During November 2008 started the “On Air: European media education” project, co-funded by the EC under the Lifelong learning programme, sub-programme Comenius, contract number: 142299-LLP-1-2008-1-IT-COMENIUS-CMP.
Leading organization is Faculty of Communication Sciences, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, and the partners are:
INFOREF, Belgium;
Zinev Art Technologies, Bulgaria;
Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania;
Easy Technologies S.r.l., Italy;
Pixel, Italy;
MED – Media education – Association for education to media and communication, Italy;
WSINF – The College of Computer Science, Poland;

Many studies and surveys highlight how the attractive potential of Digital Media (TV, Internet, Radio etc.) towards youth is causing a threat to literacy skills, with images, graphics and sounds that are substituting reading and writing as mean of transmission of information. Similarly the chaotic flow of information, often can be misleading in absence of critical analysis skills.
For these reasons the entire school system and teachers above all, are experiencing serious challenges in motivating students to develop literacy skills and to prevent them in being passive objects of the messages of the Media.
What appears to be missing is the capacity of the teachers to communicate with their pupils in order to make them understand the importance of reading and writing and of the capacity to analyse with critical spirit in a information based society.

The project intends to supply an answer to the needs highlighted above through a change in perspective involving secondary schools in a common effort in order to make New Media become not a threat but a tool for the development of students literacy skills and for the building of their critical and aware approach to the understanding of reality through New Media.
The project aims to make teachers being able to exploit the attractive potential that New Media have on young generation in order to raise their attention and motivate them to rediscover the importance of literacy skills (reading and writing) and to approach the flow and diffusion of information that the New Media spread, with the necessary critical skills in order to become aware users.

Target groups
The main target group of the project is to be considered as teachers and students of secondary schools (junior and upper school) of the 7 countries participating to the project, that will be directly involved in the project activities. At least 70 teachers will be directly involved in the project activities.

Research on training needs - Workgroups of teachers and experts in the field will carry out an analysis of the needs and expectancies of the school system related to the possible exploitation of the New Media for the development of literacy skills (reading and writing) and for the building up of the capacity of the students to analyse and interpret information in order to become aware New Media user (development of critic sense and of the capacity of being an aware user of Media).
Collection and analysis of on-going experiences - In each country workgroups made up of teachers and experts, will collect and analyse information about the existing experiences in the field of the use of Media in educational contexts for the development of reading and writing skills and for the enhancing of critical sense and awareness as users of Media.
Development of Media based educational paths - Starting from the existing experiences, collected and validated eight educational paths related to Media education will be developed and made accessible onto the Internet Portal of the project.
Testing and evaluation of the Media based education paths - In each country a pilot group of teachers, duly assisted by the experts, will test the Media based educational paths, in order to evaluate their quality and effectiveness.

Current “On Air” information will be published on ZAT web-site: www.artsbg.net, as well as on the official project web-site: www.onair.medmediaeducation.it.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. The content of this publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.






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