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MEDIA LITERACY IN EUROPE: INSPIRING WAYS TO INVOLVE PARENTS

Media literacy is now a key competence. As media are omnipresent, it is important to teach children how to use media in a sensible way, and to develop a critical attitude towards media. For this, children need good role models that show an interest in them and can set boundaries if necessary. The responsibility for the media education of children and adolescents can therefore not be outsourced solely to teachers and schools – rather, it’s the family where the keystones of personal development are set, and thus the family should also play an active part in children’s media education.

In this second edition of Media Literacy in Europe, we therefore decided to focus entirely on the role that parents play (or should play) in their children’s media education. After all, the first place where children are confronted with media is within the family, so parents (and grandparents, too) play a crucial role. This is why we decided to highlight a series of good and inspiring practices from all over Europe. We describe projects that raise parents’ interest in and understanding of their children’s media activities, that offer advice on how to introduce children to digital media devices, and that teach parents and children (together) the mechanics of the new media.

These projects allow parents and children to discover media together, empowering parents to question, evaluate and discuss the use of media within their home. This is crucial because it is the family that creates a media culture, determining from the beginning what kind of media the children will get in touch with, and what importance media and media activities will have in their everyday lives. How children will use media outside the family depends on how they have experienced media (usage) within it. Therefore, media education is more than ever a family affair.

We hope that this magazine helps to first, show how essential it is for parents to be actively engaged in their children’s media literacy education, and second, to stimulate readers with a selection of good practices to serve as sources of inspiration for future projects. Supporting parents in their media education is the responsibility of many actors, such as policy-makers, schools and NGOs, so we hope, too, that many of them will also be inspired to action in the near future.

You can read and / or download the magazine for free on our ISSUU page.