G. Decin1, C. Mazarese1, N. Vanuytven1, E. Buyse2

Research question:
The aim of this project is to investigate how multimedia literacy of young children (3 to 5 years) can be stimulated. Which influence does this has on their exploration of the world and their evolution as a person?

Four concrete goals
(1) Investigate how education can stimulate children’s multimedia literacy and can anticipate on the available multimedia skills of children ever since preschool.
(2) To explore how multimedia literacy can help and support young children in their exploration of the world.
(3) To investigate empirical the extra potential of multimedia in education for young children with extra needs.
(4) To reduce the technological fear showed by the preschool teachers/students/teachertrainers by augmenting their understanding of multimedia literacy.

Link to the conceptual framework/literature:
For digital natives the new electronic means are evident (Goegebuer,2004). The dominancy of the language literacy has disappeared, the society becomes more and more multimediale. Education can’t stay behind, we need to catch up and adapt to the living world of young people. In imitation of P. Bottelberghs (2005) we don’t want to focus on the technological side but rather on the creative processes and the development of talents by using a multimedia setting. Young children discover throughout education with different media (audiovisual) their gifts to communicate.

Procedure/instruments used to explore the question:
The research project contains four conditions: without extra teacher, without audiovisual input; without extra teacher, with audiovisual input; with extra teacher, without audiovisual input; with extra teacher, with audiovisual input. Each condition takes place in a class of 3 years old children as in a class of 5 years old children. The standardized tests Teacher Report Form and the Child Behavior Check List are used to work with children of a similar profile in the different classes. In each classroom we accomplish 3 measurements: a pre-measurement, a post-measurement and a measurement long run. The qualitative observations throughout the duration of the condition and the measurements are interpreted using the observation framework of Prof. F. Laevers (2001, Experience-based preschool education).

We developed courses and training for (future) preschool teachers.
Even though the children are quite young, they are very handy with these materials. We also see that children are very careful with the audiovisual means. Some children with extra needs do well exploring these materials
When teachers in kindergarten are working according to the principles multimediale shape, we see an effect on the children, namely (1) the children exploring in a multimedia rich area show a high(er) level of creativity. So they find an extra communication channel to express themselves. (2) Some children with extra needs have a higher level of well-being and involvement when an audio-visual input is given.

[1] Goegebuer, A. (2004). Audiovisual training in Flemish education. Gent: IAK vzw.
[2] Bottelberghs, P. (2010). Media literacy in education op de Media and Learning conference op 25-26 november 2010 in Brussels.In Media and learning Brussels 2010. Geraadpleegd 18 mei 2001,
[3] Laevers, F. (2001). Procesgericht kindvolgsysteem voor kleuters. Toelichting bij de competenties. Leuven: CEGO Publishers.