Workshop with David Buckingham – Media Education, digital literacy and young people

Professor David Buckingham will be a visiting Andrew W. Mellon Scholar at the CFMS for the most of August. David is a leading researcher on children’s and young people’s interactions with electronic media, and on media literacy education.

Media education, digital literacies and young people

August 3 9-4pm

Venue: TB Davie Seminar Room, Postgraduate Centre, Otto Beit Bldg, Upper campus.


South Africa has had its share of panics about young people and digital media – most recently by placing age restrictions on Brett Murray’s controversial portrait of Jacob Zuma, The Spear of the Nation, while scandals involving abusive uses of mobile media have contributed to calls for cellphone bans in schools. At the same time there’s a belief that new technologies will allow young people to bypass the massive shortcomings of the educational system or that disgruntled young people will use new technologies to express themselves and transform their societies through civic action. This workshop will be a great opportunity to open a broader discussion about digital literacy and media education in South Africa, at what seems a key moment, when South Africa has more cell phones than people, and when rapid adoption of social media is redefining ‘private’ and ‘public’ and challenging the ways local broadcasters, politicians, educators and researchers engage with young people.
This workshop aims to develop a more nuanced view of young people’s relationships to digital media and technologies by addressing the following issues:

  • The diversity of technologies in use, and their relationship to different social contexts
  • The variety of ways in which young people are introduced to technology use at home, school and university,
  • What digital media means from young people’s perspectives, and distinctive appropriations in peer and interest groups
  • How distinctions in access to technology contribute to young people’s experiences of growing up in a highly unequal society.
  • How the rise of user generated content and social media affects the practices and mandate of teachers, public broadcasters and community media catering for young people,
  • The challenges of multimodal and networked communication to traditional print-centred curricula, and
  • How young people’s evolving practices and use of new media genres challenge existing research methods.

We hope to create a dialogue which will allow researchers and teachers to address the meaning of media literacy in relation to the violence, commodification, inequalities and surveillance young people live with, but also to account the new forms of connectedness, the pursuit of fantasy, intimacy and play, and the shifting possibilities emerging as young people engage with and imagine the world.

Here is a full programme for the day.

Here is a map of upper campus to help you find  the venue. Otto Beit building is C7 on the map.

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