European Centre for Media LiteracyEuropean Centre for Media Literacy

Case Studies of Conditions and Success Criteria in Media Literacy Education

Maria Koller, Astrid Haider, Elke Dall - Centre for Social Innovation, Vienna, Austria

This paper is related to the document "Guidelines for Media Literacy in Education" of the European Centre for Media Literacy.
The report supplements these guidelines with concrete project descrip-tions and examples as case studies for Media Literacy Education to show the transfer of theory into practise. The case studies gathered are enhanced with references to project websites (as at May 2005).

BASIC CONDITIONS:1

1. Curricula and curriculum guidelines must be established by the relevant authorities. Legislation must also include allocation of funds for development, dissemination and training.

2. Faculties of education must introduce training on media literacy education, hire staff capable of training future teachers in this area and offer courses in media education. There should also be academic support from tertiary institutions in the writing of curricula and in sustained consultation.

3. In-service educational opportunities at the school level for further training of educators in the area of media literacy education must be offered.

4. Suitable textbooks, other teaching material and resources, and lesson plans that are relevant to the country/area must be available.

5. There must be appropriate evaluation instruments which are suitable for the unique quality of media education.

6. The state can encourage media literacy education in schools through grants for programs, various projects and resources.

TEACHING HINTS FOR EDUCATORS:2

1. Media education must be implemented by teachers who often have great autonomy in how much media literacy education they carry out in class. Therefore educators have to take initiative and actively promote media literacy education.

2. Since media education involves such a diversity of skills and expertise, there must be a collaboration between teachers, parents, researchers and media professionals.

3. In the classroom media analysis should consist of class discussions and reflection that are the basis for constructing new knowledge and in which meanings are negotiated. Media education should be inquiry-centred, co-investigative, egalitarian and dialogic. Students should develop critical autonomy and be able to make independent judgements on media texts.

4. As an educator encourage in-depth study through comparing the extensive media coverage of a major media event or new trends in media such as the 'reality television' phenomenon. Use plenty of surveys to find out what students already know about the media.

5. Also include media production in your lessons. Do not only analyse or criticise media, but do some practical work on media. Good equipment is desirable but not essential. Constructing different media messages can also be done at little cost.

6. When constructing and deconstructing media messages specifically take into account the following, as they are often neglected:

I.) Audience: how each of us makes sense of any media text on the basis of our gender, culture, race, and our individual and collective needs.
II.) Institutions: focus on concerns about social, cultural and political relations.
III.) Industry: including critical topics such as ownership and control, the impact of transnational corporations and the global economy or cross media merchandising. Help students investigate monopolies, the extent of corporate resources for advertising and the incredibly powerful role of public relations' initiatives.

7. Do not only approach media education from a protectionist point of view. There might be problematic media consumption. Still, media education should not only judge the pleasure one can have with media. Teachers should begin by acknowledging their own problematic and contradictory culture passions and be prepared, when appropriate, to share them.

8. Teach not only 'through' but also 'about' the media. Talk about media critically and be open about political issues that may implicitly influence the media messages. The media classroom deserves openness, intellectual rigor, enthusiasm and a willingness to take risks.

9. Encourage searching for different opinions and statements aside from mainstream media. Use concrete topics to demonstrate how the dominant media are able to manufacture consent. Try to encourage students to transfer their insights gathered in classroom into other areas of everyday life: the politics of schooling, the role of authority in the family, the world of work. Explore alternatives to mainstream media. Look for media books and periodicals offering alternatives to mainstream media coverage. As well, you might want to consider novels with media themes as a stimulating classroom resource.

10. Try to stay up to date! Constantly changes occur concerning media, especially new media. To stay relevant, media education must address comprehensively the new and converging communication technologies, from multimedia to the Internet. New media also have different forms of media language as opposed to traditional media.

11. Get in contact with other teachers! Educators need to keep up with this constantly changing field and share ideas with colleagues.

1 See also Pungente (n.year) [top]
2 See also Duncan (2001)

BASIC CONDITIONS:

1. Curricula and curriculum guidelines must be established by the relevant authorities. Legislation must also include allocation of funds for development, dissemination and training.

As stated in the “Guidelines for Media Literacy in Education” of the European Centre for Media Literacy (http://www.ecml-eu.org – available in English, Finnish, German, French, Spanish and Italian), education systems in Europe vary a lot. Media education can be integrated in the formal school education system in two ways as a separate subject in the curriculum or as an integral part of all subjects in school. Media literacy is an interdisciplinary subject and therefore not limited to certain classes or age groups although media education is most prevalent in mother-tongue education. In all European countries, legislative bodies like Ministries of Education are responsible for media education curricula, curricula guidelines and other relevant tasks. Additionally there are further institutions that deal with media education by order of the ministries in some countries, as an example in Belgium the “Conseil de l'éducation aux medias” (CEM).

Austria is one example of a country that is strongly supporting the integration of media education in all subjects (interdisciplinary) as an education principle. In this country, the legislations have been set up in the following way:

• The legal framework is constituted in the “Grundsatzerlass zur Medienerziehung” of the Ministry for Education, Science and Culture and contains the basics, the definition of media education and didactics, objectives of media education, guidelines and examples for the realisation of media education in relation to the syllabus. It is offered for download at:
http://www.mediamanual.at/mediamanual/leitfaden/medienerziehung/grundsatzerlass (available in German).

The following elements are available as additional guidelines:

• The “e-Content-Erlass” (http://www.virtuelleschule.at/e-content/ – available in German), a decree of the ministry, includes guidelines for the production of e-content, the definition of learning objects, learning modules, learning units and learning sequences and shows practical examples.

