Global Media and Information Literacy Week conference.
Meri Seistola (Metka Centre for Media Education, Finland) talked about Make Kids Win. She introduced the concept of phenomenal learning, for which MIL was important, and which could take place with or without technology. She mentioned aspects such as learning analytics, the increased use of educational technology including virtual reality, "the power of joyful learning and games" and also the concept of hacking the classroom. They have developed some learning modules using the CLANED app, including one addressing MIL. Also she mentioned the SEPPO platform for educational gaming.
Wesley Gibbings (Association of Caribbean Media Workers) put forward the value of journalists as heros, and valuable (in contrast to people who saidthat journalists were no longer needed). He felt that resetting MIL should “force us back to our societies” and cause us to reboot our societies: the viability of societies was stake. Gibbings felt that unless there were enlightened populations who wanted to move forward (and that entailed media and information literacy) then there were serious problems. People did not just need information, they needed understanding and ability to take action. He specifically talked about the recent natural disaster that had depopulated islands in the Caribbean region.
Fundamental questions like “What is MIL for”? needed to be asked: it was not enough to have a mechanical process, just to keep media going as before. Gibbings felt that the media industry, which had lost its monolopy, needed to take a hard look at itself, but this didn’t mean abdicating to “citizen journalism” (which he felt was a misnomer). Gibbing felt that media practitioners themselves needed to pay more attention to MIL (so it was about educating the MIL practitioners, not just educating other citizens).
The last speaker in this plenary session was Itay Weiss (Youth representative, Networks of Mediterranean Youth Israel). He talked about the dangers to democracy of social media, for example enclosing you in a filter bubble. So what can be done? Education, not just of young people, was the obvious response, using a variety of tools, and also face-to-face meetings of people from different paths of life.
Photo by Sheila Webber: lunctime at the conference, Kingston, October 2017