Friday, May 11, 2007

The Youth Voice

After Ola Erstad's massive presentation about several important issues around media education, Veera Lehtinen and Jalmari Sarla had a presentation about The Youth Voice Editorial Board. The goals of the project (2006-2008) they introduced to us are:
  • To change the image of the youth in media,
  • To let youth take part in public discussion in diffentet media and to challenge the youth to have conversation with each other, experts, and politicians,
  • To educate young people to make articles etc.
They have made tv programmes and newspaper articles. Check out some of their tv programmes:

We heard that unfortunately YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company) is cutting down the youth programmes which affects this project too.


Pictures, bilder, kuvia. Here are some views into the main lecture room, the foyer during the day.

Forum 2 - Film and animation with pre-school children

Kindergarten teacher Benny Smulter presented his experienses from film and animation making with pre-school children. In Hamnparken day care center the children have made several films, within past few years. The purpose of the film project is to empower children and support their participation: children are in key role in all parts of the process, from the scriptwriting to filming, editing and sound making. When children familiarise themselves with the filmmaking process, it provides them with a more critical attitude towards media presentations. Of course an educator’s guidance is often needed when working with small children.

Making films with children takes time and it has to start with the basics: getting familiar with the equipment as well as the process of storytelling and filmmaking. Even though children learn quite quickly to use the equipment (for example editing programs), the process takes a long time, because children’s ability to concentrate is limited. That’s why the films are made in short periods.

The key element in making films with children is joy. It has to be fun for the children. Smulter also described a good experience of co-operation with local media: they had a premiere show for animation, and local press made news about it. It was a great experience for the children to feel like movie stars and to see themselves in newspaper next day.

Ola Erstad: Media education and media literacies - past, present and future

Media creativity at its best? Link to Youtube, bushandblair

One of the main points of Ola Erstad's presentation was that there is a huge transition taking place which is new and has happened really fast. Our biggest concern at the moment is to understand how to cope with it.

These transformations are:
  • the unit of analysis
  • multimodality
  • creativity
  • media production
  • being critical
Case Norway:

A new subject introduced in the upper secondary schools: media and communication. The course is very popular and schools are now competing against one another trying to offer the course and thereby attract students . The course content is very much focused on production and the researchers are concerned about what the students are really "learning".

Forum 4 - 6th presentation: Friendships with or without internet

Kirsi Pohjola from the University of Jyväskylä presented her fresh study on friendships with or without internet. We were the first ones to hear draft analysis of her qualitative research.

She has studied a small group of young men (aged 22) who have been friend from their early childhood. Nowadays they use an irc channel for communicating with each other. Or actually, the virtual communication is just an extention to the offline social life. That is what the boys say. They also say that their friendship would exixt even without cmc.

Pohjola had asked the boys about what is the difference between real and virtual worlds. She found out that for most of them, they are not two parallel worlds but one reality. In future, it will be even more difficult to tell what is the online reality and what is the offline reality. But is there really need to separate them from each other?

For most young people, internet is a tool for communicating with friends. Also Pohjola's "boys" seem to use the net for that. One of them had stated, "if the net is broken, you feel really lonely".
Forum 1 - 7th presentation: Does teaching have a future?

Wow! I am really excited with the title already!

Stefán Jökulson was the FIRST and so far ONLY presenter (apart from Kjell Sundstedt's keynote yesterday) not using any technological tools for his presentation. It felt strange at the beginning as we all sentisised to stare at the white screen on the wall and wait for the first slide to appear. After the initial cognitive confusion, it felt refreshing :)

There were six points he raised. Teaching will have a future IF
  • there is a cognitive curriculum - media education is about helping students make their meaning
  • teachers study imagination - we need to think beyond the realms of reality and be more creative
  • teachers approach teaching and learning as communication - even if teachers do not intentionally communicate their goals and intentions, they still communicate as the meaning is in the message
  • teachers think about meaning as movement and learning as practice, teachers should also stop talking solo and answer their own questions
  • teachers and students reinvent themselves - the cultural artefacts carry with them attributes which we have to be aware of, for instance teachers still deep down do not believe that digital resources can be used for learning
Forum 1 - 6th presentation: Nuku movie school

Jeata Juustinen from Oulu walked us through the Nuku film school and the so-called Taikalamppu method that is based on improvisation that produces the core of the script. The scipt is then shot in a chronological order and no editing is done to the film before the first viewing. More information can be found at (in Finnish, Swedish and English) There will be a guide on the method later this year.