• The papers called “Integrative Medienerziehung” comprise guidelines and helpful suggestions for integrative media education provided by the ministry. The site http://www.bmbwk.gv.at/medienpool/7832/PDFzuPubID407.pdf (available in German) focuses on advice for teaching pupils aged 6 to 10 and http://www.bmbwk.gv.at/medienpool/7835/PDFzuPubID410.pdf (available in German) for pupils aged 14 to 19.

A country in which media education has an important part in the curricula is the UK. Media education there is integrated in mother-tongue education. Since 1995, it can be taught as a subject on itself and it even can be chosen as a key subject in colleges, but this solution is not very common. In the UK, it is possible for students aged 14 and over to follow formal, specialist courses in Media Studies and Film Studies in schools, leading to qualifications at the level of the General Certificate in Secondary Education (GCSE) at age 16, at AS Level (age 17), at A2 Level (age 18) and at Advanced Highers (in Scotland only, at age 18). These courses are optional and are not offered by all schools. At the national curriculum site (http://www.nc.uk.net/index.html – available in English) one can see how media education and ICT are integrated in the curriculum of various subjects, such as Art and English. The “National Curriculum in Action” site (http://www.ncaction.org.uk/ – available in English) helps to see how the advice and guidance are translated into practice. A document that demonstrates Media Studies and Media Studies Assessment at GCSE level is offered by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (http://www.aqa.org.uk/qual/pdf/AQA-3571-W-SP-06.pdf – available in English).

An example for a state that allocates funds for training teachers in media competence is Sweden (http://www.hgur.se/activities/projects/grundutb/index_financed_projects.htm#Teacher – available in English). In this country the requirements for teacher-training were changed by the legislation. According to the new rules all students in teacher-training must be able to apply information technologies in class and for their own education. The Council for the Renewal of Undergraduate Education supports the use of ICT in teacher training. The programme included the following projects: “Pedagogical IT Forum”, “The traces of yesterday can teach us today”, “The concert of centuries”, “Basic information technology competence for educators”, “Communications and information technologies in teacher education”, “Languages IT Environment”, “ReGU - an electronic service network and the use of IT and interactive programmes in teacher training”. [top]

2. Faculties of education must introduce training on media literacy education, hire staff capable of training future teachers in this area and offer courses in media education. There should also be academic support from tertiary institutions in the writing of curricula and in sustained consultation.

In Germany, the symposium “Neue Medien in der Lehrerausbildung” dealt with model schemes of integrating media education in teacher training in the year 2000. In the context of the symposium the basics of a framework concept and the concept itself were introduced through presentations from experts and workshops for the realising of the concepts were held. The results of the
symposium are available at http://www.learnline.nrw.de/angebote/zukunftlehren/ (available in German).

Another example from Germany is the website “Medienkompetenz in Schule und Unterricht” (mksu) which can be found on the platform Learn:Line (http://www.learn-line.nrw.de/angebote/mksu/basiseinheiten.jsp?id=9 – available in German). “mksu” offers materials for media competence in schools and special guidelines for teacher-training in the first and second stage and for further education of teachers in the area of media and information technologies.

One example in Finland is the Media Education Centre of the Department of Teacher Education of the University of Helsinki (http://www.helsinki.fi/sokla/english/media/ – available in English and Finnish), which conducts research and developmental work on media education. In addition, the Media Education Centre aims at organising degree courses and other initial teacher education courses in media education, organising in-service teacher education courses in media education, coordinating and taking part in national and international projects connected to media education, contributing to international consultancy operations, and disseminating information and knowledge with respect to rapidly evolving media education systems.

In Austria, e.g. the Centre for Education and Media of the Danube University in Krems (http://www.donau-uni.ac.at/zbm – available in German) is engaged in pedagogical, creativity, technical and administrative aspects of the information society. The aim of the provided trainings is the selective and demand-orientated use of media at the level of post-graduate education. Contents are the effects of media on emotions, ideas and behaviour as well as the research on the optimal application of new interaction and communication forms. The following courses are given: Professional MSc Educational Technology (E-Teaching & E-Learning), Professional MSc Educational Technology (IKT Management for educational institutions), Professional MSc Educational Technology (Media pedagogic), Profes-sional MSc Educational Technology (Procurement of culture in the education sector through multi-media), Professional
MSc E-Sport and Competitive Computer Gaming. [top]

3. In-service educational opportunities at the school level for further training of educators in the area of media literacy education must be offered.

A good practice example in Portugal is Prof2000 (http://www.prof2000.pt – available in Portuguese). This is a Portuguese national network for teacher-training and distance education through ICT and the Internet. It started at the end of 1998 as an outcome of the participation of Portuguese organisations in the European project TRENDS. The Ministry of Education (DREC) manages the Prof2000
network and it brings together 28 local teacher-training centres and 90 schools (elementary, secondary and upper secondary). A central node (training centre) gives guidance to the local teacher-training centres and delivers online courses to teachers. This central node also supports – technically and pedagogically – activities based on ICT held in Prof2000 schools. Each school has a teacher who works on the programme.

