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A new group of teachers improved their skills of teaching Media Education in high schools

30 September 2019
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A group of 15 high school teachers attended a new training on media education, organised by the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) on 27-29 September 2019. During the training the participants studied the content of the recently printed textbook on Media Education for 10th/11th grades, improving their skills to teach this optional course.

At the opening of the event, Anastasia Nani, IJC deputy director, spoke about the organisation’s efforts to promote media education in the country's schools since 2017, and encouraged teachers to participate together with students in the activities organised in the current edition of Media Literacy Week. ‘IJC has prepared interesting challenges which will foster students’ creativity and special prizes’, said Anastasia Nani.

Mila Corlateanu, manager of Deutsche Welle Akademie in Moldova, noted: ‘The textbook is useful not only for the Media Education lessons, but also for everyone’s day-to-day life.’

The training program was based on the Media Education curriculum and textbook for high school level. The course was taught by Loretta Handrabura, PhD in Philology, and Natalia Griu, Chief Consultant at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, both authors of Media Education textbook for 10th/11th grades.

During three days, the teachers studied the main media terminology, discussed about reputation and online behavior and analysed both the pros and cons of the online environment. The learning was facilitated by a series of games and energisers that teachers will be able to use during their classes. The interactive tools, such as the quizzes on the Media Education platform and the online tutorials made by Mediacritica, caught the attention of participants, who appreciated the attractiveness of the new teaching methods and tools for teenagers.

Loretta Handrabura recommended teachers to keep up with young people. "Your students are "digital natives” and use other mediums. If we, "digital immigrants", do not try to get closer to them, we risk losing the connection with our disciples and children’, said the trainer.

Together with Natalia Grîu, teachers explored the importance of images in the media, managing to understand how images are used to mislead and how they can use free tools, such as Google Images, to identify fake images.

Media researcher Aneta Gonta, who provided advice during the development of ‘Media Education’ textbook for high school, talked to teachers about the pluralism of ideas, underscoring that diversity of opinions is a feature of a democratic society. ‘It is important to be media literate, at least because this helps us in our daily lives’, said Aneta Gonța.

After the training, Maria Blanaru, Russian language teacher at Theoretical High School ‘Grătiești’, concluded that Media Education should be present in as many schools as possible. ‘I will teach this course to students in the 10th grade because it addresses topics of interest to young people today. I hope they understand that media does not have only positive effects on their development, but also risks, which can be overcome only if they are known. Students should learn to select from the avalanche of information only what can be useful to them. I also hope that during the Media Education lessons, students will learn to navigate online safely. I hope that my disciples will be as excited about this course as I am’, said the teacher.

Elena Eremia, teacher of Romanian language and literature at Theoretical High School ‘Vasile Alecsandri’ in Colibași, Cahul municipality, was impressed by the new knowledge that she gained and is ready to share it with her 10th grade students. ‘I am positive that Media Education is a useful course for teenagers and I hope that they will explore the subject as soon as possible’, she said.

IJC has trained so far 124 teachers, 101 secondary school teachers and 36 high school teachers. Media Education optional course has been taught in schools in the Republic of Moldova since 2017. In the 2018-2019 academic year, more than 1500 primary and secondary school students from over 40 schools took this course either as their elective or during masters classes.

The training was organised by the Independent Journalism Center under the ‘Strengthening Freedom of Opinion in the Republic of Moldova’ Project, implemented by IJC, supported by Deutsche Welle Akademie and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany.