Youth growing in a world of "apps" today, "tweeds" and "hashtags" at. Terms that many adults capitulate to, as well as the omnipresence of smartphones and tablet computers. Social networks are the interest groups of today; children and young people live online and in their own trendy media reality. "This world is not always a familiar one for parents and educators" says roland baumann "but it does exist and we have to deal with it." The doctor of science teaches at friedrichruckert high school in ebern and is also a media pedagogical and information technology advisor for high schools in lower franconia.
How to get a grip on the possibilities, but also the dark sides of this media world? This question has been addressed by the school administrators and teaching staffs of gymnasium and middle school in ebern. It is the question of media competence. The leaders of both schools agree that you can't keep young people away from the media. The goal must be to educate students to become competent media users.
Schools with a certificate
For their efforts to find the right strategy for a sensible and dosed handling of media in school, both schools were awarded the title "reference school for media education" last week in dillingen awarded. They thus join a phalanx of now 120 schools in bavaria that want to meet this special challenge of our time.
Three years have passed since both schools applied for this certificate. But these were not years of waiting, but years of intensive work on conclusive concepts. At the middle school, the efforts were led by principal toni binder, at the grammar school, the coordinator was senior teacher alexander kleber.
Media development plans were drawn up in working groups. According to roland baumann, this will ensure that media education purchases are planned and in line with demand. Until now, he explains, schools have been able to purchase their beamers, digital whiteboards or other equipment when the necessary funding was available. There is sometimes a wide gap between actual needs and available capacities.
In a further step, both schools in ebern have developed their own curricula for media education. To this end, it was important to determine which media skills can be taught in which grade, and which must also fit into the curriculum of the respective school subject. All subject representatives were called upon to get involved in this crucial thinking process. A profoundly pedagogical step, because it made it possible to guarantee proximity to the subject lessons and at the same time to "get all the teachers on board". This increases acceptance among educators. Consequently, teacher conferences were also held. The bus and prayer day, which is not a day of classes, was used for this purpose; and there were training courses and further education courses on the use of modern programs (e.G. "Moodle") or "mebis") for media work in the classroom.
For the team leaders and supervisors, the ministry of education organized special conferences and meetings at the academy for teacher training in dillingen.
The grammar school can rely on a luminary in the field of media pedagogy and information technology in the person of study councilor baumann. As a consultant for lower franconia, he's right in his field. He praises the motivation of his colleagues: "it's really great that everyone involved is willing to be driven and pull along, he says. Ultimately, the goal is to "encourage students to use media responsibly in their own lives."
Practical experience is crucial
Last week in dillingen, swabia, the heads of the two schools received their certificates after the two-year project phase. Successful qualification as a "reference school for media education was worth a small festive reception for the ministry of education.
But the certificate alone is not enough. Now it's time to get practical. The plans must be put into practice, and the media knowledge acquired must also be passed on to other schools and educational institutions. "To this end, the middle school and the grammar school will continue to work together – as befits pedagogical neighbors", says baumann: "for the practical implementation, the newly appointed reference schools are coordinating closely and will offer jointly organized training for teachers across schools and school types on aspects of media use in the classroom."
One focus at the friedrich-ruckert-gymnasium will be on grade 6, for example. Their media competence is to be challenged by an initiative called "netzganger" (see report on the right) (see report on the right), which was co-developed in ebern.
According to klauspeter schmidt, principal of the ebern grammar school, it's not just about the use of media, but also about the school's own media productions. "For example, we have courses that create their own podcasts or small film sequences." Videos as class work. According to the principal, this is only possible with the appropriate equipment, which is why it is important to "raise the technical equipment to a higher level." This means costs for the subject matter experts.
The high school wants to convert one of the computer rooms into a media room. Recently, two additional classrooms have been equipped with interactive whiteboards (smart boards). In part together with the middle school, computers with special software for editing video sequences, cameras, recording devices for podcasts, and other software and hardware were purchased. Both schools should be able to use the equipment.
"What was important for us" say schmidt and his colleague philipp arnold from the middle school in a kind of interim assessment "the joint application of the two schools. "We want to emphasize the close cooperation between schools and show that school-specific differences are less important than commonalities when it comes to the use of modern media." Arnold emphasizes the desire to continue the cooperation and at the same time refers to the middle school's own media curriculum, which specifies which media competencies students should have achieved in which grade.
Philipp arnold: "almost all of our classrooms are equipped with whiteboards so that teachers can also work with them in the classroom, and the school is completely networked." Via this network, learning links and programs are available in every room of the building, so that media lessons are possible everywhere in the school, independent of the subject room.
According to arnold, music videos are produced every year in the ninth grade. To do this, the children first analyze music videos by various artists, write their own scripts, take on roles, practice video editing, and scene design. The principal: "this will challenge the independence of the students."
"The media work" today philipp arnold can claim "is integrated into our school profile as a matter of course and is an irreplaceable part of our daily lessons."
Schoolchildren learn from schoolchildren
The so-called "netzganger initiative makes the pioneering knowledge of young people his own and uses the so-called "peer effect" for effective media education. Tutors from higher grades (in the ebern high school, these are eleventh-grade students) guide the girls and boys in the sixth grade in the self-confident and responsible use of social networks and digital game worlds. But it's also about shopping, downloads and general legal transactions on the internet.
The tutors, in turn, are trained in a separate "media studies" profile subject specially trained for their educational use. According to roland baumann, a media pedagogue from ebern, older schools enjoy much more trust and credibility with the target group, i.E. Children in the sixth grade, in such subject areas as a teacher.
Baumann was involved when the initiative was launched in 2009 at the friedrichruckert grammar school in ebern in cooperation with the clavius grammar school and an institute at the university of bamberg. It is funded by the bavarian state chancellery.
"This tutorial is also intended to, says baumann "protecting children and young people from the darker side of media use, such as cyberbullying, for example." He speaks of an "important contribution to the education of today's lifestyle." In more than 30 schools there are "netzgangers" already. The ebern middle school also wants to implement the concept.
The reference schools
The "reference schools for media education" are considered a starting point and role model in media education. As multipliers, they are supposed to set other schools on the right path. The initiative of the bavarian ministry of education and the state institute for school quality and education research relies on the snowball principle.
Awards go to schools that professionalize their media work to meet the demands of the times in education.
The schools draw up and implement a media development plan tailored to the type of school and grade level. This also includes a cross-curricular methodology curriculum, an equipment concept and a plan for further training on the topic are further prerequisites .