Focus on media and information literacy
- BIK team
The sixth edition of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) bulletin has now been published with a focus on media and information literacy in Europe.
- The Austrian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) has published a fully-illustrated storybook for children: ‘The Online-Zoo'. This 60-page book teaches young kids (aged 3-6) digital competences and media literacy in a playful, age-appropriate way. In the book, Zoo Director Elsa tries to help all her animals who encounter some difficulties when using digital media and the internet.
- Also in Austria, the Austrian Ministry of Education has implemented a digital competences strategy. Named ‘digi.komp', it targets young people in the age groups of 6-10 and 10-14 years. The initiative aims to increase the probability that children and young people will get in touch with digital technologies and receive an education in the field of digital skills. The Austrian Safer Internet Centre has supported in a number of ways, providing handbooks and trainings for teachers.
- The Greek Safer Internet Centre used its recent project to create a Youth4Greece platform - designed with the aim of promoting the country through the eyes of children and adolescents - to highlight issues around originality, copyright and privacy online with the young project participants.
- The Hungarian Safer Internet Centre talks about an emerging phenomena of social engineering in the form of Whaling - a new take on phishing where children of executives are targeted as a way of gaining access to sensitive information of their parents. Awareness raising - for all members of the family - is one way to eliminate risk.
- An experiment by the Latvian Safer Internet Centre on assessing web content critically showed a willingness for people to offer up their private information without due consideration of how it might be used. A further social experiment in the country showed that, in the main, people treat their passwords irresponsibly. The SIC is trying to counterbalance these findings in various ways, encouraging wise use of the internet for study and other purposes.
- Media education is an important part of the curriculum in Luxembourgish primary schools. The overall aim of the interdisciplinary field of media education is the positive, responsible and safety-oriented online behaviour of pupils. To support primary school teachers in achieving this aim, BEE SECURE (the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre) offers a practical activity handbook with easy-to-use work sheets, games and activities for grade 1-6.
- In recent years, the Dutch Safer Internet Centre has considered various emerging issues, such as the challenges of customised content for creating and consuming media and advice regarding the media education of young children between the ages of birth and six years, producing white papers on such.
- In Sweden there is no single relevant policy or ministry concerning children's and young people's media use, but instead various policies dealing with these issues. In general, the policies address issues of safer internet in a broad media context, often in terms of literacy, digital competence or critical thinking. The Swedish Safer Internet Centre provides a detailed overview of approaches.
- eSafety charity Childnet (partner in 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. Developed in partnership with the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) Safeguarding Board to address the emerging area of online extremism and propaganda, the practical resource aims to provoke discussion among students so as to challenge young people to think critically about what they see online.
- BIK team
Nowadays, as we get most of our information through various media outlets, the ability to ‘read' many different types of media has become an essential skill in the 21st century.
- BIK team
In recent weeks, "fake news" has become a hot topic. In the recent US presidential elections, ‘fake news' involving both candidates and its possible influence on US voters' decision-making processes have been at the frontline of discussions.
- BIK team
- María José Velasquez Flores (Youth representative)
In this article, María José Velasquez Flores gives her views on why media and information literacy matters for young people, and why they should be encouraged to contribute to internet governance debates on such issues.
- Sonia Livingstone OBE