In Finland, an important example for the integration of ICT in teacher-training is “OPE.FI”. The Finnish Ministry of Education has launched this programme within the “National Strategy for Education, Training and Research in the Information Society” for 2000-2004 (http://www.minedu.fi/julkaisut/information/englishU/ - available in English) in order to improve the ICT-skills of the in-service teachers and teaching personnel. These skills have been divided in three different levels of know-how: “OPE.FI I Basic skills in ICT in teaching” (100% of teachers), “OPE.FI II Further skills in ICT in teaching” (50% of teachers), and “OPE.FI III Special skills in ICT in
teaching”(10% of teachers). Level 1 is organised as peer-to-peer learning. The programme covers the teachers in pre-schools, comprehensive and upper secondary schools, vocational education and people's colleges and institutes. The National Board of Education (NBE - http://www.oph.fi - available in Finnish, English, and Swedish) finances the training of the tutors coordinated by the
co-operating partner OPEKO and provided by different training organisations and also gives extensive financial support to the local authorities participating in this project. In addition, the NBE has released different teaching materials to support the project. It is distributed free of charge via internet for all participating individuals. Further information can be found at “EDU.fi”, an educational portal published by the National Board of Education (http://www.edu.fi - available in Finnish, English, and Swedish).

An Italian example is the institutional centre “Zaffiria” (http://www.zaffiria.it/file_Zaffiria/zaffiria.htm – available in Italian), which is based in Bellaria, a town close to Rimini in the region of Emilia-Romagna. This centre proposes several workshops focused on media education with the support of tools, books and guidelines gathered in the main library. Media education is used here as backbone to create a stronger bond between people and territory. In such cases, media education gets together parents and teachers for fruitful discussions on how young people approach the world of media. The centre was created on the basis of Emilia-Romagna regional law on the right to study together with the “Bellaria Igea Marina Municipality”.

One example in Germany is the section “Pedagogic and Media” of the Pedagogical Institute of Munich, the regional capital of Bavaria. It offers training courses, advice and a lot of materials for the working with new media in schools that can be found at http://www.pifwe.muc.kobis.de/fobi61/ (under “Pädagogik Neue Medien” – available in German). [top]

4. Suitable textbooks, other teaching material and resources, and lesson plans that are relevant to the country/area must be available.

In Austria, suitable material is offered by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, by the regional “Bildstellen” and further institutions that are concerned with media and education. Suitability of teaching materials is checked through a department in the ministry. Textbooks and brochures in print format as well as internet resources, compact disks and other portable media can be ordered at these facilities. Additionally a journal for media education named “Medienimpulse” is sent to all schools by the ministry four times a year. On the platform Mediamanual (http://www.mediamanual.at/ – available in German) which is initiated by the ministry, basic knowledge about film and radio, ideas and guidelines for teachers to realise the teaching principle media education in various school subjects and at various school levels in relation with the Austrian syllabus are offered.

In Germany, the platform Medi@Culture-Online (http://www.mediaculture-online.de – available in German) offers teaching modules for media education that are also related to the education plan. These modules contain all necessary information, materials and further details to teach media in the classroom and try to enhance media competence in specific school subjects as well as interdisciplinary.
Another German platform that supports teachers in planning media education lessons is Learn-line. The collection of examples shows how multifaceted media education can be realised. These examples comprise lessons with “old” and “new” media and lessons for the reflection, production and analysis of media and are provided at:
http://www.learnline.nrw.de/angebote/medienbildung/Beispiele/eins.htm (available in German).

In the UK, good resources for media education are offered by MediaEd – the UK media education website (http://www.mediaed.org.uk/ – available in English). Teachers and educators can search there for resources that differ in the area of education, type of material, media and subject area. Another British example is Becta (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency), the UK
Government's key partner in the strategic development and delivery of its information and communication technology (ICT) and
e-learning strategy for the schools and the learning and skills sectors. At the Becta-site (http://www.ictadvice.org.uk – available in English) teachers get ICT advice for different subjects and can find ideas for the integration of ICT in lessons.

One example for an Italian portal in the area of media education is “Il Mediario” (http://www.ilmediario.it/cont/home.php – available in Italian), a constantly updated website on media education. “Il Mediario” was created by a Cultural Association called “Tutor” (http://www.actutor.it/index.php – available in Italian), which integrates a small section dedicated to the know-how of media education including teaching hints for educators, seminars in Italy and laboratories. Additionally “Il Mediario” provides a special section for movies, TV, theatre and all other kinds of media. [top]

5. There must be appropriate evaluation instruments which are suitable for the unique quality of media education.

To measure the quality of media education is very difficult. There are many aspects that are not really measurable such as critical attitudes and creativity. At least there are some general guidelines that help to manage quality.

General guidelines for the evaluation and assessment of media literacy can be found in articles offered by the Canadian Media Awareness Network at http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/teachers/media_literacy/assess_media.cfm (available in English).

On the German platform “Lehrer-Online“(http://www.lehrer-online.de/url/medienkonzept – under “In 6 Schritten zur Medienkompetenz” – available in German), a project by the “Schulen ans Netz-Initiative”, teachers can find a document that shows guidelines for a media concept that integrates at the last point the evaluation of media education. It includes a questionnaire for pupils and a check list for teachers as orientation.

A document that demonstrates Media Studies Assessment at GCSE level in Great Britain is offered by the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (http://www.aqa.org.uk/qual/pdf/AQA-3571-W-SP-06.pdf – available in English).

An example for requirements and appraisal criteria for media education in mother-tongue lessons in Germany can be found in the framework-plan for the subject German for integrative secondary comprehensive schools
(http://www.hamburger-bildungsserver.de/bildungsplaene/Sek-I_GS/DEU_GS_SEKI.PDF – available in German) and grammar schools (http://www.hamburger-bildungsserver.de/bildungsplaene/Sek-I_Gy8/DEU_Gy8.pdf – available in German).

