PREPARING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FOR HYBRID AGE – SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW MEDIA LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

J. Kubatova

Palacky University in Olomouc, Philosophical Faculty, Department of Applied Economics (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Almost imperceptibly we have found ourselves in a new sociotechnical era – the Hybrid Age. In this new era people and technologies merge with each other and that brings a lot of unprecedented consequences, opportunities, but also requirements for each individual. In this paper we discuss the ways how to prepare university students to successfully enter the labor market and to be continuously successful.

First, we would like to share our experience with the usage of the virtual world Second Life in the educational process at Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. We started courses in Second Life in 2008 but soon we realized that we have to prepare our students for a considerably wider use of technologies, particularly web based social networks.
Second, we stress out some important aspects of this process. Many professors are so-called digital immigrants (they met Internet and Internet based technologies in their adult life) whereas most of our students are digital natives (born into a digital environment). However, according to research and also our own experience it does not mean that the students are able to use contemporary Web 2.0 and its platforms in wise and efficient ways.

In the last part of our paper we suggest new competences that should be developed to achieve a sufficient level of New Media Literacy. At the same time we suggest several ways to achieve this goal. What we consider particularly interesting about this process is the potential usefulness of mutual learning between the professors and the students.