagen Business School names South Africa as one of the world’s leading countries in media education, along with Australia, Canada, and Great Britain. Other countries slowly following suit include the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Austria, and Switzerland.South Africa held its first media education conference in 1990 and has seen an increasing demand for media education since the arrival of democracy in 1994.Understanding the mediaThe Alexandria Proclamation says that information literacy and life-long learning are “beacons of the Information Society, illuminating the courses to development, prosperity and freedom”. The proclamation was drawn up at a colloquium on information literacy and life-long learning held in Alexandria, Egypt, in November 2005.Media and communication technologies, says Unesco, are crucial in keeping people informed so that they can competently assess, process and use media, in a variety of forms, in their personal lives and careers.This competency allows citizens to participate usefully in democratic societies. It also allows them to create their own functional media messages.Media and information technologies also stimulate creativity and debate on a range of issues, but their effectiveness is entirely dependent on the audience’s ability to understand, process and use the information while filtering out propaganda and bias.The MIL programme aims to foster literacy in mass media as well as information and communication technologies among the youth of the world, who are today’s most eager media consumers, according to Unesco. These children obtain their news not only through traditional channels but also through new platforms such as social networking sites, where they interact with their peers.However, because of their tender age, these consumers are also most vulnerable to the dangers of misusing or misinterpreting the media.Before media literacy programmes are included in school teaching, a number of obstacles must be overcome, including overworked teachers and already full curricula. South Africa’s own school curriculum has undergone a number of revisions since 1994, when the controversial outcomes-based system was phased in. The 2008 group of matrics was the first to write their final exams under the new system.Teachers themselves need media and information literacy education to be able to understand the role and importance of media, and to be able to equip their pupils with the same skills.Unesco will work towards the inclusion of media literacy in national teacher training curricula, thus creating a ripple effect that will eventually filter down to pupils of secondary education level. The results and effectiveness of eight pilot projects will be shared with government education departments, and will determine the level of integration into national curricula.The integration of libraries into the programme is another crucial step, as libraries offer an environment with valuable resources and services, and play an important role in the life-long learning process.
Related Posts The cranky elves that run the iPhone App Store may be warming up after all to the emerging field of Augmented Reality (AR). AR app makers, who are building sci-fi-like interfaces for viewing data about the physical world on top of the mobile phone’s camera, were beginning to feel spurned. Today Apple both approved the most eagerly anticipated Augmented Reality app yet, Amsterdam’s AR browser Layar (iTunes link), and made its primary challenger, Wikitude (iTunes link), a featured app in the iTunes App Store.Those moves came a month after many AR-watchers were dissapointed that Apple didn’t offer big support to Augmented Reality when launching the latest version of the iPhone OS. Some critics complain that even if some forms of AR are being permitted by Apple, the company still has a tight grip on APIs that could enable whole new methods of displaying data on top of the phone’s camera view if made publicly available. It’s not a happy relationship, but perhaps that’s beginning to change.Layar is a browser that displays geo-located information like real-estate listings and restaurant reviews on top of a mobile camera’s view of its surroundings. The company has used well-made demo videos to stoke excitement among iPhone owners for months. The app has long been available on Android handsets but just emerged from the dark and mysterious iTunes App Store approval process this morning.Its competitor Wikitude displays Wikipedia data (as Layar does) as well as user-generated Points of Interest input through its website Wikitude.me. Wikitude was made a featured app in iTunes today, just hours before Layar went live in the store. A long list of AR companies were at the edge of their seats waiting for a big announcement in September, believing that Apple would make public all the technical hooks they needed to create an Augmented Reality experience. Instead of the expected opening-up and perhaps some publicity for this very eye-catching software niche, Apple opened up only some of the APIs needed, didn’t make any public mention of AR and has slowly let AR apps trickle into the App Store with no fan-fare over the last month.All of this creates a very different experience for startups compared to the way they can launch apps on Android phones. They simply post them to the Android App Store, no approval process needed. Application developers are also working on AR for Nokia, a handset with far greater user numbers than the iPhone has – but everyone’s been waiting for AR to bloom on the much-hyped iPhone and Apple hasn’t been very supportive.Robert Rice wrote in an open letter last week that:“One of two things needs to happen. Either Apple needs to quit screwing us around and make [all] the APIs public so we can get back to the business of innovating and building a new industry, or the respective communities of developers and venture capitalists need to abandon Apple entirely. There are good alternatives out there that may not be as shiny, but are certainly as powerful and definitely more open for us to work with.”It’s also possible that Apple hasn’t been offering AR apps meaningful support because so far they are a little dissapointing once consumers get their hands on them. GPS data is clumsy, data sets are incomplete and the user experience still hasn’t been nailed yet by anyone. It’s also borderline embarrassing to wave your phone around in the air when out in public, surrounded by people you don’t know. That’s quite unlike the usual experience Apple tries to associate with itself.Perhaps things are changing, though. It’s exciting to think about bringing latent geo-located data out into a view accessible through a mobile phone. It would be nice to see Apple help advance this early field, instead of giving it the cold shoulder and silent treatment. End-users should recognize as well that the super-wow but controlled experience of the iPhone could be holding back other, even more exciting innovations. 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App marshall kirkpatrick Tags:#Augmented Reality#NYT#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…
SRKThe badshah of Bollywood has always known how to make people dance to his tunes, but master blaster Sachin Tendulkar was surely a first for him too.Shah Rukh Khan had flown down from Berlin, where he was busy shooting for Don 2, to attend the second edition of the Sahara Sports Awards on October 30. At the event, he got the cricketer to match steps with him during a dance performance. When we contacted SRK to ask how he managed to make it to the show, he replied: “I made it because I really like sports. I wanted to see all the renowned sportspersons of our country under one roof.”
New Delhi: The Defence Ministry on Saturday categorically said that there is no plan to privatise the Ordnance Factory Board and efforts are being made to enhance the functioning of the ammunition manufacturer.”Discussions are continuously being held by a committee of very senior officials of the Defence Ministry with employees federations of OFB and engage with them positively and constructively on all aspects relating to the corporatisation of OFB. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”It was also clarified that the government is not proposing to privatise OFB and any apprehension in this regard is misplaced,” said Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production. State-run OFB is a leading producer of ammunition for the defence forces and has over one lakh employees. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to “stall and reverse the process of corporatisation and privatisation” of ordnance factories. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayThe corporatisation of OFB will bring it at par with other Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), it said. “This is in the interest of OFB as it will provide operational freedom and flexibility to OFB which it presently lacks. Besides, the interests of the workers will be adequately safeguarded in any decision taken on the subject,” the statement said. The committee also pointed out that the government has been trying to strengthen the functioning of OFB, including having taken several steps to modernise the factories, re-skill OFB employees at government cost, enable the development of products and components with indigenous technology, the ministry said on Friday. “The committee urged the employee organisations to recognise government’s efforts to make OFB into a competitive, productive and efficient organisation with higher turnover and enhanced profitability, which would also be in the interest of the employees. Therefore, the committee once again urged the employee organisations to withdraw their proposed strike,” it said. Indian Ordnance Factories is the oldest and largest industrial setup which functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence.