Media Literacy Case for Educators: empowering educators to lead media
literacy initiatives in Europe
8 minutes read | First published: September 13, 2023
The project provides teachers, trainers and librarians across
Europe with a one-of-a-kind comprehensive set of co-developed and creative
tools, resources, methods and materials.
Educators worldwide are leading the charge in spreading awareness about the benefits and potential risks of digital technologies. From schools to libraries to cultural centers, educators are equipping students of all ages with the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the digital landscape with ease. By teaching them how technology shapes their lives, educators empower the next generation to be critical thinkers who can confidently tackle challenges in their digital environment.
Precisely, in times when the quantity of Information is overwhelming, and misinformation spread is intensifying social tensions and increasing polarisation, digital and media literacy is crucial. Here is where the Media Literacy Case for Educators comes to life. European Schoolnet, International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), Save the Children (Italy), and Tactical Tech joined forces to develop effective, creative, awareness-raising educational interventions and resources such as the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that inform students and engage them in conversations about how to take proactive action.
The initiative, co-funded by the European Union, champions educators, schools, libraries, education, youth and cultural centres across Europe. These local actors and protagonists work with their communities to adapt and translate the Media Literacy Case for Educators in a way that responds to the needs and cultural particularities, creating impactful solutions at the local level.
Together with our partners, we embark on the project with the participation of over 30 European Ministries of Education, 25 insafe centres, 25 libraries in Europe and 10 organisations working with youth.
Co-Creating Critical Digital and Media Literacy Interventions for Teens: Identifying Topics, Formats and Methods
What topics do young people care about their digital lives? How can educators create effective resources that invite young people to think critically about their relationship with technologies and the digital world they want to live in? To answer these questions, the Media Literacy Case for Educators (MLCE) project used an interdisciplinary approach that intertwined the experience of educators, the perspectives of teenagers, and the insights of experts. Together, we unveiled what truly matters to the youth in their digital lives and charted a course toward the creation of innovative and effective educational resources.
How we did it:
We heard from over 100 educators and librarians about the formats and methods that are best suited for teaching DML to youth ages 13-19.
Around 300 teens from over 10 countries participated in co-development sessions to discuss the most pressing topics among their age group and concerns they have about them.
And finally, a thorough report was commissioned on effective DML education techniques and interventions from around the world.
The key takeaways:
1. Sessions with Educators: Experiences, expectations and recommendations
We invited over 100 educators from all over Europe to participate in scoping sessions where they shared ideas and recommendations of formats, methods and principles for new resources to be inspired and designed from.
Priorities of educators:
Develop captivating materials and experiences for teens by using real examples and being considerate of reduced attention spans.
Make resources that educators can adapt to fit national curricula and initiatives.
Provide content that’s age-appropriate and explained simply.
Report: "An Assessment of the Needs of Educators and Youth in Europe for a Digital and Media Literacy Education Intervention"
Understanding the field's current state is critical to developing new, effective DML resources. As part of the research phase, Tactical Tech asked a specialist in DML to conduct research on the most recent developments and findings in the field and to identify key resources.
Learnings and recommendations:
Successful experiences depend on multiple factors, including social, economic and environmental contexts. There is no one-size-fits-all method.
The integration of various strategies and methods is recommended.
Despite the complexity, it is key to find ways to evaluate the efficacy of interventions and materials.
There is a need to expand training programs for teachers and explore ways for them to learn continuously and informally, among themselves and with their students.
It is important to remember that digital literacy is not a singular concept but instead encompasses various other important literacies and skills.
"Digital and Media Literacy Education: Navigating an Ever-Evolving Landscape" Report
It wouldn’t be possible to develop effective DML resources for young people without asking them what are their interests and priorities. 293 teenagers from all over Europe participated in different co-development workshops and activities to share what matters to them, and to speculate on how tech-related topics, such as AI, gaming and influencing are shaping their futures. These sessions uncovered common topics within the teens’ ideas, concerns, needs and values which can inspire the contextualisation of new materials.
Common topics which emerged from the youth sessions:
Perceptions of young people and their online environment
Perspectives of social justice and techno-solutionism
Concerns about the dissolution of human-to-human relationships
Awareness of the increase of monitoring and control
Impact of technology on well-being, acceptance, self-image, addiction, tech-dependency and self-care
After testing through these co-development sessions, two brand new workshop outlines were published for everyone interested in hosting their own sessions. Find out more here:
If you are interested in further testing our youth co-development workshops, we’d love to hear from you! You can find the workshops here. Please contact us at email@example.com if you use the materials or have any questions.
The findings of this research phase of the MLCE project will be used as the core asset to design and co-develop effective, creative, awareness-raising educational interventions and resources that will be included in a one-of-a-kind comprehensive set of co-developed and innovative tools, methods and materials for teachers, trainers and librarians across Europe.
Follow our partners' social media and #MediaLiteracyForEducators for more information!
European Schoolnet is a network of 34 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels. As a not-for-profit organisation, it aims to bring innovation in teaching and learning to its key stakeholders: Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, researchers, and industry partners. Since its founding in 1997, European Schoolnet (EUN) has used its links with education ministries to help schools become effective in the pedagogical use of technology, equipping both teachers and pupils with the necessary skills to achieve in the digital society. In particular, it pledges to: support schools in achieving effective use of ICT in teaching and learning, improve and raise the quality of education in Europe, and promote the European dimension in education.
IFLA is the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is the global organisation for libraries of all sorts. With a mission to inspire, engage, enable and connect the global library field, it works as a platform for professionals from around the world to come together to exchange ideas and experiences and develop guidelines and standards to support the provision of excellent library services to all. It is also strongly engaged in work to build advocacy for libraries at all levels, in order to enable them to fulfil their potential to support inclusive sustainable development.
Save the Children - Since over 100 years, fighting to save children at risk and guarantee them a future. We work every day with passion, determination and professionalism in Italy and around the world to give children the opportunity to be born and grow up healthy, to receive an education and to be protected. In 2014 Save the Children launched “Enlighten the Future”, a campaign to combat educational poverty in Italy through the opening of 26 *Punti Luce - "high-density educational centers" - in the most deprived areas of the country. These area places where children and adolescents can participate to free educational, recreational and cultural activities, discover their talents and cultivate them for their future.
Today more than ever, we need to reflect critically on our relationship with technology. How do digital technologies impact the way we get informed and make decisions? How can we as a society face the 'side-effects' of an increasingly data-driven world? At Tactical Tech, a Berlin-based non-profit organisation, we design and co-develop playful and forward-looking experiences, interventions, events and educational resources that invite people to think about how technology influences their lives and changes the world they live in. Since 2013, we have joined forces with a global network of partners and civil society organisations, collaborating at the intersection of technology, research, design and art on projects that promote conversations and encourage proactive solutions.
Our local and national partners working with youth: