Mediawijzer.net is the Dutch centre of expertise for media literacy. This network organisation aims to increase media literacy among citizens and organisations.
This page contains the complete English information about Mediawijzer.net.
We live in a fast-moving world in which, partly due to technological developments, the use of media plays an increasingly important role. We receive news and information 24 hours a day, through radio, television and the internet. Thanks to our mobile telephones, we are always available to our colleagues, friends and families regardless of time or place. We read e-mail on our mobile telephones, Skype with our grandchildren abroad, have profiles on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn and we are even able to do our daily grocery shopping and government-related administration online.
Technological progress is making our lives seemingly easier and it often enhances the contact we have with our surroundings. However, this is not the case for every event or for everyone. The elderly, for example, often lack both knowledge of modern media and the practical skills required to fully benefit from the interactivity of the information society. Meanwhile, although young people often know how to use modern media they are not always capable of distinguishing reliable from unreliable information. Additionally, young people don’t always realise that the photos they put on the Internet can end up staying there for years.
Being able to handle (modern) media is of essential importance to everyone.
Mediawijzer.net was established in 2008 at the initiative of the government. Mediawijzer.net aims to provide all Dutchmen with a framework they can use to become more media literate in order to increasingly participate fully in society. Being ‘media literate’ means possessing the knowledge and skills to be able to function consciously, critically and actively in a multi-media world.
Mediawijzer.net is an expertise centre that links the activities of various organisations in the area of media literacy and promotes cooperation between them. There are five organisations at the centre’s core:
- Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, NIBG;
- ECP, an information society platform;
- Koninklijke Bibliotheek National Library of the Netherlands Institute for the Public Libraries Sector;
- Kennisnet, an expertise centre for ICT in education;
- NPO, a Public Broadcasting Company.
These organisations all cover a specific area within the media literacy playing field. Additionally, Mediawijzer.net works with a growing number of network partners. Since 2008, more than 1.000 organisations have registered as network partners. Among the latter are libraries, schools, media producers, museums, research institutes, publishing companies and more. The free network membership enables these organisations to meet each other, exchange expertise and develop new initiatives.
Being ‘media literate’ is a basic condition for full participation in society. In order to give all Dutch citizen the same opportunities, it is important that both Mediawijzer.net’s objectives and the activities of its affiliated network partners remain a focus of public attention. An approach at national level therefore avoids fragmentation into small, local projects. Over the past two years, Mediawijzer.net has demonstrated how the relevant parties can be linked and how the impact and reach of initiatives can thereby be strengthened.
The range of media literacy and our accompanying activities are aimed at both children and young people 0-18 years old. The reason for this is that this age group is often the first to be exposed to new forms of media and can be particularly vulnerable due to inexperience. Furthermore, lessons learnt at a young age are often lessons learnt best. Mediawijzer.net therefore provides this group with information and encourages the responsible use of media, alongside the parents, grandparents and teachers.
In order to give you an idea of our activities, they can roughly be divided into the following categories: campaigning, research, the incentive scheme, community, website, network events and expert sessions.
Below these categories will be exemplified.
- “Media Ukkie” Campaign
The Media Ukkie Campaign is an annual campaign in April providing tips and advice concerning media education of toddlers and pre-schoolers. Part of this campaign is an audience prize for the best and most media literate media for these little ones.
- Week van de Mediawijsheid (Media Literacy Week)
The focus of our yearly Media Literacy Week in November is on media literacy of youngsters (age 10 – 14) and their parents and educators. The week is entirely dedicated how children, their parents and educators can use media for their (personal) development and functioning.
Activities during Media Literacy Week:
- MediaMasters: The lifelike media experience game for the higher classes of elementary school. Over 43.000 children participated in 2012 and received their MediaMaster.
- Media Battle: The goal of the Media Battle is to make first graders (age 12-14) think and talk about their own media literacy.
- National PTA meeting: How to provide the best media education? Together with parents we seek for answers.
- MQ-test: Media literacy test providing parents with insights concerning their own media literacy and the media behaviour of their child. Including practical tips and references to relevant information.