A new method to document and assess media competence of pupils is the development of portfolios for media competence. A portfolio includes the collection of documents with the purpose to demonstrate a learning process, a part of or even the whole learning biography of an individual. That could be several produced materials, testimonials, prizes, certificates, etc. An important aim of portfolio work is increasing the self-reflection by pupils. Portfolio Assessment allows pupils to demonstrate their skills in different areas and can be used for different intentions and therefore differs in a working portfolio, an assessment portfolio, a best-work portfolio, a process portfolio, an interdisciplinary unit portfolio, a celebration portfolio, an application portfolio, and a presentation portfolio. For media education another portfolio type, the e-portfolio (virtual portfolio for e-learning), is very useful. Further information to definitions, various types and the development of portfolios is offered at:
http://arbeitsblaetter.stangl-taller.at/PRAESENTATION/portfolio.shtml (available in German).
Very detailed information about the integration of portfolios for media competence such as goals, concepts, elements, practical examples, recommendations, etc. are provided on the portal Learn:Line in the working area “Portfolio: Media Competence” (http://www.learn-line.nrw.de/angebote/portfoliomk/medio/portfolio/index.htm - available in German). [top]

6. The state can encourage media literacy education in schools through grants for programs, various projects and resources.

The state can encourage media literacy through programmes, projects and initiatives such as general programmes that support the technology based requirements, platforms that offer resources and guidelines for media education, grants for school radios, awards for teachers and pupils and teacher-training.

“Activities for the development of advanced services in the schools of the southern regions” are supported by the Italian State, funded by CIPE with the support of “Innovazione Italia”, the operative section of the Ministry of Innovation and Technologies, the Ministry of Education and all regions interested in taking part to the initiative (see press release at: http://www.innovazione.gov.it/eng/comunicati/2004/2004_10_11.shtml – available in English). By drawing on digital content and leveraging interactive tools, each element in the teaching of humanities can be enriched by contextualisation, through links that explore time (history), space (geography) and the social context (general and economic cultural studies). The system is also ideal for those subjects that require practice and verification such as mathematics, algebra, chemistry and physics, as well as for the teaching of languages, and even art subjects and music. Further, digital teaching can also be moulded to fit local cultures, to match the educational levels of the students as well as their social profile and respond to students' interest in their local environment.

An example in Finland is the “Information Society Programme for Education, Training and Research 2004 – 2006” (http://www.minedu.fi/julkaisut/koulutus/2004/opm14/opm14.pdf - available in English). The programme contains major priorities and actions for boosting the information society development in education, training and research. The programme is geared to develop all citizens’ information society knowledge and skills, to enable educational institutions to use information and communications technology (ICT) in a versatile way in their activities, to establish ICT-based procedures in education, training and research, and to promote social innovation through the use of ICT. Further information concerning the Finnish information society is provided at “e-Finland - a Window to Finnish Information Society” (http://e.finland.fi - available in English), which brings together knowl-edge and information related to Finnish information society achievements.

In Europe, the following projects supported by the European Commission facilitate media education in schools and initiate the participation of various European countries:

• eTwinning (http://www.etwinning.net – available in 21 languages) is part of the European Commission’s eLearning programme. European Schoolnet has been granted the role of Central Support Service (CSS). This initiative is supported by a network of National Support Services (NSS). eTwinning is generalising partnerships where two schools from two different European countries take advantage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to work together in order to harvest pedagogical, social and cultural benefits. It provides an opportunity to motivate young people to learn about each other, their school culture, and family while practising their ICT skills at the same time. At the eTwinning homepage materials such as good practice examples and ideas for projects are offered for teachers.

• The portal Elearningeuropa (http://www.elearningeuropa.info – available in 20 languages) provides many resources such as articles, studies, official documents and good practice cases.

• Also the Sokrates Minerva Action seeks to promote European co-operation in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Open and Distance Learning (ODL) in education (http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/programmes/socrates/minerva/index_en.html – available in English). Its objectives are to promote understanding among teachers, learners, decision-makers and the public at large of the implications of the use of ICT in education, as well as the critical and responsible use of ICT for educational purposes; to ensure that pedagogical considerations are given proper weight in the development of ICT and multimedia-based educational products and services; and to promote access to improved methods and educational resources as well as to results and best practices in this field.

• Virtual School (http://vs.eun.org – available in English) is part of the European Schoolnet (http://www.eun.org – available in Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish) and encourages the collaboration between schools in Europe. The virtual school site is for European teachers run by European teachers. It is managed and hosted by European Schoolnet. At virtual school teachers can search for various resources such as articles, links, projects, competitions and communities.

• ENIS (European Network of Innovative Schools - http://enis.eun.org – available in English, French, and German): ENIS schools have been selected as some of the most innovative schools in their home countries when using information and communication technologies for teaching and learning. A special certificate is awarded to each school by European Schoolnet in conjunction with the national Ministries of Education. The responsibility of ENIS schools are: act as examples of good practice, prepare school presentations for seminars and exhibitions; assure that the schools’ homepages are regularly updated, including projects, activities and the quality of the learning environment; improve internal quality as suggested in the e-Learning policies and take part in the knowledge society.

TEACHING HINTS FOR EDUCATORS: [top]

1. Media education must be implemented by teachers who often have great autonomy in how much media literacy education they carry out in class. Therefore educators have to take initiative and actively promote media literacy education.

The creation of a media concept supports teachers to facilitate media education in their schools and classrooms:

• In six steps to a media concept: A media concept for a school is a very specific survey including the definition of a goal prospect. It should offer pedagogical arguments for the application of new media and helpful proposals as well as it should describe the way of mediating media competence and provide help. A guideline for the development of a media concept can be found at:
http://www.lehrer-online.de/url/medienkonzept (available in German).

