How to Use Parody and Humour to Teach Digital Literacy

How to Use Parody and Humour to Teach Digital Literacy

Luis Pereira (Coventry University, UK)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9667-9.ch020
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Based on the assumption digital literacy needs a practical approach and actions, this chapter presents an initiative that intends to develop digital skills in a very creative way. Considering the challenge educators (for instance, teachers or librarians) face to promote digital literacy skills especially to young people in a very engaging way, some training was developed to create a possible answer to that problem. This chapter discusses the impact of that initiative that highlights the potential of humour and parody that we can find on digital media to teach digital literacy. According to some attendants, this approach was creative, engaging and built in their minds alternative paths to explore digital literacy and critical thinking.
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Discussing The Concept Of Digital Literacy

The Digital Literacy notion is not new, dating back to at least the 80’s (Buckingham, 2008). It is a plural concept (Papaioannou, 2011), polysemic (Junge & Hadjivassiliou, 2007) and evolving (Rosado & Bélisle, 2006), and intersects with other areas or other literacies that are nearby (Pérez Tornero, 2004a, 2004b, Buckingham, 2008). Some authors, like Lankshear & Knobel (2006; 2008), suggested that we should use the plural, 'digital literacies', to highlight this diversity.

This is one of the reasons why there is a lack of consensus around this concept, potentially generator of mistakes and leading to very different strategies, taking into account the starting point and the goals established by different institutions. It is therefore important to deepen different actors’ understanding about the fundamentals and the dimensions in which the digital literacy tries to operate, as well as the field and their agents.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Media Literacy: Also known as Media Education, this is the ability to realise the importance that all kinds of media have in our lives. It includes among others the understanding that media show a representation of reality.

Critical Thinking: The ability to engage in reflective thinking. In digital media world, it is fundamental that someone can develop a refined sense of judgement towards the contents and tools available. Behaviours we adopt when using, for instance, social media should be a target of (self-) criticism.

Social media: It designates the set of tools that allow users to create, share or exchange information (written or multimedia, as images, videos…) with other followers or members of that community.

Participation: As citizens, we have the right and the obligation to be active members of society. When it comes to digital media, there are several tools that people can use to raise awareness about something or to get involved in relevant decision discussions to their communities.

Fake News: This is news about something that did not happen. Usually they are not completely fictional because are based on some facts. There are, for instance, satirical publications only with this kind of news. This technique creates a comic effect and, at the same time, highlights a specific fact.

Digital Literacy: The ability to access, understand and manage all the information that digital media provide, but also the skills to use it ethically. Like the traditional idea of literacy, it includes critical reading but also writing. So, people should be able to become digital writers, in a sense they can use digital tools to express themselves and communicate with others.

Sense of Humour: The ability to provoke laughter and/or to appreciate the effect of amusement that comedy or parody can create.

Ridendo Castigat Mores: This Latin phrase means “one corrects customs by laughing at them”.

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