All activities of The Media Literacy Network are based on our own research but also on the definition of media literacy by the Dutch Council of Culture in 2005; ‘Media Literacy consists of the combination of knowledge, skills and mentality which every citizen needs to be an aware, critical and active member of this fast changing, mediated society.’
The Media Literacy Network translated this definition into 4 competence levels that can be found in all of the programs and materials; Media Awareness, Media Understanding, Media Attitude and Media Behavior. It means that first of all people need to be aware of all kinds of media in society and their own media usage before we start educating them about how media messages are created and which influencing factors play a role in the creative process.
We divide the influencing factors in political, cultural and social, economical and professional issues. To improve the Media Attitude of people it is important that we teach them how to reflect on things they see, hear or read in the media. We wish them to develop their own opinion and to understand other people’s opinions. Finally people are able to apply these competences in their own Media Behavior.
Media as the new parent
The landscape of social environments around children changed drastically in the past 20 years. Next to the home and school environment, media took up a serious space in the lives of youth. It means that media are literally raising our children as well as parents and teachers. The media communicate new values, a modern view on the world and even the self image of children is influenced by media nowadays.
For parents and professionals this is not always an easy development. For them it is difficult to keep up with the new digital generations of children who grow up with digital devices, the mobile internet and Google. You could say that the Digital Gap increased in the last few years thanks to the rapid technological developments. Without digital knowledge and skills it is impossible to educate and coach children of today and that means that the media can freely interact with our children without parents and professionals around to guide them or even form a filter.
To make sure that children get the coaching and education they need today, it means that The Media Literacy Network has to create educational and supportive programs for both children as well as for parents and professionals. The big advantage of training parents and professionals is the viral aspect of it. If you train people who work with children, the reach of your work is extensive.
Children; Happy to be Media Smart
The main goal of The Media Literacy Network is to empower children in their usage of media. We wish them to be media smart enough to be able to make their own choices. We do not believe in restriction or protection, we strongly believe in improving media literacy among children at any age.
Media represent very different kinds of topics, which means that making children media smart involves all these fields. Media literacy contains topics such as; information and language skills, online privacy, commercialization and sexualization of the media, social media, social skills and digital bullying, mobile internet, safe SMS and many more.
This document is a code of best practices that helps educators using media literacy concepts and techniques to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. Fair use is the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment under some circumstances—especially when the cultural or social benefits of the use are predominant. It is a general right that applies even in situations where the law provides no specific authorization for the use in question—as it does for certain narrowly defined classroom activities. This guide identifies five principles that represent the media literacy education community’s current consensus about acceptable practices for the fair use of copyrighted materials, wherever and however it occurs: in K–12 education, in higher education, in nonprofit organizations that offer programs for children and youth, and in adult education.
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Media Literacy NetworkWildenborch 311082 KB, Amsterdam, NetherlandsTel: (0031) (6) 43 58 79 54