• Another resource for the development of a school-concept for media education is offered at:
http://www.learn-line.nrw.de/angebote/lehrerfortbildung/medienbildung/artikel/tulo.pdf (available in German) on the platform
Learn-Line. The development of a logical media concept is an indispensable task. Therefore these guidelines that can build the framework for a media concept were developed. The resource also provides practical examples in conjunction with the concrete
education plans in Germany.

Teachers can search support in idea collections, platforms and good practice examples:

• The portal European Medi@culture-Online (http://www.european-mediaculture.org – available in English, French, and German) provides many resources for teachers such as articles, know-how for media production, specials, and projects.

• On the German portal Learn:line the sections “Learning with new media“ (http://www.learn-line.nrw.de/angebote/neuemedien/ – available in German) and the section “Media Education“ (http://www.learn-line.nrw.de/angebote/medienbildung/ – available in German) support the learning and teaching with new media and documents exemplary teaching ideas and experiences, lesson examples, concepts and helpful suggestions. A forum for teachers allows an exchange of ideas.

• An Italian organization that approaches media literacy as means of defining cultural differences is COSPE (http://www.cospe.it/chifgb/chisiamo.htm – available in English). As an NGO, it created a specific section for media education within its research programme, called “Media & Multiculturalità” (http://www.mmc2000.net/index.php – available in Italian). This portal keeps up the pace of media as an ever changing subject, by proposing a multicultural media archive, a section for media education (including two EU projects the organisation participates in), and laws regarding media in Europe and beyond. This portal also advertises a national prize on multicultural media called “Premio Souhir” (http://www.premiomostafasouhir.it/ – available in Italian).

• A source of good practice examples is the platform eTwinning, a project of the European Schoolnet supported by the European Commission as part of the eLearning programme. At http://www.etwinning.net/ww/en/pub/etwinning/good_practice.htm (available in 21 languages) good practice examples and other resources are available.

• One practical example in Italy is an initiative by a group of teachers who felt the desire to dive into the Internet with a website called “Meridiano scuola” (http://www.meridianoscuola.it/index.php – available in Italian). This site presents several sections related to many aspects of teaching, including also a section for “media education”. The site provides an updated list of events taking place in Italy as well as news related to projects, laws and initiatives focused on media literacy.

Teachers are also encouraged to take initiative through awards:

• One Finnish example is the international children’s and young people’s film event Videotivoli (http://www.videotivoli.fi/index2.htm - available in English and Finnish) in Tampere. Videotivoli lasts a whole week, during which films and videos made by children younger than 16 years from all continents can be seen. In the year 2005, Videotivoli also arranged a meeting for animation professionals from the Nordic and Baltic countries and from Southwest Russia, during which the participants could demonstrate their animation projects and methods. In addition, the open seminar “From imagination to moving images – practical tools for video workshops with children”, which was aimed at media educators, school teachers and other people working with children, took place.

• One example in Austria is the media literacy award (mla – http://www.mediamanual.at/mediamanual/projekte/eng_mla.php – available in English and German) initiated by the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture, in which media productions by teachers and pupils all over Europe can be handed in. Additionally a platform for the support of the participants is arranged.

• An European example are the E-Learning Awards of the European Schoolnet. The awards are aimed at teachers and schools to reward projects, activities, online resources and school websites for innovation and excellent use of ICT in learning and teaching. More information can be gathered at http://elearningawards.eun.org/ww/en/pub/elearningawards2005 (available in English). [top]

2. Since media education involves such a diversity of skills and expertise, there must be a collaboration between teachers, parents, researchers and media professionals.

General suggestions and possibilities for the collaboration are for example regular meetings with interested parents, invitations of researcher and media specialists to schools, classes or parent-teacher-conferences.

On the platform Medi@Culture-Online teachers can find an article concerning the parental involvement in media education. Contents are preliminary ideas, goals, models and selected methods for the work with parents. The article is available at:
http://www.mediaculture-online.de/fileadmin/bibliothek/arbeiter_elternarbeit/arbeiter_elternarbeit.pdf (available in German).

The following practical examples should outline, how the collaboration between teachers, parents, researchers, and media professionals can take place. The projects have been chosen by the official eSchola national liaisons as example of ICT best practice in European education.

• “Dschola” is an Italian regional project (set up in Piedmont) aimed at stimulating greater attention to ICT by involving students, teachers and families in partnership with schools. Its target is to create and stimulate a virtual community for schools through the official website, improve the excellence of the Centres of Service, Animation and Experimentation through experimentation activities; stimulate, sustain and improve the training among teachers; stimulate, sustain and improve the cooperation between the centres and their territorial schools. Further information can be found at http://www.dschola.it (available in Italian) or at:
http://eschola.eun.org/eun.org2/eun/en/eschola2003_Showcase/content.cfm?ov=25681&lang=en (available in English).

• The “Web@Classroom” project is a Minerva project and involves four primary schools in Europe - UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal.
It aims to understand the innovation processes in a classroom permanently connected to the Internet. The impact on teachers (pedagogical practice, patterns of ICT use in curricular subjects) and on pupils (learning outcomes, development of research skills, development of skills to critically appraise web-based information and application of these skills to developing knowledge in the subject area) are of particular interest. As an action-research project, it uses collaborative work strategies between researchers, school teachers and pupils to help them integrate ICT into the curriculum. More information is provided at:
http://www.minerva.uevora.pt/webclassroom/index.htm (available in English, Portuguese, and Spain) or at:
http://eschola.eun.org/eun.org2/eun/en/eschola2003_Showcase/content.cfm?ov=25396&lang=en (available in English). [top]

3. In the classroom media analysis should consist of class discussions and reflection that are the basis for constructing new knowledge and in which meanings are negotiated. Media education should be inquiry-centred, co-investigative, egalitarian and dialogic. Students should develop critical autonomy and be able to make independent judgements on media texts.

