Media Literacy – The Future was Today!

Thursday 22 October Claudia Dimitriadis attended the Media Literacy Seminar powered by at Cinekid for Professionals. Read her impression below.

Media Literacy – The Future was Today!

Still thrilled after a mind blowing afternoon. During the Media Literacy Seminar powered by future developments in media literacy were addressed. Immersive learning, game-based learning, peer-to-peer engagement and rights issues all passed in review.

Jessica Piotrowski (Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam) wrapped it up as she only can. Clean, clear, to the point. Spot on, the Media literacy seminar was mainly about: children’s ability to access media with a critical and creative approach towards media. According to Mary Berkhout, in The Netherlands media literacy is called media wisdom. From now on media wisdom sounds more meaningful, in the language we all speak. It makes the topic more alive, more vivid. Isn’t it in the end all about storytelling?

Actually, media literacy can be seen as ‘’A never ending story’’, according to Matteo Zacchetti. He set the tone for the rest of the seminar by the three pillars: access, critical and creative. Ignasi Guardans followed with ‘’Everything that is not chemical is communication. Everything that is communication is media’’. Schools play an essential role in film literacy. And also policy makers do. Let them work this out together. Provide teachers in access for their students. That is where it all starts. In some European countries, as Spain, there is still a big challenge on film literacy in education. Communication is key. Good examples coming from France and Belgium.

Not only chocolate is a good dark example that comes from Belgium. Tine van Dyke showed how darkness makes education more attractive. Reminds me of the lovely little poem ‘’Thank you dark´´ says the light. ´´I am nothing without you´´. ‘’Good films make your life better’’. Lessons in the dark shines her light over film projects for 3-18 year olds. Main goal is educate kids trough topics by films, questions about the topics in the films, students meetings with guest speakers and filmmakers. Through this approach kids feel empathy and engaged with the topics.

Immersive Learning, by Joost Uitdewilligen (great point of view, and not only because of the oculus rift). His story was about others. ‘’And most people are other people’’. What do we need to change? Your own experience is key for a change. Stories help us empathize and memories are stories. Memories fuel our empathy. Meet yourself, and others, in virtual reality. Hope this really works out for the great experiment for Alzheimer.

Game Based Learning by Santeri Koivisto. A real game changer. And no, Minecraft is not just a game. ‘’Why is learning considered as boring?’’ Because of School.’’ Again: Teachers need to be taught as we already learned from Ignasi Guardans. They need help in creating new lessons for children, content and contexts of the future – and we know better, the future is now. Teachers should see their students as co-creators of education. According to Carl Bärstad, ‘’Kids are makers, so let them make’’ and/or ‘’let them have the right to do so.’’ What the hack? This sounds great. Kids Hack Day and straws – not used for the purpose it was ever invented for –  for kids. And also for  the lifelong learners. Why we did not think about this ages ago? Simply because nowadays we have digital media. Today digital media forces education to change. Luckily it is changing. So far schools trained us mainly in not thinking. Carls need for ‘’Meaningful education for everyone. Filled with questions, rather than answers’’. Is the sound that we need. Although, today most of us were also just listening instead of creating. So let’s be a good example for the next generations. Although they have better connection with digital media than most of us. They still need role models. They still need guiding. But most of all, they always need to be understood.

Today was Amsterdam, Westergasfabriek, the world’s best place, on this tiny moment, for media literacy. A place where media professionals from north, south and the middle of Europe gathered for just one purpose. Let’s never forget this: In the end it’s all about guiding  our kids to grow into persons who they want to become. Now and in the future.