Workshop on screen time from a Media Literacy perspective

On January 14th I was invited again by Carlotas Deutschland to delivery an online workshop on screen time from a media literacy perspective to Brazilian moms living in Germany. Parents are still very confused about the risks and opportunities involved in the use of new digital technologies at home.

Media Literacy Series – Disinformation, Fake News and Privacy

I was been invited by Dun Laoghaire Libraries to design and deliver a Media Literacy series with webinars, workshops and educational videos on various topics related to Disinformation, Fake News and Privacy. The series lasted for 6 weeks. The full programme with links for the videos can be accessed here.

How to talk about the media with young children?

In this article from the Wired Magazine, media literacy experts give some tips for parents that want to start talking about topics related to media literacy education with their children. “It’s easier to help children develop habits around media use, inquiry, and reflection in the early years than it is to wait until they are defiant middle schoolers,” says Faith Rogow, the founding president of the National Association for Media Literacy Education in the U.S. The full article is here.

Finland’s Media Literacy curriculum starts early

In Finland, media literacy education is increasingly embedded in the curriculum and, according to one head teacher, we don’t need to wait until children are older to start talking about media in the classroom. “In maths lessons, Kivinen’s pupils learn how easy it is to lie with statistics. In art, they see how an image’s meaning can be manipulated. In history, they analyse notable propaganda campaigns, while Finnish language teachers work with them on the many ways in which words can be used to confuse, mislead and deceive”. The link for the full article is here.

Schoolchildren, digital divide and the threat of disinformation

Lie Detectors is a news literacy programme for schoolchildren aged 10-15. Its main goal is to develop in young people the critical thinking skills they need to understand news media, fight disinformation and make informed choices. More information about their work can be found here.

Its most recent report Tackling Disinformation Face to Face: Journalists’ Findings from the Classroom presents data collected during activities with more than 8,500 schoolchildren in Belgium, Germany and Austria, as well as 120 journalists and 260 teachers. It reveals that one of the most important things to help children fight disinformation is to understand how they engage with the digital platforms, as well as the divide that exists between teachers and pupils in terms of online preferences. For example, even though both teachers and pupils are active on social media, “schoolchildren are more likely to use platforms with visual content than their teachers and to venture onto new platforms such as TikTok”, the report says. Whereas teachers are more likely to use Facebook and Twitter, young people are more interested in Instagram and Snapchat. This poses a question: are teachers ready to deal with multimodal communication, where text, image, sound and other modes are combined to create meaning? They definitely need training in the basics of semiotics and multimodality to tackle this issue.

Another interesting finding is that most teachers understand the importance of media literacy and are willing to implement this kind of learning practice. However, they are often ill-equipped to teach, and for this reason less than half of them had ever discussed the topic with their students.

The full report is available here.

Media Literacy webinars by IREX

Learn to Discern (L2D) webinars for teachers

This December, IREX will offer three digital media literacy workshops for educators through the Learn to Discern programme. The idea is to help teachers understand the basics of digital media education in order to address this topic in the classroom. The focus will be on information and news literacy, where teachers will learn best practices in finding, evaluating, synthesising and using the information they find online, especially on social media platforms and search engines, such as Google. You can find more information here.

December 5th: “Introduction to Digital Media Literacy (and Why Your Students Need It)”

December 12th: “Verification 1.0: How to Help Students Make Sense of What They Read”

December 19th: “Verification 2.0: Is Seeing Believing? How to Verify Images in the Age of Fakes”

Common Sense Media latest data on young people’s online experiences

The new census released by Common Sense Media covers a period from 2015 and 2019 and shows how young people’s online experiences have changed over time. The survey was carried out in the U.S. with more than 1.600 8- to 18-year-olds.

Some of the findings include the fact that more than half of 11-year-olds have their own smartphone (and 69% of 12-year-olds); the percentage of young people watching online videos has doubled since 2015; and, the majority of teenagers spend very little time creating digital media content.

The article can be accessed here and the full report here.

Free resources for Critical Media Literacy

Critical media literacy involves teaching and learning how to interpret, understand and critically engage with both the production and consumption of media messages. It also involves the understanding of how our society works, how our culture influences the way we think and behave, and how our reality is created and represented in the stories we encounter in our everyday life.

UCLA has made available many useful resources for teachers who want to explore CML in their classroom. You can access them here.