In general, it is important for teachers to consider pupils as equivalent discussion partners and support reciprocal learning about media. Some pupils are experts at specific media themes and teachers could encourage them to share their knowledge with each other. When pupils are actively integrated in media education lessons, productive discussions and independent and critical opinions about media themes can be the result. True dialogue is not conducted through loose, rambling discussion but dialectically, leading
students to critical autonomy. Such an expectation implies that they are capable of making independent judgements on future media texts (Duncan, 2001).

Teachers can orientate on the “Inquiry Model” for teaching media education which is described in the article: “10 classroom approaches to media literacy” at the Center for Media Literacy (http://www.medialit.org/reading_room/article338.html – available in English).

Teachers can find know-how for practical media work and lesson modules for different school levels e.g. on the German platform Medi@Culture-Online (http://www.mediaculture-online.de – available in German) and on the Austrian platform Mediamanual (www.mediamanual/leitfaden/index.php – available in German) and use them for critical media education and to encourage critical opinions. [top]

4. As an educator encourage in-depth study through comparing the extensive media coverage of a major media event or new trends in media such as the 'reality television' phenomenon. Use plenty of surveys to find out what students already know about the media.

To encourage in-depth study media events such as the death of John Paul II, the Asian Tsunami, the media and the war in Iraq and new media trends such as a new Star Wars film; the trend of artificially created bands and the impact of the “reality television” phenomenon can be the subject of analysis in media education lessons. At the Canadian Media Awareness Network
(http://www.media-awareness.ca – available in English and French) many resources and topics are offered that support in-depth study. Starting in 2001, teachers have access to events and issues from “young people’s” pop culture available from “Barry’s Bulletin” (http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/educational/barrys_bulletins/index.cfm – available in English) created for the Media Awareness Network. Each monthly bulletin offers a treasure trove for teachers: lessons and activities on current media-related events, reviews of recommended resources, upcoming events of interest to media educators, and quotes from experts in Canada and around the world.

A questionnaire concerning the media knowledge of pupils can be found on the platform Media-manual (http://www.mediamanual.at/mediamanual/projekte/download/materalien/Frageb_Jugendliche.pdf – available in German).

A practical example that shows the comparison of different media approaches towards a certain topic is offered on the platform Medi@Culture-Online with the lesson theme “Matilda – a comparison of the book and the film” and can be found at http://www.mediaculture-online.de/Literaturverfilmung.575+M5dc88156419.0.html (available in German). Based on the comparison of the book “Matilda” by Roald Dahl with the film version, students should learn to identify the special features of films, and how stylistic elements in films can influence the viewers.

To keep up to date on media phenomenon and trends, teachers can use online magazines, newsletter or platforms. Good resources for this purpose are provided by the Centre for Advanced Technology in Education of the University of Oregon (http://interact.uoregon.edu/MediaLit/mlr/home/ – available in English). This site contains links to various teaching resources,
online-journals, lesson plans-units, curriculum standards, research, and courses in media literacy; readings; feature pages and organisations. [top]

5. Also include media production in your lessons. Do not only analyse or criticise media, but do some practical work on media. Good equipment is desirable but not essential. Constructing different media messages can also be done at little cost.

The area of media production in lessons is wide. Media production does not have to be very complex. As an example, the construction of posters, photos, storyboards, etc. can be done easily. Nevertheless the production of internet pages, video, radio and music clips, and other extensive productions are valuable experiences for pupils. But an important principle to consider is: Quality before Quantity. For the realisation of projects, teachers can search for help by media experts, media institutions, and parents.

MediaEd, the UK site for media education, offers general guidelines for media production projects including factors and basic elements to consider. The guidelines can be read at http://www.mediaed.org.uk/posted_documents/Firstprod.html (available in English).

On the German platform Medi@Culture-Online (http://www.mediaculture-online.de – available in German) lesson modules for different school levels show the integration of media production in the class-room.

One practical example to show how a media production project can be organised and realised through the collaboration of various institutions is the project “Storymailing” (http://www.kids.muc.kobis.de/projekte/storymailing/start/storymailing_index_start.htm – available in German). It was initiated by the “Working Community Game-Landscape City” in Munich and supported by schools, the city library of Munich, the Siemens Forum and the children’s information shop. In the project pupils created figures, situations and stories and could realise these ideas in texts, paintings, role-playing and internet sites. “Storymailing” was designed for children aged eight to twelve years and methods of active media work were combined with narrative methods and “game-pedagogic”. In 2003 the “Society for Media Pedagogic” awarded the “Dieter-Baake-Prize” to this project.

Another example for good media production projects are the winners of the Media Literacy Award (mla) of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture in various categories of media. These winner projects are presented at:
http://www.mediamanual.at/mediamanual/projekte/eng_gewinner.php (available in English and German) and also as audio or video files (available in German).

