Professional speed dating supports the cross-sectoral cooperation in media education - experiences from the Media Education Forum

  • Awareness
  • 28/12/2017
  • Finnish Safer Internet Centre

The field of media education in Finland is broad and diverse. This variety of organisations, target groups, aims and perspectives is one of the strengths, but it also raises challenges, for example for cooperation. One way to promote and enhance cooperation is by organising mutual events for professionals in the field. Here, the Finnish Safer Internet Centre (SIC) outlines its approaches.

Mutual meetings and networking possibilities are especially important in the field related to different sectors in society and various areas of expertise. This autumn, we organised the sixth national Media Education Forum in Finland.

The event gathered around 100 professionals from different fields of society; however, all participants shared an interest in media literacy and media education. This year's themes were future and know-how in media education. The programme of the full-day seminar included a greeting from the Ministry of Education and Culture, keynote lectures from academia, working groups and media education "speed dates" for networking.

Even though the Media Education Forum is organised by the National Audiovisual Institute KAVI, one of the key aspects of the seminar is cross-sectoral cooperation which is an integral part of the day. Cooperation is achieved and promoted in several ways, for example:

  • Encouraging people to share experiences and to network through a "speed date" session or during informal parts of the day.
  • Inviting experts from different sectors to facilitate workshops and activities.
  • Having mutual discussions and concrete aims for working groups around themes concerning the whole field of media education.
  • Inviting participants to give feedback and take into account the wishes and improvement ideas when designing the programme of the next Forum.

In the media education "speed dates", the idea was to have pre-registered presenters host five-minute table discussions about the topics of interest, such as issues, ideas or cooperation possibilities. The other participants were then able to circulate, listen to and discuss various topics during the session.

Finland is geographically a large county and this creates a challenge for equity in the promotion of media education, since it is not possible for all the experts in the field to participate in events in Helsinki. However, this year we wanted to try something new and, together with our cooperation organisation Koordinaatti (Development Centre of Youth Information and Counselling), we organised a second Media Education Forum simultaneously in Oulu, in the northern part of Finland.The mutual parts of the day, for example the greetings and keynote lectures, were streamed online but, for practical reasons, the other parts of the day, such as working group discussions and networking activities were organised separately in both locations. The discussion between the participants in these simultaneous events was supported by social media tools, such as Twitter and Skype. This way, we could also support the promotion of media education and networking outside of Helsinki also.

Find out more about the work of the Finnish Safer Internet Centre (SIC), including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services.

Photos: Ville Sohn, KAVI


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