The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information about the Finnish media education field and to present the latest research, innovations, projects, and organisations working with media education. The newsletter is published twice a year and keeps you updated on what is going on in the field of media education in Finland. Thank you for subscribing!
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In April and May, 2016, The Finnish Society on Media Education carried out a survey, which investigated how Finnish media education professionals perceive the term ‘screen time’ and official recommendations on the time children spend in front of the screen. The discussion was initiated in the Media Educators’ Network – Facebook group (Mediakasvattajien verkosto) and steps were taken to create a survey to cast light on the perceptions on the screen time concept among the actors in the field. The results indicate that there is a need for tools to classify and discuss the uses of media in general. The term ‘screen time’, however, is seen as obsolete and having too much focus on the time spent in front of a screen, thus, ignoring what children actually do with their mobiles, tablets, computers, game consoles, and televisions. The report “By the screen: Perspectives of media education professionals on recommendations for the media use of children and youth and on the concept of screen time” (in Finnish) can be read here. A slideshow presentation of the results can be read in English here, and a short summary in a blog post form (in English) here.
During the Screen Time Week 10–14 October, The Finnish Society on Media Education published guidelines for journalists on addressing to topics related to the media culture and media use of children and youth, too often viewed primarily in the light of parental concerns, norms and threats, while ignoring the subjective experiences of the children themselves. Children and teenagers deserve to have their own culture represented in an appropriate manner in the media. The guidelines help journalists to avoid the common pitfalls and to pay more attention to the perspective of children as experts of their own media experiences. The guidelines (in Finnish) can be downloaded here.
The Finnish Society of Media Education organized a two-day seminar titled ”Tästä saa puhua!” (”We can talk about this”) on December 1st–2nd Helsinki in co-operation with Allianssi and Plan International Finland. The aims of the seminar were on one hand to raise discussion on the structures of hate speech and disinformation, but also to find practical antidotes through workshops in order to tackle the issues. The workshops dealt with many kinds of counter strategies, fact checking methods and tips for intervening in online hate speech. With the exception of workshops, the entire seminar was streamed live on the FSME’s Youtube-channel. The video recordings can be viewed here (in Finnish).
In Finland, all children under school-age have a subjective right to early childhood education and care (ECEC). A revised Act on Early Childhood Education and Care was adopted in spring 2015. As a consequence, the National Curriculum Guidelines on ECEC became binding to all ECEC service providers and the Finnish National Board of Education became the national expert agency for ECEC. Over the past year, the curriculum for ECEC has been revised, and the new local curricula based on the recently published renewed national curriculum must be put to use by August 1, 2017. Like the curricula for pre-primary education and basic education, the national curriculum for ECEC now also emphasizes transversal competences. A particularly important matter considering media education is the introduction of multiliteracy, which includes also media literacy. More information on the new guidelines (in Finnish) can be found here.
The Finnish Society on Media Education has created a new strategy for 2016–2020. As a response to the changing operational environment, The Finnish Society of Media Education has updated the framework and guiding principles of the society. The new strategy includes also the vision of the Society in 2020 and four central points of focus: the development of media education, raising awareness about media education, providing expertise on media education and prividing information about media education. Please follow our Mediaeducation.fi-website, as the English version of the strategy will be uploaded there later this year. On our Slideshare-channel, we have also uploaded the slides of a recent presentation explaining in depth the work done in The Finnish Society on Media Education.
Media eduaction student at Tampere University and a summer intern at the School Cinema Association (Koulukino ry), Sergei Glotov, compared film and media education in Finland and Russia. Read Sergei’s interesting blog post here.
Publications and materials
Teaching media literacy & geographies of consumption – a guide to running a subvertisement workshop sets out an approach to teaching media literacy and the geographies of consumption that has been developed by the NGO Pro Ethical Trade Finland (Eettisen kaupan puolesta ry), with funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland. In a subvertisement workshop one can discuss world trade, analyse product advertising, and make their own subvertisements. For more information, click here.