The production of portfolios (see also description of evaluation instruments in this document) is an innovative method which can help to meaningfully integrate media production and media education as a teaching principle in various lessons. A special type is the celebration portfolio which collects the work of pupils for a subject or topic whose special object of investigation must be developed by the pupils for this purpose and enhances a question with pupil’s own workings with help and feed-back of the teacher. More information to the integration of portfolios in lessons can be found at:
http://www.learn-line.nrw.de/angebote/portfoliomk/medio/portfolio/index.htm (available in German). [top]

6. When constructing and deconstructing media messages specifically take into account the following, as they are often neglected:

I.) Audience: how each of us makes sense of any media text on the basis of our gender, culture, race, and our individual and collective needs.
II.) Institutions: focus on concerns about social, cultural and political relations.
III.) Industry: including critical topics such as ownership and control, the impact of transnational corporations and the global economy or cross media merchandising. Help students investigate monopolies, the extent of corporate resources for advertising and the incredibly powerful role of public relations' initiatives.

In general, teachers should try to make pupils aware of these topics. As an example, teachers and pupils can take a look at sites including media representation of schools, hospitals or military and use documentaries on strong global brands such as Coca Cola and McDonald’s. Teachers should seek out film, television and sound producers, photographers, journalists, advertisers, public relation agencies, and other media institutions to help pupils identify how media are developed, how information is filtered for a specific audience and used for advertisement, and how marketing strategies are designed, etc. Additionally teachers can organise trips to shopping malls, theme parks, video arcades or some upscale urban sites that will reveal interesting social and semiotic analysis.

Clues for the critical discussion of topics in relation to audience, institutions and industry can be found on the Media Awareness portal in an article that describes the key concepts of media literacy
(http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/teachers/media_literacy/key_concept.cfm – available in English).
These key concepts are supplemented by practical examples on the website
http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/educational/teachable_moments/key_concepts_in_action.cfm (available in English).

Other helpful articles in relation to media audience, institutions and industry such as Global Media Issues and topics that deal with Media Industry/Economics are provided at the US-American “Center for Media Literacy” (http://www.medialit.org/ – under “Media Issues/Topics” – available in English). [top]

7. Do not only approach media education from a protectionist point of view. There might be problematic media consumption. Still, media education should not only judge the pleasure one can have with media. Teachers should begin by acknowledging their own problematic and contradictory culture passions and be prepared, when appropriate, to share them.

Teachers can for example encourage students to write thoughtful papers on their media pleasures and initiate the use of media logs for open-ended responses. Another possibility is a discussion and critical analysis of soaps, reality-television-formats, computer games and other media productions and talking about the pleasure caused by these formats – and accept this pleasure. Teachers should always point out both sides, the negative and the positive and show examples for those as well as for video and computer games. The main aim is that pupils become critical users and reflect their own media consumption. For this purpose an equal, critical and collaborative dialogue with pupils is necessary.

The project “Games bis Augen weg” shows one possibility to realise this guideline and is initiated by the “Sin-Studio in Net-Society” in Germany. The main objective of the project is to organise a night for young people to play computer games according to their preferences and not get proscribed for them. Additionally communication rooms for getting in contact with other players are offered. The project contains a combination of virtual and real experience rooms in a collaborative atmosphere. Among adolescents also parents and pedagogues have the opportunity to test computer games, watch games and players and form an opinion about the topic. The connective character of games is used to create collaborative experiences for the players. Further information is available at: http://www.medienpaedagogik-online.de/mkp/00429/druck.pdf (available in German) or at: http://www.sin-net.de
(available in German). [top]

8. Teach not only 'through' but also 'about' the media. Talk about media critically and be open about political issues that may implicitly influence the media messages. The media classroom deserves openness, intellectual rigor, enthusiasm and a willingness to take risks.

Teachers can model texts with interesting constructions and encourage students to investigate examples which they might take for granted, e.g. newspaper, articles, documentaries, and commercials.

One method for exploring media is project work. Pupils are responsible for their own activities, learning effects and outcomes and teachers support them. Although project work implies a little amount of risk, teachers should apply it in media education lessons because it offers an atmosphere of openness, activity and creativity and makes pupils independent and critical users of media. A general guideline for project work can be found at http://mnsp.bildung-rp.de/alt/materialienprojektarbeit.htm (available in German).

Basic knowledge and know-how of media and media production that can be used for investigation is offered on the German platform Medi@Culture-Online (http://www.mediaculture-online.de/Know-how.37.0.html – available in German), the Austrian platform Mediamanual (http://www.mediamanual.at/mediamanual/leitfaden/index.php – available in German), etc. [top]

9. Encourage searching for different opinions and statements aside from mainstream media. Use concrete topics to demonstrate how the dominant media are able to manufacture consent. Try to encourage students to transfer their insights gathered in classroom into other areas of everyday life: the politics of schooling, the role of authority in the family, the world of work. Explore alternatives to mainstream media. Look for media books and periodicals offering alternatives to mainstream media coverage. As well, you might want to consider novels with media themes as a stimulating classroom resource.

Teachers can use the bounty of material on topics such as the Iraq War and the tobacco industry PR spin etc. to demonstrate how the dominant media are able to manufacture consent. Teachers should also encourage mainstream readings of popular texts e.g. “Friends”, “Dawson’s Creek”, and “Do you want to be a millionaire?” and then model some oppositional readings.
A practical example is the Italian initiative “Radioscuola. La voce degli studenti”. It has been created in Pisa and can be considered as a repository of experiences from adolescents, who talked about the impact of media on topics of common interest like war, identity and health. An article related to this project can be found at: http://www.ilmediario.it/cont/articolo.php?canale=Radio&articolo=148 (available in Italian).

