From the personal to the societal – the challenge of moving from everyday ‘interpersonal’ digital literacies to deeper social understandings

I am presenting on this topic at a conference on Media Information Literacy in Seoul, funded by the Ministry of Education and jointly organized by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU), the Korea Press Foundation (KPF), the Korea Education and Research Information Service (KERIS), the National Information Society Agency (NIA), the Korean Community Media Foundation (KCMF), and the National Association of Community Mediacenters of Korea (NACM).

The talk argues that in a context of digital transformations in social relationships and arrangements and the ways that they now mediate what we know about the world, and how that knowledge constitutes and legitimates forms of authority, forms of power and contemporary politics, we need a changed version of media or digital literacy. My argument first of all is that while forms of media literacy or digital literacy have taken their time in becoming an acceptable part of both the school curriculum and, just as importantly what it means to be a responsible citizen, there is now a greater urgency in adapting these kinds of media and digital literacy frameworks for the current situation. Secondly, I talk about the differences between everyday, common sense ‘interpersonal’ digital literacies – that is the kinds of understandings people make up as they learn to live with these technologies – and the more formal critical literacies that we usually encounter in the school or university curriculum. I challenge how people can travel from the everyday to the more formal and who should take responsibility for this, how we might measure it and above all what will happen to our societies if we don’t take on this responsibility.

A full PDF of the talk can be found here. A video of the talk can be found here.