The Finnish Society of Media Education organized the seminar ”Media Education <3 Sex Education” on November 1st in Helsinki. The seminar was produced in cooperation with media researcher and sex education expert Sanna Spišák. The seminar concentrated on sexual media contents from minors’ point of view. The materials of the seminar, including presentations and the publication ”Median seksisisällöt ja mediakasvatus” (”Sex-related contents in media and media education”) can be downloaded here (in Finnish).
A series of short documentary videos, called “Live&Learn – Stories of adult learning”, focusing on adult learning stories has been published online by the Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation. The eight videos, from Finland, Denmark, UK, and Portugal, feature both adult learners and educators and are meant to increase understanding of learning benefits and good pedagogic practice. For more information, please visit here and take look at the videos here!
The Swedish Media Council has published a Hate speech and abuse on the internet -guide to help parents and other adults caring for children and the youth to discuss about these current topics. Download the guide in English here. The guide is also available in Swedish, Somali, and Arabic.
Populist parties are gaining popularity – what are they? Which politicians are populists? Is populism always bad? Populism Bingo is a way to examine political speech as texts with various goals. The texts can be TV shows, videos, radio interviews or internet articles that deal with political issues. You can find the bingo card and more information on the website. Populism Bingo was created by the National Audiovisual Institute and it is co-financed by the European Union.
The Finnish Society on Media Education is working on a publication (in Finnish), which maps children’s, aged from 0 to 12, media culture and media landscapes in an compact and easy-to-understand way. The publication will be based on research done in Finland during the last five years, and is aimed for people working with young children (teachers, educators, youth-leaders etc.). The Finnish Society on Media Education has previously compiled a similar publication about the media culture of the young, aged from 12 to 29, concentrating on studies done in Finland between 2009 and 2013. The new publication will be available by the end of December 2016 on the (Finnish) website The Finnish Society on Media Education.
The Finnish Society on Media Education coordinates a project funded by The Finnish National Board of Education, in which refresher courses on media education are provided for teachers free of charge. The themes of the courses are based on the recently revised principles of the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education 2014, especially emphasizing multiliteracy and multidisciplinary learning modules. The project is carried out in co-operation with The Finnish Periodical Publishers’ Association (Aikakausmedia), Cultural Center Valve, Saimaan mediakeskus (Saimaa Media Centre, city of Lappeenranta), TOP-keskus (ICT-learning Centre, city of Turku) and Mediakoulu (Media School, city of Tampere). Learn more about the MEMO project (in Finnish) here.
The upcoming Media Literacy Week, coinciding with the Safer Internet Day 2017, is already bigger than ever. Over 50 organizations are involved in the campaign week, creating free materials and events, sharing information and promoting media literacy. Over 2400 organizations have signed up as participants – including e.g. kindergartens, schools, libraries, museums, and youth centers – which is approximately 500 more compared to this year’s campaign week. Two materials are created for Media Literacy Week 2017 in co-operation between several organizers. Their themes are empathy and Finland’s centennial, and they will be published in January (English translations TBA). Media Literacy Week is coordinated by Finland’s Safer Internet Centre, National Audiovisual Institute, and it takes place February 6–12, 2017. More information about the Media Literacy Week (in Finnish) can be found here.
Are you considering applying for a master’s degree program in media education? In Finland, two universities provide international master’s degree programs in media education. Find out more about the admissions in University of Tampere here and University of Lapland here. The deadlines for submitting the applications are in January (specific deadlines on the admissions pages). General information on education in Finland as well as degree programs and admissions can be fo here.
”Media & Learning 2017 is all about inspiring, informing and sharing great ideas on what it means to be a digital citizen and how media fits into this process. Students nowadays are expected to play an active role online rather than simply being passive consumers of content, but what does it take to really instill them with the skills and competences to be effective, responsible and creative online? What’s the best way to ensure that students can be in the vanguard of taking back the Internet and using it as a tool for growth, harmony and positive development? How can our educational structures and players be part of such a development? These are the ideas we plan to explore in Brussels on 6–7 April in an agenda packed with learning and networking opportunities.” More information on the program and instructions for registration can be found here.
Our next international newsletter will be sent on June 2017. Happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful new year!