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Media education for all – Feedback from the 35th Forum Kommunika …

Here is news from our German member GKM (Gesellschaft für Medienpädagogik und Kommunikationskultur). They hold their conference “Media education for all : digitization, participation, diversity” from 16th Nov. to 18th Nov. 2018 at the University of Bremen, Germany.

At its 35th Forum Kommunikationskultur in Bremen, the GMK asked questions on digitisation under the premise “Media education for all”. In lectures and workshops, the topic was worked on and further developed for different target groups and media pedagogical topics. In the run-up to the conference, the GMK specialist group Inclusive Media Education published a position paper. The contents of the paper were discussed and continued at the symposium for the fields of action early education, school, extracurricular youth education, adult and further education, vocational education and higher education. Their suggestions rounded off the demands and are included in the current paper.

Inclusive media education
Inclusion values diversity and includes all categories of difference such as social and/or cultural origin, gender, sexual identity, age, disability. The categories are interwoven with each other and can lead to exclusions especially in interaction with each other.
The importance of media and media infrastructures for inclusion and exclusion processes needs to be analysed and reflected upon.

Central fields of media participation

  • Participation IN media: Representation in the media is decisive for how visible diversity is in society and how it is perceived. Diversity in editorial offices is a central starting point for the fact that the representation of society also becomes more diverse. Media pedagogy deals with stereotypical, clichéd and stigmatizing representations and contrasts them with its own media productions to create a diverse and self-determined image.
  • Participation ON Media: Barrier-free media enable participation. Accessibility concerns the technical usability, the perceptibility with different senses as well as the comprehensibility of the language and simplicity of the user guidance. The internationally used term Accessibility broadens the understanding of accessibility to a comprehensive approach in the sense of appropriation of media.
  • Participation BY Media: Working, learning, communicating, participating in public discourses – digital media offer diverse possibilities of participation for all. In combination with supporting technologies, they open up opportunities for participation that many people have been denied or severely hampered in the past. The present demands point to the necessary prerequisites for being able to shape educational processes over the entire life span in line with the objectives of inclusion and media education.

European Perspectives on Inclusive Media Education

Not only in Germany, but also abroad, educators deal with the topic of media pedagogy and inclusion. During the workshop, two projects were presented which were successfully implemented in Italy and Belgium. Tom van Hoey from Konekt and Silvia Ferreira Mendes from Zaffiria showed examples of their work. In addition, scientific studies from Switzerland were presented which dealt with media competence in residential youth welfare institutions. Oliver Steiner from the FHNW Bern was responsible for the research called MEKIS.

Position paper of the Gesellschaft für Medienpädagogik und Kommunikationskultur e. V. (Society for Media Education and Communication Culture)

1. Anchoring inclusion and media participation consistently in all educational contexts and institutions
Media education can make a significant contribution to the shaping of inclusive learning in all educational sectors. Inclusion and media education can benefit enormously from each other if both are consistently implemented in educational programmes. Sufficient financial and human resources are needed to achieve this.

2. Integrating media education systematically into training, further education and further training of skilled workers
Inclusive media education can only be anchored along the education chain if sufficiently trained specialists are available. The link between media education and the process and tasks of inclusion has so far been inadequate and must be systematically integrated into education and training programmes.

3. Shaping inclusive public communication
All people must be opened to active participation in the whole spectrum of public communication in order to publicly articulate their needs, opinions and experiences.

4. Making media accessible to all in order to ensure a self-determined and sovereign use of media.
Comprehensive accessibility and usability of media services must be ensured for all. This requires more legal obligations to implement a universal design: media, content, spaces, offers and address should be designed in such a way that everyone is reached.

5. Providing a variety of methods in (media) educational work
Address, methods and materials are designed in such a way that people can participate and benefit from a variety of prerequisites. This requires target-group-oriented and outreach services.

6. Introduce the dialogue between actors* in inclusive media education with industry, administration and decision-makers across the board
In order to design (media) products, e.g. software, in such a way that they can be used intuitively inclusive, users* and specialists must be involved in the development of the products in the sense of a user-centered design. To this end, a dialogue between the actors involved is absolutely essential. In the context of increasing digitalisation, inclusion must also guide change processes.

7. Strengthen multi-professional cooperation
The expansion of multidisciplinary cooperation and networks is important for the interdisciplinary work and research field of inclusive media education. These networks always include experts in their own field.

8. Promoting transdisciplinary research and evaluation
In order to explore the potential of inclusive media education in the contexts of related disciplines and professions, transdisciplinary research approaches are required. In science, the framework conditions must be changed in such a way that research (and teaching) in inclusive and transdisciplinary teams becomes a matter of course.

Authors: Ingo Bosse, Annegret Haage, Anna-Maria Kamin

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