Media Literacy – the digital alphabet song
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Today the different media provide us with greater access to information than ever in history. Moreover, media practices are changing: instead of being external spectators and information receivers, people have become content creators and they interact with the information in various ways.
These opportunities also present us with challenges, making media literacy skills more important than ever. Furthermore, digital media require us not only to focus on technical ability but also on the broader social, ethical, legal and economic aspects of digital use. To this end we have selected for you the following three examples of media education.
The Danish Film Institute: the educational power of films in the classrooms
The long-standing relationship between the Danish film industry and the Ministry of Education begun in 1972 with the National Film Act (revised in 1982) with an objective of ensuring ‘the right of children to experience artistic reflection on the realities of life’.
Since then, the Danish Film Institute (DFI) has been safeguarding this relationship by providing films and related educational materials for classrooms and helping teachers to enhance their teaching methods.
The DFI offers a variety of educational activities, such as:
- Online streaming of films to schools by Filmcentralen. About 90% of schools are subscribed to the film service, which has about 1600 films to offer, mainly short fiction and documentaries. Filmcentralen provides also teaching materials and study guides.
- The ‘School Cinema’ programme uses local cinemas as a classroom. It currently involves 120 cinemas and covers 80% of the country’s municipalities, benefiting around 235,000 participants each year. All the films come with free educational material.
- FILM-X, a computer-based interactive film studio in Copenhagen, allows children to discover for themselves how a film is made and try out different roles as director, actor or editor.
CLEMI: the French media and information centre
The CLEMI is responsible for media education in France. The centre’s goal is to arm students with skills that will make them competent in reading and deciphering information and images, will sharpen their critical thinking, and finally will teach them how to form and express their opinions responsibly.
CLEMI provides training opportunities and educational support to teachers of primary and secondary education. It also provides access to a rich gallery of resources, where teachers can find publications, documentaries, teaching materials and videos.
Teachers can also find tutorials on how to create media, newspapers, blogs and websites, or even a web radio, with the participation of their students. This is a great opportunity for students to develop skills in media production and subsequently develop their linguistic skills, techniques of information and communication, civic competences, and initiative.
In 2016, CLEMI organised the event La Journée du Direct, where the students had the opportunity to produce news in the form of text, images, sound and video. For 2017, CLEMI is preparing the annual Educational Week of the press and media in schools (la Semaine de la presse et des médias dans l’école) taking place on 20-25 March.
Students’ Online Safety: European students create narratives/a European project
A very important aspect of digital literacy is to raise awareness regarding the risks of the Internet.
Between 2012 and 2014, the Lifelong Learning Programme project Students' Online Safety aimed to inform students, teachers and parents about the challenges brought by the use of digital devices, and to provide guidelines to support young people’s responsible use of digital devices and the Internet. The project focused specifically on four topics: cyberbullying, online reputation, sexting, and smartphones.
The eight project partners from different European countries involved each around 25 students, aged 15, in creating theatrical performances, video clips, posters and leaflets. While doing so the students were able to express their concerns and questions, receive accurate information, and learn about safe and correct use of digital devices. Find all the project results and outcomes here.