IN THE PLAYING FIELD OF MEDIA SKILLS
The aim of the research was to estimate how using information technology in teaching with its plans of action came true in preschool and elementary education. Another goal was to clarify what kind of experiences and ideas the use of the computers in teaching brought to children. Thirdly, it was assessed how the child´s skill based, social, linguistic and ethical media readiness appeared and how they developed towards media skills.
The research is a qualitative pedagogical action study. The study questions and the assignments of the research were based on information technology environment in preschool and elementary education, experiences and ideas which are related to the child´s use of the computer, and the developing media readiness and media skills of the child.
There were sixteen children from preschool and elementary school (aged 6-9) participating in the action research. In addition, there were a kindergarten teacher who taught the preschool pupils and a teacher-researcher who worked as her pupils´ form teacher during the study. The research was carried out during one semester in Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland.
According to the research results, especially the children´s skill based and social media readiness developed. More than a half of the children developed in their linguistic media readiness. There was also seen development in the ethical media readiness, among approximately half of the children. On the basis of evaluating children´s media skills can be noted that one of the children who took part in the research had excellent media skills and three of them had good skills. Most of the children had moderate media skills (9/16) whereas the skills of three children were on a weak level. Every child developed in his me¬dia readiness towards media skills at his own pace of media growth.
According to the results of the study, the media directed environment of preschool and elementary education is built with the help of media didactic s and with a functioning pedagogical plan. Children in preschool and elementary education need a concrete information technology plan which also serves the teacher as a media pedagogic. Children should get an impartial possibility to become safely acquainted with the changing media world and to develop their own beginning media readiness towards their media skills. The research gives basis to carry out and develop children´s media education as well as provides an example of evaluating children´s media readiness in preschool and elementary education. Using concept maps applies well to teaching the concepts to children in preschool and elementary education. Using the concept maps in describing the results and content of the research brings new pedagogical extent to pedagogical research.