On 17 October, the media literacy training course “Read Between the Lines” ended in Vilnius, Lithuania. An intensive six-day seminar gathered 26 participants – teachers, trainers, youth workers, etc. – from Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine. An official slogan of the seminar proposed by them refers to the steps of acquiring media and information literacy skills and reads as “Analyse, Evaluate and Reflect before You Create or Act”.
During the course, the participants reflected on media literacy situations in their countries, assessed their own level in the topic by filling in a questionnaire prepared by the facilitators, got familiar with psychological aspects of the media literacy. One full day was devoted to critical thinking, including a theoretical input and a role play. Further units were dealing with hidden messages behind words and images, borders between journalism and activism and manipulations.
“A highlight of the training course was field visits”, – says Aleksandr Petrov of the Centre of Creativity and Innovations (VšĮ Kūrybingumo ir inovacijų centras), which organised the gathering. “The participants had an opportunity to visit the DELFI media company, the “Meno Avilys” organisation, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports or the Salomėja Nėris Grammar School, to get first-hand experiences on how the media literacy education has been implemented in Lithuania and to bring new skills and insights back to their countries.”
On 16 October, participants were developing in smaller groups and trying out their non-formal education methods related to media literacy in a “Creathon” format (standing for “Creative Hackathon”), such as a verification mindmap, a curriculum for a critical thinking school course or a guideline on how to write a good article. All eight of them will be published soon on the Competendo Online Toolbox for Civic Education (http://competendo.net).
The training course was possible thanks to the Erasmus+ Programme funding and close cooperation between partner organisations from all countries involved. The educational programme was provided by professional facilitators from Germany, Malwina Fendrych and Sergei Tereshenkov.
Strive! participants on this training course were Jelena Novak, Danka Brumen and Mateja Gabor.
“Even though the schedule was quite intensive, I had a great time and I learned a lot about the topic itself. I enjoyed the methods used on the training – simulations, individual reflections, various activities including role play, but the highlight of the training for me was a field visit. We have visited Lithuanian NGO “Meno Avilys” and they told us all about their beginnings, projects they did, shared their stories and future plans with us. Overall, this project gave me authentic insides on the topic of media literacy and critical thinking, as well as diverse practical tools which I will be able to use in my professional and personal life.”, said Jelena Novak, one of the founders of Association Strive!
“I was really happy and excited to come back to Lithuania and feel all the changes happening in the last 5 years. Getting insights and sharing views about media and media literacy in 9 different countries was really beneficial for the work on future projects development”, shared thoughts Mateja Gabor, Project Manager at Association Strive!.
“Being media literate and able to distinguish fake from real news is very important in today’s society especially when you work with young people. This training, although intensive, give me a lot of knowledge, tips & tricks and useful information on media literacy itself, critical thinking and how to incorporate that in everyday life. Through workshops, role-playing, discussions and field visit we have learned a lot and got some first-hand information. This training will stay remembered as one of the good ones especially thanks to amazing participants, good organization and knowledgeable trainers.”, concluded Danka Brumen, youth worker and coordinator in Strive!