Editor’s Commentary

In or Out? (Photo: Hannu Mäkelä)

As the editor of these selected parts of our work this year I’m more than happy to say that I think we have succeeded in opening the so-called phenomenon-based learning cycle and helping students to study issues that they are interested in the wide field of media and, well, contemporary life. The large variety of topics and opinions proves it, and I want to thank our international team for working with the method that was new to all of us in this project – I am very satisfied with the results!

Despite the differences in topics, I think the picture above catches some of the feelings or thoughts that the young share. Our cross-national team has offered them experiences on joining a group and working together as a film group thus practising their social skills. On the other hand they have also had to plan and write a text alone and stand behind it.  We have wanted to hear what each of them think or is interested in as a person, as his/ her own self. In addition to these, ”In or Out?” is a thing that worries them when it comes to popularity in social media, for instance. At this point it seems that we have managed to offer the young opportunities to feel they’re ”in” and thus feel empowered. Still, this is something I myself want to study further in the future.

As a teacher I hope that the work we have done will find readers and users in all the four countries, at least. I am also eagerly looking forward to our next term and the new ways of dealing with our topics. On the whole I think that the school system has a really important part in giving skills and guiding to handle the media and life online. Some of the students get them already from home but as you can see in the texts, the young are aware that all of them don’t. School should offer them to all and in that way make (at least the online) society a more secure, more comfortable and more equal environment. Even the researchers say, ”In Western societies it is no longer an exaggeration to argue that online skills are becoming a new source of socio-economic inequality”. And as we all know, the more inequal the society, the more unstable it is. So I hope this project will bring something new in our everyday work to teach the online skills and media literacy in our own schools, in all the four countries.

Laura Mäkelä

Almost there (Photo: Hannu Mäkelä)

References: Keipi, Näsi, Oksanen & Räsänen: Online Hate and Harmful Content. Cross-National Perspectives. Routledge, 2017



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