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: Dutch media literacy network
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 1.100 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.
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 100.000 children participated in 2015 and received their MediaMaster.
- 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 Seminar
A conference about the future of media literacy which took place at Cinekid, powered by Mediawijzer.net. Read last year’s summary here.
- 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 1000 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
Since the introduction of media literacy in the Netherlands in 2005, the Dutch have become a lot more media literate. This calls for celebration with a special jubilee book, in which we not only look at what has happened in the past 10 years; we especially look forward to the next 10 years. What will the future bring us, and what kind of media literacy will we need?
Mediawijzer.net asked this question to 21 prominent artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, developers, philosophers and even a hacker. The result is a book full of inspiring, refreshing and sometimes disquieting and disruptive ideas and visions on the media literacy of the future. The book also highlights several milestones from Mediawijzer.net and its network, which consists of over a thousand partners.
Download the pdf version of the book here.
Those interested in a physical copy of the book can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
History of the competence model
The competence model provides clarity regarding media literacy and can also serve as a point of departure for media literacy initiatives. The division and description of the 10 competences are based on the report “Measuring Media Literacy” (2011, EYE a.o.) and on the latest insights of the consulted experts.
However, developments in the media move along swiftly, and subsequently the competence model will need continuous updating.
Download competence model
The following files are part of the competence model. In these documents you can read more about how to interpret the model, competences and the levels.
Competence Model: 10 media literacy competences
The competence model provides clarity about media literacy and a point of departure for media literacy initiatives.
Competence Model explained
Each competence has three components: knowledge, skills and attitude; so all the media literacy competences involve knowledge, skills and attitude.
This overarching competence is divided in understanding the influence of media on society, how media are made and how media can colour reality.
The process of a broad range of media penetrating our world more deeply is the ever growing influence of media on society. Media literacy starts with an awareness of this process and of its effects. We don’t know yet what those effects will be, what we should welcome and what we should resist. What we do know, is that the increasing presence of media in society is being debated from barbers’ shops to universities, and from Internet forums to TV talk shows. Media literacy is experiencing, thinking about and discussing the trends and consequences of the distinguishing sign of our times: the growing influence of media on society.
The competence within ”Use” are using equipment, software & applications and orientation within media environments.
Being technically skilled also means being able to limit user risks. Media-literate people buy protective covers for their smartphones, choose secure passwords, use secure browsing and install anti-theft apps on their tablets. But it also refers to an attitude to media. To be media-literate is to be open to using new media, but without being enslaved by them. It is to actively explore new applications and technologies, but not to succumb to every other hype; it is being able to switch off your phone now and then.
Within communication, three divisions can be distinguished; finding & processing information, creating content and participating in social networks. Being media-literate means being able to make optimal use of relevant information by storing it sensibly and sharing it with others. Being media-literate in creating content, means being able to create functional and appealing content to best get your message across to your target audience. And last but not least, when participating in social networks, being media literate means knowing the conventions, knowing what to say when, and how to make and keep friends – or indeed defriend people – in different social media environments. Knowing etiquette also means being able to avoid unwanted communication. Social media do not only involve connections and cooperation, but also misuse and abuse. Media-literate people know when other people are out of line and can put a stop to it effectively.
» More about the competence levels
» Do you want to know more about Mediawijzer.net? Read the ‘About Mediawijzer.net’ page.
» On our page for publications you can download whitepapers about: ‘Customized content’, ‘Social Youth & TV’ and ‘Little ones – their brain and media education’.
» Research: Media Education In Four EU Countries – Common problems and possible solutions. How do Finland, Sweden and the UK tackle media education? And how does that compare to the Netherlands?
You can find the contact information per employee below.
|Mary Berkhout – Programme manager
06 424 824 16
|Micky Devente – Community manager
|Danny Douwes – Programme secretary
06 547 504 10
|Anne Everloo – Communications campaigns
|Mimi van Dun – Project coordinator Media Literacy
035 677 3859
Project coordination: Media Ukkie Dagen | MediaMasters | Week van de Mediawijsheid | 10 Jaar Mediawijsheid | MyComment Festival
|Heide Goris – Relations manager
06 813 616 81
|Sarah Hijmans – Content producer and editor MediaMasters
|Saskia Kuijl – Web editor Mediawijzer.net and Mediawijsheid.nl
|Gemma Steeman – Sr. (Web) editor
|Maja van Eijndthoven – Intern Mediawijzer.net