"ESM meets media" - Media literacy

What is media literacy? The pupils of the P5 classes of the primary school already have a rough idea: "How to deal with mobile phones", they answer the question. On Monday and Wednesday last week, the European School Munich organised "ESM meets media" for them - the media competence days as part of the transition days. The transition days serve as preparation for secondary school. The media plays a very important role in everyday life. Because everything is conveyed through the media and with the possibilities of the Internet, today everyone quickly becomes a media producer themselves. This makes it all the more important for pupils to learn how to deal with media at an early age.

The introductory lecture of the German media pedagogical specialist institution Studio im Netz e.V (SIN) quickly shows how much the children already have to do with different media. They recognize the different Youtube celebrities better than many adults, use the Internet for research and chatting and play video games. One student even reports that he is already making and editing videos himself. "I'm a media educator, I like media," says SIN board member Hans-Jürgen Palme. "But I also know where to watch out." The purpose of the Media Competence Days is to teach pupils where to be carefull and how to protect themselves.

The consulting and support team of the European School Munich is organising "ESM meets Media" for the second time, coordinated by Daniel Schard. Media educators and tutors teach the primary school pupils in workshops on various current media topics.

"What are fake news", teacher Martin Duggen, for example, asks the class. Can it really be that people breed cats in jars? Of course not! But fake pictures of cats in jars have been circulating on the Internet for many years. A video of the online offer of the German public broadcasters ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio "So geht Medien" (How media works) explains what kind of fakes there are on the Internet and how to recognize them. The pupils can then test their knowledge with a quiz. The best way to learn how easy it is to produce fakes is to try it yourself: In front of a green screen, the pupils take photos with the tablet and exchange the backgrounds in no time - suddenly it looks as if they are standing in the middle of a fantasy world.

Another important topic is data protection, which is the subject of another workshop. What happens, for example, if you lose your smartphone? Without password protection, anyone can access the stored photos or send messages to friends in the owner's name. Students learn how to protect their devices, but they also learn that in popular messenger apps like WhatsApp, by default, everyone can see if they are online and have read a message.

The topic of the third workshop is cyberbullying. The European School Munich is actively engaged against all forms of bullying, among others through the KiVa program and special anti-bullying trainings. In exercises, primary school children talk about what forms of bullying can take on online. The big difference to the offline world is that bullying can happen quickly, anonymously and independently of time and place via the Internet. This of course makes the search for perpetrators more difficult, which is why cyberbullying must also be given special attention.