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Congress on MEDIA LITERACY in Belgium

‘Media Literacy’ is more important than ever!

“A retweeted lie […] circles the globe several times over before the truth even gets out of bed” (Klufeld & Schneider, 2014)

Our first day of the congress on Media Wisdom in the Royal Belgian Library in Brussels was very educational. The speakers focused on how fake news affects our lives, our youngsters, their self-image and  their motivation.

One of the things we got to know about is a research team that is developing an online tool with which students can check how aware  they are of and how critically they deal with social media and Google. The tool is currently under construction but we will keep an eye on it and inform you on its development.

The second day of the congress brought a wide variety of interesting topics:

During the congress, teachers can take a next step in their training to become a ‘mediacoach’ in their school, to develop a school policy towards dealing wisely with the media.

We go deeper into the terms ‘fake news’, ‘filter bubbles’ (what the internet is hiding from you) and ‘echo chambers’. We learn that ‘the truth’ is hard to be found on the world wide web ánd that this is a shared responsibility. Yes, also ours.

In a city in the Netherlands police are using ‘teenage crime fighters’, digitally skilled youngsters, to help them solve cybercrime. This pilot project is so succesful national implementation is on the table.

A speaker from Child Focus informs us about the bitter reality of certain cybercrime using teenagers as its victims. There is a vast need on further education, since prevention isn’t helping, as the numbers show.

Next up is ‘alternarratief’, the ‘No Hate’ movement dealing with ‘hatespeech’. How should we deal with hatespeech when we come across it on social media? http://www.alternarratief.be/ ‘Alternarratief’ has developed different tools to help us decide.

But this is far from all… Too many interesting subjects and choosing is losing.
To sum up: we are a tad media-wiser but next year, we’ll certainly be back for more!

Special thanks to Angelique Quequin and Sam Vercruysse for attending the congress and sharing what they learnt!

Check: https://www.facebook.com/Mediawijs.be/

and Twitter with the hashtag #MWCON17

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