Learning a responsible and competent handling of media is a key skill and lifelong process. Depending on the phase of life and media use, various questions, topics or problems are at the forefront. For children between the ages of three and six, for example, it can be a matter of collecting knowledge about the different everyday media in a playful way together with other children or of dealing with the differences between a television programme and commercials. The handling of media figures is also part of this.
The key factor for this age group is that media literacy can gradually develop. The complexity of the essential topics then increases with age.
It is particularly important for children to strengthen their competent handling of the media, as they are open to the media in both a positive and negative sense. At this age they are curious and use the media offers without bias, but are also easier to be influenced by media.
Children have to learn how to deal responsibly with media. It is the responsibility of parents and ECEC professionals to teach children how to use the media in a prudent manner at an early age.
Norbert Neuß, Professor of Early Education and Media Pedagogue, says "Media education is often confused with media didactics, i.e. the use of media for other educational purposes is regarded as media education".
Media education is, however, only involved if the didactic offers and educational efforts are aimed at promoting media literacy.
1. Why should media education be started in ECEC?
2. Why is it important to let children use media in a creative way?
3. How can ECEC contribute to equality in Media Education?