Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Do you have initiatives/ resources on online safety for UK citizens? Landscape Mapping Exercise - open til Friday 17 January

There is a UK Government survey (also linked below), which is only open until Friday. It aims "to map media literacy initiatives currently underway, which are focused on online safety and minimising harm, and are available for users in the UK". Although it mentions MEDIA literacy, if you have an information literacy initiative that actually serves the same purpose, it would be good to have it included. It DOES ask for a lot of detail about initiatives including funding, takeup and any evaluation.

The way it is written makes it easiest to fill in if you had a limited term project aiming at a specific group (in my view). However, for example, if you are in a public library which does training and support of people needed advice on this, or (say) an NHS, school or university library which has an outreach programme or has created an open-access digital resource that could train or advise people on this topic (video, tutorial etc.), then I think those would qualify.

I didn't follow the questionnaire all the way through, but their list of "what is provided" consists of:
-Training - of teachers, support workers, service providers etc
- Research – on any aspect of media literacy...
- Networking Platforms – conferences, seminars, meetings, online and offline forums, newsletters and databases.
- Campaign – awareness-raising with a desired behaviour change...
- Policy Development – major consultations, published reports and recommendations
- Provision of Funding – for media literacy activities delivered by third parties...
- End-user engagement – grass-roots projects that provide support and information to end-users via face-to-face, phone or online contact.
- Provision of resources – information leaflets, video, audio, lesson plans, curriculum modules, websites etc. (my emphasis)

Also the list of "skills or capabilities" that are aimed for is as follows (overlapping with IL, in my view)
- Media use: Ability to search, find and navigate and use media content and services safely
- Critical thinking 1: Understanding how the media industry works and how media messages are constructed
- Critical thinking 2: Questioning the motivations of content producers in order to make informed choices about content selection and use
- Critical thinking 3: Recognising different types of media content and evaluating content for truthfulness, reliability and value for money
- Critical thinking 4: Recognising and managing online security/safety risks
- Creative skills: creating building and generating media content
- Participation and engagement 1: interaction, engagement and participation in the economic, social and cultural aspects of society through the media
- Participation and engagement 2: promoting democratic participation and fundamental rights
Intercultural dialogue: including challenging radicalisation and hate speech

The press release said "The UK Government committed to developing an online media literacy strategy in the Online Harms White Paper, published in April 2019. As part of this the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have appointed a consultancy, RSM UK, to undertake a comprehensive mapping exercise to identify what actions are already underway. The consultancy has developed a framework to record and characterise the media literacy initiatives available to UK users and is in the process of populating this framework to help DCMS understand the nature of the initiatives and any gaps in provision.
"If you represent an organisation that provides or funds any media literacy initiatives to users in the UK, it would be very helpful if you could complete this brief survey."

This is the link to the online questionnaire, which asks "some questions about the issues that you are trying to resolve, your target user groups, and delivery methods."
Contacts for questions are and

If you are interested in digital literacy mapping, you may also be interested in the report on Mapping Digital Literacy Policy and Practice in the Canadian Education Landscape (from MediaSmarts) and the 2016 report on media literacy in 28 European Union countries Mapping of media literacy practices and actions in EU-28 (though it is not very comprehensive, at least for the UK).
Photo by Sheila Webber: rainbow, Lewes, January 2020

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