COOPERATION BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND SCHOOLS TO PROMOTE MEDIA EDUCATION – AN EXPERIENCE IN ILMENAU, GERMANY
Technische Universität Ilmenau (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The Ministry of Education of the State of Thuringia, Germany launched in 2009 the latest version of the course Medienkunde, which is a media literacy curriculum to be applied from the 6th to the 10th grades in schools in the state. The evaluation of the implementation of this course in Thuringia is the topic of a project conducted by the Technische Universität Ilmenau from September 2016 to December 2017. The project comprehends the collection of deficits and accomplishments through interviews with experts, surveys with teachers, and case studies with best-practice schools.
One of the remarkable issues that came up during the project was the necessity to develop practical examples to assist teachers with the implementation of topics of the Medienkunde curriculum in their classes. In the interviews phase, teachers, school principals and experts of teacher training institutions declared that the demand for teacher media-related training is much greater than the offer in the state of Thuringia.
Since the Technische Universität Ilmenau counts with a bachelor and a master programs in Media and Communication Science, the institution wished to give some contribution to meet this training demand. Therefore, a media project called “Media education in schools” has been proposed and offered to bachelor students. In the summer semester 2017, a group of three students expressed interest and started working in the project.
After conducting a research phase, analyzing documents and interviewing experts, the group drafted some possibilities of how the university could contribute to the development of media education in schools. Then, a partnership was established with a secondary school in the city of Ilmenau. The exchange of ideas between the school and the students involved in the media project revealed the wish of teachers for the development of a project day in the school, in which current issues of media use could be discussed with pupils.
The project day occurred on 20.09.2017 with 21 8th grade pupils, on the topic “Fake News” in context of the school subject social studies. The activities were planned to involve the pupils and catch their attention as much as possible. Therefore, approaches using gamification elements were adopted throughout the project day.
In a small survey conducted at the end, both pupils and school staff evaluated the project day as successful. The pupils appreciated especially the change in the school routine, and the teachers were satisfied with the input on how to include media-related topics in teaching activities. Moreover, the bachelor students reported being satisfied with the experience, since it allowed them to produce something practical with their knowledge and skills, and to gain experience in developing a project for an educational environment.
As a first experience, the idea to bring such contributions to other schools showed good potential for both the university bachelor students and for school pupils and teachers. This experience evidences that cooperation initiatives between universities and community are possible and may not necessarily involve high costs. Moreover, even small-scale initiatives can bring significant contributions for both sides.
Keywords: Media education, media literacy, secondary school, cooperation university and schools.