MeLDE TOOLKIT and COMMUNITY
IO4 focused on the production of the MeLDE TOOLKIT, which gives the opportunity to other organizations to implement an upskilling training programme through the MeLDE e-PLATFORM and to assess their acquired skills and competencies. The MeLDE Toolkit was implemented and evaluated in all the partner countries through the creation of the MeLDE communities.
Between March and July 2021 the University of Wolverhampton held a series of Teacher Focused Sessions (TFS) to encourage the formation of a MeLDE Community and to evaluate the eLearning platform. The TFS events (all of which took place online) were designed to ‘spread the word’ about MeLDE and the eLearning platform, encourage sign-ups to the platform and create communities of practice around media literacy in education (for both teachers and students). The first two teacher sessions were held online via Zoom on March 23rd and April 27th 2021 and focused respectively on boosting online student collaboration and participation and the use of technology in student assessment and feedback via MeLDE eLearning training.
Two more sessions were held on June 29th 2021 and July 6th 2021 focusing on two further MeLDE eLearning courses: e-safety and digital collaboration and communication (June 29th) and digital content creation and digital teaching and learning (July 6th).
During the four sessions the project team shared their experiences of using the platform, highlighting specific examples that contributed to their continuing professional development (CPD). Attendees were then guided through the sign-up process with the sessions ending with discussion around digital literacy and technology in teaching and learning.
To reinforce the important role the eLearning platform could play for UK teachers in Secondary Education, the University of Wolverhampton mapped the specific subject areas where MeLDE training supported teaching and learning based on the current National Curriculum key aims for England at Key Stage 3 (KS3), Key Stage 4 (KS4) and GCSE programmes of study, aims and attainment. The mapping document can be found in the online Toolkit.
The implementation phase of the MeLDE: Media Literacy in the Digitalised Era – supporting teachers through a whole-school approach programme aims to deliver a training targeted to secondary school teachers, on selected topics according to their needs in order to develop their digital and media literacy skills.
The pilot event in Cyprus was delivered by Emphasys Centre between the 8th-10th June 2021, and took the form of blended virtual learning activities (synchronous and asynchronous) due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilot implementation of the project was promoted through various channels and platforms such as the ANT1 portal, EPALE, social media and through Emphasys network with different schools, in order to reach potential participants. The total number of participants who took part in the pilot testing phase was 26 – 19 external school teachers and educators and 7 internal staff – educators from Emphasys.
The synchronous part of the training took the form of a 3-day virtual training event for 3 hours per session with a short break between.
During the first day, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the aims and objectives of the MeLDE project, the materials and the resources developed, the functionalities of the e-learning platform and the validation system of the Open Badges. Additionally, during the second half of the first day a guest speaker, Mrs Charoula Aggeli, Professor of Instructional Technology and Director of the Centre of Teaching and Learning at the University of Cyprus, joined the training to share her expertise in the field of technology and education.
Our pilot testing took place at the end of June 2021 online. Our participants had different backgrounds – teachers, freelancing teachers, trainers, artists teaching online. After a presentation of MeLDE project, we started a discussion about digital classrooms. All of them had positive as well as negative experiences. Suddenly teachers needed to become digitally advanced trainers who not only share their knowledge with students but also entertain them – as keeping the attention online is more difficult than face to face. The participants were asking us for practical solutions and examples. After a presentation of different possibilities, we have presented the MeLDE e-learning platform. We have chosen the e-safety module to focus on, so that the participants will learn more about copyrights.
As we are successfully reaching the end of the European Erasmus+ project MeLDE- Media Literacy in the Digitalised Era: Supporting Teachers Through a Whole-School Approach, Net Media Lab organized and implemented the pilot training activities, with the aim of testing the project’s educational material and created products to a group of Secondary School teachers, and help them familiarize with the notion of media literacy and its value during the 21st century. It is considered crucial to know about digital tools for online education, online communication and collaboration, and online safety, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most of the educational activities are being held online.
The training activities of the MeLDE project were held online and were divided into 3 sessions, the first being on 13 July, the second on 22 July, and the third on 28 July 2021, with the participation of 25 teachers in total.
During the sessions, apart from a general presentation of the MeLDE project and its products, the participants were trained on Canva, a tool for creating digital material. Also, the participants were trained on the use of the MeLDE e-Platform and its functions and they were specially taught about the material of the e-Safety module of the project.