- House of Media literacy: The library: during the Media Literacy Week this is the place for children, youngsters and their educators to ask questions and to participate in activities.
www.mediawijzer.net – The website Mediawijzer.net focuses on literacy professionals and network partners. Together with a group of enthusiastic bloggers, we invite our readers to engage in discussions about current media literacy issues in the blog area (articles are in Dutch). They can share knowledge, experience and insights in the comments or in the community. Also they can get in touch with other members, for example to start new initiatives and collaborations with.
www.mediawijsheid.nl – The website Mediawijsheid.nl is the online directing post for anyone looking for information and the latest news on media literacy. The main functions are the media literacy files, news and referring to other websites and initiatives from network partners.
These websites are co-funded by the European Commission, as part of the Better Internet for Kids project.
- Media Literacy Conference
A conference about the future of media literacy which took place at Cinekid 2013, organized by Mediawijzer.net
- Expert sessions
Mediawijzer.net organizes expert sessions on subjects such as media behaviour of toddlers and the integration of media literacy education within the current curricula.
Since its establishment, Mediawijzer.net delivered several leading studies on both media literacy and the existing needs at this field among children, youngsters and educators.
- Media Literacy Competences
Mediawijzer.net developed together with experts a set of 10 essential media literacy competences. These competences can serve as a guide to help understand what it means to be media literate. These competences are needed to be mastered to actively, critically and consciously participate in the current thoroughly mediated society.
- Incentive arrangement
Mediawijzer.net – in collaboration with its network partners – contributed to over 30 innovative projects though an annual incentive arrangement.
- Partner network
Mediawijzer.net has become a community of producers of media literacy. The network consists of over 900 members.
Media Literacy Map
In addition to the website from Mediawijzer.net, a ‘media literacy map’ is available on which eight thematic lines are displayed as metro lines. On these lines the different target groups are shown as metro stops. The different target groups are subdivided in primary groups: children, youth, parents, teachers and secondary groups: everyone/ citizens, media professionals, civil society, elderly, socially disadvantaged.
- Customized content
Customized content has consequences for both consumer and media creator. The consumer needs to be aware of the fact that preferences and/or behavior are
stored and interpreted by third parties. Media creators are given a new responsibility when they link that data and algorithm to content.
» Download white paper Customized Content
- Social Youth & TV
More and more, watching television is becoming a social experience. Social TV is about interaction, extra content and solidifying the relationship with the viewer. This provides new possibilities and responsibilities for media creators, stations and advertisers. Especially when it concerns the youth.
» Download white paper Social Youth & TV
- Little ones – their brain and media education
What can professionals on media literacy advise parents and pedagogical staff about media education for the youngest group of children (0-6 years)?
» Download white paper Little Ones – their brain and media education
Media Literacy: definition in 10 competences
So, what exactly is Media Literacy? How to investigate it, develop teaching material and measure media literacy skills? To answer these questions, we developed a competence model based on ten competences.
The set of competences are needed to be able to actively and mindfully participate in the through media penetrated society. Mediawijzer.net has consulted a range of experts to determine which competences these might be; the result is an overarching open and dynamic model, consisting of ten media literacy competences. As the competence model is developed as open and dynamic, the appropriate minor or major changes will be made concerning the ever changing media society.
the model has therefore been set up as open and dynamic, and every year the appropriate minor or major changes will be applied.
The competence model consists of four main categories Understanding, Use, Communication and Strategy under which the ten competences are divided. Each competence additionally exists of 5 levels (level 0 – 4) which can indicate how media literate one is.
In the competence model, the definition of media literacy concisely is: “the set of skills you need in order to actively and mindfully participate in the media society”. The model is meant as a tool for:
- The development of media literacy products and services;
- Providing insight into the offers;
- The design of (simple) measuring instruments.
» The media competence model is also available in English. You can read more about the history of the competence model and download several documentations, like ‘Competence Model Explained’ and the ‘Competence Levels’.