SCOM 120 Digital Media Literacy is an introductory course help you develop the technical skills to survive in our new digital culture. It will explore what it means to be literate – beyond reading, writing and math – in the age of new media. Each cultural era is met by technological changes. For example, the introduction of the computer has been an even greater game-changer with the introduction of the Internet, which allowed people and all manner of technology to be connected. Instead of these new communications technologies rendering radio, newspaper and television obsolete, instead they enabled conversion, or the merging of previously distinct technologies that can be used with one device — the mobile phone.
Throughout the course, we will explore the evolution of digital media technologies as well as their impact on economics, politics, education, communication and community. The course also examines key moments in computing and media history to gain a perspective on the nature of technological innovation and change. Today the social skills and cultural competencies required to be able to fully participate in the digital future has changed our ethical choices, our means of one-to-one and community-wide communication, democratic citizenship, educational opportunities, work routines and leisure activities. Comprehensive definitions of digital literacy go well beyond skill-based and incorporate critical thinking and problem-solving, capturing the notion that digital literacy is ultimately about the ability to effectively solve problems in a technology-rich environment (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2013). In short, this course aims to help you develop not only the skills required to use these new technical devices, but the computational thinking skills to become competent and ethical content producers and critical analysts of technology.