Media Literacy: a focus on parents’ education

Year after year, our society is experiencing an explosion in information and an invasion of new media that are partially replacing those we can consider as “traditional”, like newspapers and TV.

Every day at any time, and wherever we are, we can access to them with our smartphone, computer or other devices connected to the web, getting news, images, videos and other contents. Everything is very easy and quick. But are we sure we can trust, believing all what we’re being offered? And what about our children? They were born in the digital era, and usually, they are able to manage digital devices and apps better than us, but how many dangers are they risking to be exposed without us realizing it?

It’s a quite frequent habit to hear about episodes of cyberbullying, dangerous games even calling to suicide, the social networks violating privacy and so on. Not to mention all the situations of premeditated fake information. Parents themselves, as adults, face media literacy-related problems. According to Eurostat, in 2018, 40% of them had insufficient digital skills and even those possessing a real command of digital skills often lack the attitude to put them to full use: only 2% of the digitally competent can demonstrate critical thinking while searching for information online (EU Cooperation on Strengthening Media Literacy and Critical Thinking in Education and Training, 2017).

What can we do in front of that?

“Media Literacy for Parents” (short MeLi Parents) is an Erasmus+ project offering a very interesting answer. Led by the Polish Map of Passions Foundation, the project involves partners from Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Belgium, gathered to develop and provide high-quality learning opportunities tailored to the needs of parents, that’s to say the most important role model for children regarding media usage.

So far, in EU regions an extensive work has been done in respect to teens and older students’ media literacy education, while only a small number of initiatives have involved parents, which prompts questions about the level of media literacy support being provided to them.

MeLi Parents project aims to bridge this gap, fostering parents’ media literacy skills and competences. The foreseen activities will take the consortium of partners to organize a training programme on 3 levels, to develop a web application that will bring media literacy education directly in their houses, a parents’ guide, public workshops and other initiatives to disseminate the project results and to create an online network of parents. Discover more about MeLi Parents project visiting its website