The use of popular media as a medium of instruction among schools and universities has been the subject of many debates. Before going into the details involving the two sides of the arguments, what is popular media must first be defined. As used herein, popular media refers to all kinds of instructional materials other than the usual books and references used in classroom teaching.
What differentiates pop-media from the traditional modes of teaching is that the former involves the use of a more updated and advanced technology and gadgets, compared to the traditional style of lectures based on books used in the latter. The most common forms of popular media are: internet, radio, television, movies, newspapers and magazines, songs, advertisements, and the like.
The most common argument in favor of the use of popular media in teaching is that it signifies innovation and adapting to change. Proponents of this side would argue that at an early age, children must already be introduced to the latest industrial and educational developments that are key tools to progress. Second, they would say that it would give children a broader avenue for their references to which they could relate more; hence, making learning more fun and practical to them. The children’s learning and education would not be limited to what books and teachers say to them. Instead, lectures are illuminated and enlivened. Teachers would have an easier time getting the interest and attention of the children. Lastly, it is argued that children would have no need to spend much for the purchase of textbooks or for photocopying them. They would not need to bring heavy books and bags in school.
On the other hand, critics would say that popular media would make children lazy as they are being spoon-fed with readily available and accessible materials for their use. For example, children would be tempted to plagiarize and just to copy answers from the internet. This minimizes the practice of critical thinking and analysis among children. Second, this would give children unbridled discretion and leeway to use the available media to their own advantage and personal gratification.
Third, popular media is not appropriate especially for the use of young children because if not properly regulated, younger children will be more unduly exposed to pornography, crimes, violence, games and the social media, which is as yet beyond their comprehension or is unsuitable for their age. Their curiosity will be nurtured without proper adult guidance. As a result, they would be confused and demoralized by conflicting and inappropriate information. Fourth, the use of it would have a discriminatory effect because not all school children have access to all popular media. Lastly, classroom instructional teaching may eventually be replaced by machines and gadgets, and soon, there would be no more need for teachers.
Whether popular media is acceptable and effective to use or not is really up to the teachers and instructors to decide, as both sides of the arguments do have their respective good points. In any case, instructors are reminded of their responsibility to give their pupils the proper guidance and follow-up that are necessary and needed, being persons who have moral ascendancy over the latter in school.