Digital literacy: Why Character Matters

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Digital Media Literacy: Why Character Matters

Digital Media Literacy: Why Character Matters

Sr. Rose Pacatte FSP Pauline Center for Media Studies PaulineCMS.comC 3 Tech Conference 2015


State Farm French Model Commercial

Bully trailer



MJG = major arena events

E-Sports: Dota 2 CSGO

OutlineValuesCultureWhat is critical media literacy?What is critical autonomy?What does it mean for the digital age?What is character education?VirtuesPractical skills for living fully in a digital universe

Entertainment & information mediaMedia normalize behavior

Media do not consistently show consequences for choices

Media often challenges our values


The spiritual builds on the human

What is truly human is truly of the Gospel and what is truly of the Gospel is truly human. (cf. Gaudium et Spes)

Values:Overarching ideas or ideals that guide our lives




These values will guide our conversationCulture: relationships that 10

These values can

1. Form the criteria for media mindfulness (discernment)and talking about entertainment and information media

2. Influence media makers of tomorrow who are in our pews, living rooms and classrooms today

CultureCulture is communicationWe communicate about what is important to us (values)Culture is a specific dimension of the existence and being of man. It creates among the persons within each community a complex of bonds, determining the interpersonal and social character of human existence. Human persons are both subject and creators of culture in which they express themselves and finds their equilibrium.

Wheres the media in your life?(Girl washing laptop YouTube)

Girl washing laptop13

Media: storytelling(Digital Exodus Google)

Google Exodus14

What is media literacy?The ability toAccessAnalyzeEvaluateCreateMedia in all their formsLeading to participation in culture and society

Media literacy is an educational imperative for the 21st centuryIts more than knowing how to use new media (instrumentalize)Its understanding how they function in persons, families, groups, communities and society as consumer products, as information and entertainmentIts about relationships of powerIts about gender, age, race, religious representationAnd as means of storytelling that comes from a point of viewMedia literacy in the digital age is about asking questions: awareness reflection dialogue action

Vermont students call out Fox News: Bill OReilly

And how does Bill OReilly respond?

Its entertainment!

What does it mean to be a person of character?Making a habit of doing the right thingWhat you do when no one is lookingEmpathyHow would you like it if someone did that to you?

What you do matters not much; what you are matters tremendouslyCatherine de Hueck Doherty

Moral educationMoral education does not look much like teaching The picture we get is the master working with the apprentice C.S. Lewis, like Aristotle, believes that moral principles are learned indirectly from others around us, who serve as exemplars.

They are not just good stories (re: The Chronicles of Narnia), they serve to enhance moral education to build character.- Gilbert Meilaender

Moral education/character development and the mediaStories and story-tellingMedia Literacy Education/Media MindfulnessUnderstanding stories vis--vis critical engagement, inquiry, decision, action

Why character matters ValuesCommunication



Character is destinyThoughts become actsActs develop into habitsHabits define characterYour character shapes your destiny

CharacterThoughts: Where character beginsActs: Knowing whats right, doing whats rightHabits: Making good character second natureCharacter: Our behavior reflects our beingDestiny: We reap what we sow

Learning characterLanguageCommunication of valuesExampleTeachingRelationships Family and peersSocial interactionInner, dialogic speechPersonal initiativeReading, media, paying attention, reflection, dialogue

Character?(Apple Misunderstood commercial YouTube)

Apple Misunderstood commercial27

Values, character, moral education, living virtue, critical autonomyCritical autonomy: asking questions, discerning right and wrong, choosing to do the right thing when no one is lookingIgnatian spirituality promotes critical autonomy

Dont have to run to a priest every time; you know what is right and you do it28

Its a new world29

Its a new world30

VirtueVirtue is a habit of beingWhen values are lived and repeated they become natural, they become habits of being virtue

Think theologically about social mediaYou will need to know what you believe about God as well as Gods ongoing, eternal communication with us

Meredith Gould The Social Media GospelThe Apostles Creed, Catholic Social TeachingSacraments

What connects all Christians as far as belief goes?

The Apostles Creed

Who is God for you?

And what response does this call forth from me in a constantly changing, mediated, digital world as we relate to this reality32

Values to VirtuesWhat did Jesus say?What would Jesus do?

What are Jesus family values?To feed the hungryTo give drink to the thirstyTo clothe the nakedTo give shelter to the homelessTo visit the sickTo ransom the captiveTo bury the dead.

Yes, age appropriate media but the Gospels ground us in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy as the launch pad for being Christians in the modern world

Good character good human formationHonestyIntegrityEmpathy

Good criteria for interacting with all media: Jesus family values (not only content)

Then Christian


More of Jesus family valuesThe spiritual works of mercyTo instruct the ignorant To counsel the doubtful To admonish sinners To bear wrongs patientlyTo forgive offences willinglyTo comfort the afflictedTo pray for the living and the dead

Before you watch, play, create, post .

Vacation trailer

Before you watch, play, create, post .

VacationT - is it true? Not that I've ever seen or imagined.H - is it helpful? No.I - is it inspiring? No.N - Is it necessary? Lord, no.K - Is it kind? No and that's why it gets my rating:DG = Don't GoAnd if you do: (IWY = I Warned You).

He Named Me Malala Trailer

Before you watch, play, create, post .

Let us remember that the world is permeated by grace even when it does not seem so (cf. Karl Rahner)


Questions for Catholic school teachers, catechists, parents, and students today:

Network or communion?

Creators or consumers?

Freedom or responsibility?

These questions will frame this presentation and it is both/and43