Critically examine how mass media has impacted on the educational landscape in Jamaica. (Explore at least 4 points)
Media is known to be the most powerful means of communication. The print media, electronic media and the Internet are all the subsets of mass media. But what is mass media? Media can be defined as all the means of communication that provide the public with news and entertainment along with advertising. The word mass, according to the Oxford Mini Dictionary, means ‘ a large quantity, heap or expanse’. Therefore the word mass media can be defined as the means of communication that reach large numbers of people in a short time. Mass-media offers information in different form such as newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and Internet just to name a few. Mass media is an effective way of communicating with people living in different parts of the world or island. The effects Mass media has on society are astonishing and the effects mass media has on our little island Jamaica is no different. It has impacted our political and religious system and beliefs and it has also raised its head on our education system too. Over the years, the media has become an inseparable component of our daily lives. The effects of mass media are both negative and positive. There are many different types of mass media that affects the educational system in Jamaica. The birth of mass media has put a new look on education and has affected the Jamaican educational landscape. Four of these ways are educationally, socially, emotionally, and physically. First I will take the educational aspect. Mass media has a full impact on the education of Jamaican students. There are those on television that seeks to help toddlers and young children alike. Programmes such as Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Sesame Street and Little Einsteins help to develop their language, mathematical, foreign language and problem solving skills. These can also be had in interactive books as well. There is also the other print medium that has special sections for children. One well known newspaper is The Gleaner Children’s Own. This newspaper helps to promote children’s reading, reading comprehension and writing skills. “Dear Aunt Suzie” and “Myself as a ……” are two such articles that are geared towards developing these skills. There is also information and activities on teaching topics such as Nouns, Verbs and Adjectives just to name a few. Recently I bought an issue and took home to my nephew to help him in differentiating between common and capital ‘b’. It also helped with his fine motor skills and figure ground as he was required to find and colour as well. There are other parts of The Gleaner and The Observer that help students prepare for Grade Six Achievement Test (G.S.A.T), CXC and the Grade Four Literacy Test. There is also the internet. This medium is a quick and easy way of obtaining information. It also has activities and activity sheets on almost any subject area or any other area of development that one would wish to use. There are web sites that teachers can access that will assist them with their lesson planning or to educate them more about the cognitive development of children at different stages. I often times log on to sites and allow my son to play games that develops his reading and mathematical skills. Another important impact it has is on the upgrading of teachers. Many teachers are now upgrading themselves online. Mass media has many positive effects on the education of persons in Jamaica but it also has its negative effects as well. Although the internet has much information for those who access it, there is a lot of information on it that is not factual. This can lead to misconception and confusion of the students. There is also the spelling of the words used in advertisements on the television, on billboards or even in the newspaper. Words are often misspelt or...
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