In autumn 2020, Nordicom and the Swedish Media Council co-organized a series of webinars addressing media and information literacy (MIL) in the Nordic countries: Media Education in the Nordic Countries – Lessons Learned from the Neighbours. Now, the webinar lectures can be watched on each webinar's site on NordMedia Network. NordMedia Network is a digital platform for Nordic and Nordic-oriented media researchers run by Nordicom.
The Nordic countries often appear as very similar, but when it comes to our approaches to media and information literacy (MIL), the neighbouring countries have adopted slightly different approaches to enhancing the citizens’ knowledge, skills and competencies related to media. Even if the purposes of media education may be quite similar, there are different core concepts in policies and practices, with a different focus on the aspects of media literacy.
This constituted the starting point for a series of three 45-minutes webinars where the focus was on topical MIL issues in Finland, Denmark and Norway. The webinar recordings, together with some additional resources such as showcase projects presented in videos as well as links to recent academic literature and research projects, are collected to the webpage, to be watched afterwards.
In the webinar Media Education for Older People, Päivi Rasi, Associate Professor at University of Lapland and Chair of the Finnish Society on Media Education, discussed media education offered for senior citizens. People aged 65 and more are a target group with special needs in the digitalized society. So far, relatively little attention has been dedicated to this topic, but it is internationally a growing field of research, drawing interdisciplinary on media and pedagogical studies, sociology and gerontology.
On the webinar site, two showcases from Finland are presented in a video, related to the work with senior citizen's digital literacy: Digimuruset, a digital "youth care centre" with volunteers chatting as online grandmas with teenagers, and the association Enter that has a long tradition of supporting senior citizens’ ICT skills in the capital region.
The second webinar, Early Years Education and Digital Media, discussed pre-school children's media literacy, with a special focus on parenting, which has been a topical research issue lately. Stine Liv Johansen, Associate Professor at Aarhus University and Chair of the Danish Media Council, discussed the contemporary challenges in digital parenting.
The showcase videos included a development project in Vejle municipality and interactive technology for pre-school children called Hopspots.
In the webinar Media Literacy and Marginalized Groups we pursued a more culture-sensitive approach to media literacy, with marginalized groups in the focus. Carol Azungi Dralega, Associate Professor at NLA University College in Norway, presented findings from her research projects on video game play among young people with immigrant background. The webinar opened up ways of working with diasporic experiences and making media and digital literacy into a tool of integration and empowerment for vulnerable groups in society.
One of the showcase videos presents the game developer studio Spillverket that works with young people who find themselves outside education and employment.
MIL on NordMedia Network
The media researcher platform NordMedia Network will continue a webinar series dedicated to MIL in November 2020, now in collaboration with the Media & Learning Association. The series Media Education in Europe: Country Approaches will further provide examples and inspiration for benchmarking when studying and developing media literacy in the Nordics. Countries that will be covered in this series, more focused on learning and pedagogical contexts and with monthly sessions until June 2021, are Belgium, the Baltics, Croatia, the Netherlands, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and France.
MIL-related webinars on NordMedia Network are part of Nordicom's cooperations on media and information literacy and its study. Currently, NordMedia Network is building up a national network for media literacy studies in Sweden, called the Academic Forum for MIL Research. This network is a cooperation with the MIL Sweden Network coordinated by the Swedish Media Council.
NordMedia Network will also launch webinars on other topics in future. These webinars are primarily directed to media researchers, as NordMedia Network is a digital community for Nordic and Nordic-oriented media and communication researchers. On the site, you can even find a researcher database to find Nordic experts in different disciplines of media, journalism and communication studies.
Read articles on the webinar topics on NordMedia Network:
- Need-based and Multi-dimensional: Media Education for Older People by Päivi Rasi
- Public Debates and Parenting Paradoxes: Studying Digital Technologies in Early Years Education by Stine Liv Johansen
- The Enriching and Hilarious Fieldwork: Experiences from Researching Video Game Regulation Among Immigrant Parents in Norway by Carol Azungi Dralega
- How to Get Together Online: 9 Pieces of Practical Advice on Organizing a Webinar by Maarit Jaakkola