Teachers should offer alternatives to mainstream media: Among the subscription of “Media Entertainment Journals” also periodicals such as Media Studies Journals, etc. can be included in the classroom’s media perspectives.
An example for a printed alternative medium in Italy is provided through the initiative of the newspaper “L’Avvenire”. In a nation of people who have lost grip with reading, this newspaper published a bimonthly issue aimed at children which presents topics in a very simple way, without including advertisements, famous singers or actors to lure children to read, only by presenting news through words. The issue is called “Popotus” (http://www.popotus.it/ – available in Italian) and has also involved some Italian primary schools into the creation of their own newspaper.

In the web catalog “Allemannda” (http://www.allemannda.com – under “News and Media” - available in 14 languages), teachers can find many resources concerning all kinds of media, such as media statistics, mainstream and alternative media, journals, etc.

Teachers can incorporate in media studies the most useful insights of media critics such as Noam Chomsky, Herbert Schiller, and Mark Crispin Miller but should avoid being seduced into rigidly holding monolithic interpretations which may be occasionally tinged with paranoia.

As well, novels with media themes such as Burgess: Clockwork Orange; Kosinski: Being There; De Lillo: White Noise; Copeland: Generation X. and Willis: Bellwether can be used as stimulating classroom resources. [top]

10. Try to stay up to date! Constantly changes occur concerning media, especially new media. To stay relevant, media education must address comprehensively the new and converging communication technologies, from multimedia to the Internet. New media also have different forms of media language as opposed to traditional media.

Teachers can get informed about news through media education portals, newsletter and online-magazines:

• The European Centre for Media Literacy (ECML – http://www.ecml-eu.org – available in English, Finnish, German, and Italian) offers a content repository, a collection of links and articles concerning media literacy and related themes and the European Media Literacy Online Review (EMLR), a bimonthly newsletter presenting current news, articles and organisations related to media literacy.

• The Media Literacy Review of the Centre for Advanced Technology in Education of the University of Oregon (http://interact.uoregon.edu/MediaLit/mlr/home/ – available in English) contains resource links to several teaching resources,
online-journals, etc.; article collection; feature pages and organisations.

• The Center for Media Literacy (CML - http://www.medialit.org – available in English) provides many materials and resources in the area of media education and media literacy and a periodic newsletter for teachers including announcements of new books, videos and teaching materials and links to resources, free downloadable lesson plans, articles, news and ideas for media education.

• The German portal for Media Competence “Mekonet” (http://www.mekonet.de – available in German) provides among many other resources a newsletter for current information in the area of media competence.

• Several news in the area of eLearning are offered by the “elearningpost”-newsletter which can be subscribed at:
http://www.elearningpost.com (available in German).

• The Journal of Interactive Media in Education aims at the improvement of teaching and learning through better interactive media. It is available online at: http://www-jime.open.ac.uk (available in English).

• The German-speaking online-magazine “Medienpädagogik” is a magazine for theory and practice of media education and offered at http://www.medienpaed.com (available in German).

Teachers can take part in training courses and workshops.

• Teachers should be proactive and take part in courses and workshops in media pedagogic and other related topics offered by pedagogic institutes, universities, and various media institutions. For example in Austria the “WienXtra Media Centre” (http://www.medienzentrum.at – available in German) offers a basic course for media education which lasts for two semesters.

• Teachers can also participate in courses, trainings and programmes provided and supported by the Ministries of Education. In Germany the project “El3” (http://www.el3.de/start.html – available in German), which is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science within the programme “New Media in Education” deals with eTeaching and eLearning in teacher education. The outcomes of the project comprise net-supported teaching resources for all school levels and courses offered by several institutions. Main target of the project is to point out the potential of new media in concrete subjects.

• Another way for further training is to take part in online courses. For example in Austria the “E-Lisa-Academy”
(http://www.e-lisa-academy.at – available in German) in collaboration with all pedagogical institutes for teacher education provides basic education of teachers in the area of “internet and teaching”.

Teachers should also ask their pupils and learn from them! [top]

11. Get in contact with other teachers! Educators need to keep up with this constantly changing field and share ideas with colleagues.

Teachers can communicate and cooperate through portals:

• The European Schoolnet Teachers´ portal (http://eschoolnet.eun.org/ – available in Dutch, English, French, and German) supports teachers to find partner for projects, and enables the communica-tion of teachers all over Europe.

• On the portal of the Virtual School (http://vs.eun.org – available in English), which is managed by the European Schoolnet, teachers have the opportunity to join several communities differentiated for teachers of various school subjects, e.g. the community for media teachers.

• The portal “elearningeuropa” (http://www.elearningeuropa.info – available in 20 languages) is an initiative of the European Commission and provides among other services several forums in the field of eLearning, media education and ICT in a participation area.

• The European Centre for Media Literacy (ECML - http://www.ecml-eu.org – available in English, Finnish, German, and Italian) has launched an online community for all those who wish to share their experience as teachers or educators in the field of media literacy. It can be found at the web-site http://community.eun.org/entry_page.cfm?area=1794 (available in English, Finnish, German, and Italian).

Another way to share ideas with colleagues and to communicate is to participate e.g. in events such as workshops and conferences. To be informed about current events, teachers can subscribe e.g. newsletters that includes an event calendar, such as the European Media Literacy Online Review (EMLR) of the European Centre for Media Literacy (ECML - http://www.ecml-eu.org – available in English, Finnish, German, and Italian) or regional ones, such as the Austrian newsletter by the “FH Joanneum”
(http://serverprojekt.fh-joanneum.at/sp/index.php – available in German) that is informing about events in the area of e-Learning.