“Media Education is a revolutionary course which makes an important step towards welcoming students to a permanently changing world”, journalist Dumitru Stoianov said during a new media literacy lesson held on September 14 at Gymnasium No 77 for Russian-speaking pupils in Cricova, Chisinau.
More than 30 students from the 8th and 9th grades have learned what the optional course Media Education provides, which basic concepts are studied at this subject, what critical thinking is, and why it is important to engage critically with information in a century “invaded” by information of all sorts. At the same time, during the lesson, the pupils analyzed notions such as cybermobbing, flaming, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and trolling.
“Although we dwell in a world where changes take place in geometric progression, it should be accepted that the education system modifies rather slowly. We have a conservative education system that meets pupils’ cognitive demands only partially. Therefore, Media Education is the subject demonstrating that school can be different, it responds to pupils’ information demands, and prepares them for changes inevitable in a digital age”, the journalist says.
According to him, Media Education refers to the world as an ever-changing system. “What was perceived as new yesterday may seem obsolete today. Therefore, to keep up with new transformations, the young generation needs to pursue three goals: to constantly develop their creativity, critical thinking, and digital skills. This is the subject that correlates to these needs and teaches us how to consume information in a creative way”, Dumitru Stoianov states.
Daria Cojocari, a 9th-grade pupil, affirms that, given that the Internet has become an indispensable part of young people’s life, and their existence can hardly be imagined without it, it is crucial for them to know what kind of information to consume and how to avoid dangers in virtual space. “I find it a very interesting subject, it helps us think critically and perceive information correctly”, the pupil says.
Marius Surdu, a 9th-grade pupil, mentions that media literacy is useful because in the 21st century “it is important to know how to face the challenges of the information space, prove your point of view, and use information resources correctly to develop your media skills”.
Media literacy lessons are organized by the Independent Journalism Center in partnership with Internews in Moldova within the project “Increasing Support for Independent Russian-Language Media and Efforts in the Sphere of Media Education”. The project is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. One of the project's objective is developing Russian-speaking pupils’ critical thinking.