Media literacy: best practices from the Insafe network

Image: Insafe Network

The ability to ‘read’ many different types of media and assess them critically has become an essential skill in the 21st century as we get most of our information through various media outlets.

Discussing media literacy has never been so important, especially in the light of the recent phenomenon of ‘fake news’ and its influence on our perception of what we read and what we believe.

The Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) aims to empower children and young people to adopt good media habits, and to guide parents and teachers to support children and youth in their use of online media and digital technologies. The network is co-funded by the European Union under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). It provides content for the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal that offers a range of resources on the topic of media literacy from across Europe. Examples include:

  • The Austrian Safer Internet Centre has published a fully illustrated storybook The Online-Zoo for very young online users (aged 3-6). The book teaches digital competences and media literacy in a playful, age-appropriate way.
  • Childnet (partner of the UK Safer Internet Centre) has recently launched Trust Me, a new resource designed to support primary and secondary school teachers in exploring critical thinking online.
  • Find more resources and examples of media literacy in the sixth edition of the BIK bulletin. Here you can sign up for the bulletin.

Involving young people in debates on internet safety and media literacy, as well as ensuring that their voices are heard, are crucial elements for the Insafe network in order to advance the Better Internet for Kids agenda. The network organises the annual European Youth Panel (YEP) event supporting the next generation of digital citizens. The purpose of YEP is also to prepare participating youth panellists to engage in debates with policy and decision makers, Internet experts, industry partners and other stakeholders present at the annual Safer Internet Forum (SIF), that took place on 24 November in Luxembourg. The proceedings report and presentations are available at the website.

In addition, the Insafe network organises each year the Safer Internet Day (SID) to promote a safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones. The next SID takes place on 7 February 2017 under the topic "Be the change: Unite for a better internet". Find out about the activities taking place in your country and register here!