At the Media Literacy Day conference, organised by Cinekid and mediawijzer.net, Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, maintained more needs to be done to encourage media literacy. The conclusion, backed by many participating parties (politicians, media professionals and CEOs from home and abroad), is: ‘The Cinekid MediaLab is the class of the future.’ Jet Bussemaker, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, too, stressed the importance of media education today: ‘Our youth is responsible for the creativity and innovations of the future.’
Media literacy is the ability to understand and evaluate different types of media and communication, including interactive media, newspapers, films and images. It involves taste development among children and their understanding of how our media are realised. “To achieve this, cooperation is essential”, Commissioner Vassiliou said. She alluded to the collaboration between the government, corporations, parents and schools. Particularly teachers play a key role. Attending companies like IBM, Microsoft and Samsung also indicated that the current school system has not been fully integrated yet. ‘Every school should have its own MediaLab, really’, IBM’s Harry van Dorenmalen and Microsoft’s Eduard Beck claimed. Besides, everybody has the important role to keep adapting to the latest digital developments.
The MediaLab of the Cinekid Festival is the largest digital playground in Europe (1200 m2). Here, children learn to creatively play with the very latest digital installations and games, and can participate in several workshops. For example, they can influence the weather at the snap of a finger, bend urban screens to their will, shoot a pursuit with a flying camera or discover what happens when you hack a website. The seventy people attending the conference got a guided tour of the different elements of the MediaLab.
The Media Literacy Day conference was held on the sixth day of the ten-day festival for film, TV and new media for youngsters at the Westergasfabriek, Het Ketelhuis, MC Theatre and The Movies. Everybody is still welcome until this Friday 25 October. Last year, the festival attracted over 50,000 visitors. The Cinekid Festival is also present at more than thirty locations across the country. For more information: www.cinekid.nl.