4 Questions about Media in kindergartens

4 Questions about Media in kindergartens

4 Questions about Media in kindergartens

We asked prof. Tomaž Zupančič and prof. Matjaž Duh from the Faculty of education at the University Maribor four questions concerning Media literacy in kindergartens.

What is media literacy and why is it important for children?

Media literacy is the ability to use modern media technologies, as well as the ability to decipher the messages offered by this technology. Media literacy is important for children, as they are surrounded by a wide variety of technology since the earliest times. Even more than that, media literacy can also mean the ability to confront the excessive, unintended, and simplistic entertainment role of the media through which it tries to seduce children.

When is the right time to start media literacy?

The sooner the better. Of course, this does not mean that children should sit in front of TVs and computer screens from the nursery onwards, nor does it mean that we have to try to protect them from technology. Media literacy is necessary, but it must be carried out in a controlled, didactic way and gradually. Today's youth, unlike the older population that was brought up by the media technology world, was born into media. They form an essential part of the world they enter, which means that media literacy is one of our important educational tasks. At the same time, it is necessary to be aware of the fact that children in the home environment spend too much time in front of screens of all kinds every day, which is why additional contact with technology in the framework of kindergarten work should be limited to a minimum.

What possibilities do educators have at their disposal for the introduction of media education?

On the example of Slovenia, one of the possibilities is already offered by the legally prescribed operation in Slovenian pre-school educational institutions, i.e. the Curriculum for kindergartens, where in the chapter on Art a large part of attention is also dedicated to the use of AV means. As in other areas, the possibilities here depend on various factors, the interest and activity of educators is only one of them. The second possibility is material support, which is solved at the level of individual kindergartens, management and purchases of technological tools. Some environments offer more, others less.

What knowledge do educators need?

First of all, they themselves must be users of diverse media, which are supported by modern technology, but not in terms of superficial and reckless use, but meaningful, conscious and critical use. They need to distinguish between media literacy and media addiction. Although the original saying applies to something else, it could also be used for the media. "Modern media technology is a very good servant and a pretty bad master."