ACTION RESEARCH INTO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN'S MEDIA COMPETENCES AND MEDIA SKILLS
A child needs media readiness and skills to manage in the world of media. At its best, media is the source of new information, advantage, joy and emotion. Media has also got a negative side; it can for example numb, modify the identity, and cause dependence. Media education enables even young children to be given tools for choosing the correct values and making choices in the world of media.
In the playing field of media skills” is a metaphor – a figure of speech of how the computer was used as a tool in preschool and in the elementary environment and also how the plan of action for information technology used in this action research functioned and created an opportunity to develop a kind of environment, where the child got an opportunity to safely experience the use of information technology on the way towards his developing media readiness and skills.
In this action research, the main aim was to develop an information technology environment which is suited to preschool and elementary education. An own educational plan for information technology which suited this research was created to form the functional structure of the preschool and elementary environment in this research. It described the functional content of the research; what the children do with the computers. The functional part is the media equipment called a computer. The main emphasis in the information technology plan of action is on the use of variety of educational programmes and -games as well as the use of Internet. The aim was to determine contents of preschool and elementary learning environments, when the computer is used as the children's tool.
The user experiences and ideas of information technology of 6-9 years old children which they got when working on the computer were clarified in this action research. ”In the playground of medium skills” – action research was participated in by sixteen preschool and elementary aged (6-9 years old) children. Furthermore, the kindergarten teacher of the preschool group and the teacher-researcher, who worked as the elementary class teacher, were participating in the research.