Key Concept 8: #K12Media

16 Nov

This week marks the end of our special “Key Concept” series of #K12Media chats; this week’s discussion will centre on Concept 8 from the 8 Key Concepts of Media Literacy: All Media Have Unique Aesthetic Forms. Last week we discussed the connection between form and content, examining tensions between photography and storytelling, truth and fiction, audience, producers, and subject.

For a refresher on the concepts:

8. Each Medium has a Unique Aesthetic Form

Individuals are drawn to a number of differing media for their enjoyment. Each medium should be understood, studied, and celebrated. Through understanding the aesthetics within each medium, a broader appreciation can be formed that can extend beyond personal opinion.

Hot Topic 1: One man’s trash...

The plethora of reality television has created new television niches—whatever your tastes may be, chances are there is a reality show that could pique your interest.  What are some of the aesthetic similarities we could expect from reality television? How do the producers of these shows “hook” their audiences? Are there dominant show types/formulas that are gaining popularity? What shows are waning in popularity—is there a pattern that represents a shift in audience tastes, or is it because of other considerations? What are some of the transitions that reality television has gone through since first ascending in popularity?

Hot Topic 2:  What’s on your mind?

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace have been thoughtfully constructed to appeal to their audiences. These sites are laid out and designed to be easily accessible and useable to a broad range of ages, tastes, and abilities. How important is the “look” of the site to its popularity, perceived usability, and potential future success? Is the user’s aesthetic input easily allowed or encouraged? How does the look of the sites change from computer to smartphone, for example?

Hot Topic 3: Nothing like curling up with a good...e-book?

One of the biggest challenges when technology offers a change to an established medium is the difference in the aesthetic experience for the end user. Books, magazines, and newspapers offer a different tactile experience for users than their digital counterparts. How much of that aesthetic experience needs to be transferred from one format to another (text layout and “page turning sounds”, for example within e-books)? How do these new aesthetic forms create a space for further creativity for authors and artists? What are some of the tensions for producers—is there a threat to the more traditional products—does that matter?