Promoting media literacy by means of the Mediepass (media passport)

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter (ZeMKI Lab:  "Socio-technical systems and critical data studies" )

Research association/cooperation: Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib)

Funding institution: Landesanstalt für Medien (LfM)

In the last 20 years, not only lifeworlds have changed significantly, but also the media worlds of children. Children‘s worlds are increasingly penetrated by media in various forms in the course of ongoing mediatization, and children‘s media appropriation  is  highly  differentiated. The concept of media worlds emphasizes the relevance of media for children that continues to grow, not least through digital media.

The growing importance of digital media in the lifeworlds of children in general and specifically for school learning and teaching and media education in particular has consequences for transformation processes in elementary school. A comparison of the analysis of media education in elementary school in the year 2000 (Tulodziecki & Six 2000) and our study on media integration in elementary school from 2012 (Breiter et al. 2013) shows a profound transformation process. Twelve years ago almost 70 percent of teachers interviewed did not use a computer in class at all (and 98 percent did not use the internet). It was only 8 percent in 2012 (26 percent with respect  to  the  internet). Digital media are used, on the one hand, like conventional media or in an over the decades established fashion (only the producation or distribution happens in digitized form, such as with movies, photos or text for the student online media). On the other hand, side digital media has gained relevance as learning tools (in almost all subjects, but especially with respect to writing and research). Educational practice does not change necessarily, but digital media are often used alongside existing teaching methods and techniques. Thus, the  critical  reflection  of  advertisements is usually of the hightest priority, while issues such as data security, privacy or personal rights are rarely content of the lesson. The authors conclude that the altered relevance, especially of digital media for children, and the resulting necessity to address these changes in media pedagogy  adequately,  has  not  found a  reasonable  response  in  elementary school. The reactions of many teachers on the non-school media habits of children  seem  to  be  mainly  characterized by  uncertainty,  mistrust  and  rejection. Against this background, the promotion of media literacy is often  reduced to a kind of „danger management“ and the teaching  of  instrumental-technical  user skills. The reflexive use of media is a rarely practiced goal of promoting media literacy in elementary school.

The media passport tries to fill exactly this gap. With its help, parents and teachers should have the opportunity to to teach safe and responsible use of media to children. The media passport consists of three elements: first, the competency framework is intended to provide parents and teachers orientation as to which kind of skills children and adolescents should acquire,  depending  on  whether  they are children in elementary school, adolescents in the 5th/6th grade or adolescents of lower secondary education (7th to 10th grade). Secondly, the curriculum compass points out how the competences of the media passport can be achieved and  contains  practical  advice  and  suggestions for teachers. The actual media passport  documents,  thirdly,  which  skill levels have already reached by the students and is meant to motivate for further study of media. The accompanying survey on the media passport investigates, based on the previous results, how the media pass port supports the promotion of media literacy in elementary schools. Using the triangulation  of  qualitative  methods  (4  school case  studies)  and  quantitative  methods (representative  teacher  survey  and  the analysis of websites‘ log files), the question of the effectiveness of the instrument is in the foreground. In addition to typical usage scenarios and the evaluation of the content, the requirements in each school will be ascertained that promote the successful use of the media passport. For  the  evaluation  it  is  also  important which role the media passport plays for inclusive education. The results of the study will be available for the further development of the services.

: Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter
Prof. Dr.

Andreas Breiter

Institution: Zentrum für Medien-, Kommunikations- und Informationsforschung (ZeMKI)

E-Mail: abreiterprotect me ?!ifibprotect me ?!.de