November 2014: M-Passioned Member Pamela Rutledge

unnamed-21) What do you do?

I am a media psychologist, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center and adjunct faculty at Fielding Graduate University.  I lecture, write and teach about the positive use and development of media technologies.  One of my passions is to help education parents about the need for media literacy beyond media content.

2) Tell me about your latest work or project in media literacy.

On the public forum, I recently gave a presentation at the American Psychological Association National Convention arguing that we need to change how we think about literacy and the role of technology in a multi-screen world.  I am currently working to development a series of a short videos with NAMLE member Diana Graber that provide short, accessible answers to parents’ questions about kids & technology.

3) Why is media literacy important to you?

Media literacy and technology literacy are critical tools for personal growth and learning, civic engagement and social interaction.  There is increasingly no boundary between online and offline.  Our lives are fluid across technologies.  It is essential that we teach the same ‘rules of the road’—the moral and practical foundations that enable social engagement, civic participation and personal growth.  The world is increasingly reliant on technology and without good media literacy skills, we won’t have the personal and social skills, like setting boundaries, self-regulation, ethical behaviors and critical thinking essential to successfully navigating the 21st century and beyond.  This becomes increasingly important as technology becomes more integrated into every aspect of daily life, in ways that are subtle, such as the GPS on our cars or the medical records at the hospital, to overt, such as smartphones and video games.

4) What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?  

The most exciting development is the increasing awareness of media and technology as an agent for positive social change, from literacy to civic engagement.  

5) Why did you become a NAMLE member – what benefits do you see to membership and how will it support your work?

I joined at the insistence of colleagues who are active in the organization.  I want to keep abreast of current movements and thinking in media literacy to inform both my teaching and pubic work.

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