A prerequisite for sustainable media education is an unprejudiced attitude regarding all media as basic media literacy on the part of the ECEC professionals. This is the only way to make full use of the opportunities offered by media education. At the same time, risks can be identified, sufficiently evaluated and methods derived for counteracting them.
It is also crucial that the ECEC professionals have a media pedagogical competence. This means the ability to help others (e.g. children or parents) to develop their media literacy. However, it is just as important to approach the design and use of media without fear of contact or prejudice.
Be open to the children's media world and show genuine interest. Children's preferences and needs must be taken seriously, including their relation to the media. Ask questions and talk to the children. This will tell you what the children's interests in media are, what they do with media and how they use them.
I would also recommend that you simply watch programmes that are particularly popular with children in order to gain a better understanding of the children's media world. This could also be done together with the children in the ECEC centre in the context of a media day.
Exchange, Reflect, Discuss
It is important for the internal pedagogical work and for the external image of an ECEC centre that all colleagues exchange their common understanding of education, the common goals and the implementation and interpretation of the educational plan at regular intervals.
It is also necessary to realise that media education plays a key role in the pedagogical work of ECEC. As a matter of fact, only when one has formed a proper judgement on what is important can one pass it on to the children.
You can reduce your own concerns by reflecting and looking at your own media consumption, your own interests and preferences. You will soon realise that you simply consume media for relaxation or entertainment and that this is perfectly acceptable.
Remember that you don't have to be an expert to implement media education in ECEC. The main thing is that you have value-free, relaxed access to media and use them without hesitation. But if you then want to work with a medium, it is important that you deal with it in advance. You should know how to use it and what possibilities there are to use it meaningfully and creatively in the everyday pedagogical life.
Get to know the possibilities offered by working with different media as well as the dangers that can arise through their use. It is imperative that you question the value of various media through critical thinking.
Sustainable Media Education
A sustainable media education in ECEC always includes an active partnership with the parents because the family has a fundamental role in the education of children. Working together with the families provides exciting insights into the everyday media life of the children, which can be adopted in the daily pedagogical work. In addition, parents can be supported in their educational activities by receiving advice in the field of media education.
It is always important to have a strategy for the meaningful use of media in ECEC. It has nothing to do with media education if you simply place a computer in the children's classroom or press a digital camera into their hands. What is essential is the didactic intention behind it.
1. Why should ECEC professionals be media-literate?
2. Why is an active partnership between the ECEC teachers and parents important?
3. What is a meaningful strategy of media use in ECEC?