On 14th December last year I woke up halfway up the tallest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in on a maisonette level double bed in Brussels. I got the highly efficient public transport to the edge of the city and found my way to the DG Connect building. I gave a presentation, experienced my first heckler and then listened to some very interesting people talk about fake news, propaganda, unconscious bias, the power of photographs, how politicians use targeted ads on social media, and discussions around what can we do about improving media literacy.
Without media literacy we cannot have a functioning democracy.
It was both wonderful and exhausting and I learned a lot, about media literacy and about presenting.
Here is my presentation, with notes, about what Pontydysgu and the Media in Action consortium are planning to do for Media Literacy education this year.
Participation. Learning by doing.
In the process of creating media we can teach people how media works.
My 5 year old thinks that things must be true if they are on the tv or on a computer or her teacher told her. So we thought up something which couldn’t be real, like a group of people who worship a flying spaghetti monster, spaghetti growing on trees, park benches with knitted covers… We searched for it… Then we wrote a blog together, we made fake news. We talked about how we know if something is real or not.
She trusts her teacher. This is someone who knows what is right and what is wrong. An educator is in a position not only to give one off lessons on literacy, comprehension, critical thinking… but also to embed good practice in their everyday work. Very small changes could make a big difference. Imagine if every time we talked about a story we also included a fact check, or asked how we know it’s true.
In Media in Action we want educators to be able to work with their school and community groups to use multi media (blogs, videos and podcasts) to tell their stories. Whilst creating, participants will gain an understanding of how media works, from the inside.
We are also well aware that educators face a lot of pressure, as such we would like to work with and alongside them to produce a needed, useful and meaningful resource rather than a bolt on ‘one more thing educators are responsible for’.
6-18 Educators (youth and community group leaders, teachers, trainee teachers, teaching assistants, librarians and others)
How are we going to do it?
Train educators in how to run a class/group media centre, the training will cover aspects of media literacy including news literacy, digital citizenship, freedom of the press along with content creation and storytelling.
What we have already achieved
You can join our network and request more information at this address http://mediainaction.eu/join-our-network/
Who are we?
The Media in Action consortium is a group of professionals, academics, researchers, journalists and education specialists from across Europe.