The ways we communicate continue to evolve intellectually, emotionally, and technologically. How can we apply critical thinking to the messages in our media, and use what we learn to create effective messages of our own? Media Fluency is about interpreting and leveraging the messages you and your students experience everyday.
From this Listening stage, media fluency branches off into the careful consideration of both the medium and the message, as follows:
All the distractions of the medium are removed, such as the images, sound effects, etc., and the viewer considers the message that is specifically being communicated.
You must first be able clarify that message in clear and concise terms, and think analytically and critically about what the message is trying to tell you.
Next, the message is verified using skills that help the viewer analyze and authenticate information contained in the message, and by separating fact from opinion, and detecting any bias that may be present.
Now that the message is understood, the medium—the method of delivery of the message—is then considered. There are three aspects to evaluating the medium.
The form takes into account the design elements such as fonts used, colour schemes, lighting, consistency, unity, and so on.
This aspect considers how the message plays out. Is there a logical progression to the story, guiding your attention in the right direction in order to convey the message effectively, or is there a disjointedness and confusion in the delivery?
In the Leverage stage, we select and apply the most appropriate media for the message considering content, purpose, audience, individual abilities, and any predetermined criteria. Here again we consider the medium and the message separately, but using different criteria. We are now looking at these two elements as the creator, as opposed to being the viewer:
When deciding on what message you want to convey, there are three things you must be clear on.
What exactly is it that you want to say to your audience, and what does that message content include?
Once you have clarified what you want to say, the medium for delivering the message must be chosen next. In choosing the correct medium for your message, you consider two crucial things.
What you choose as a medium must be consistent with your intended outcome. Also, ensure that development of the product/s happens within predetermined constraints and clearly-defined criteria for success.
Reviewing your process and product means measuring it against your success criteria to both evaluate the product and to determine that it is has been successfully completed, and consider if the media used was the best choice.