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New Educational Resource Teaches Kids To Be MediaWise

New Educational Resource Teaches Kids To Be MediaWise

With growing access to television and the internet; children see hundreds of media messages every day. But alarming reports suggest that most are unaware of the difference between highly edited media advertising; and genuine content. This could make them more vulnerable to the constant barrage of messages celebrating unhealthy foods, trendy toys, and unattainable celebrity lifestyles.

This has lead safefood to launch free educational resource MediaWise, to help teach children about the media, advertising and 'fake news'; in order to encourage a healthy scepticism of what they see, and to enable them to make the right choices.

MediaWise is an 8 week programme suitable for primary school children; which has been designed to help make sense of the media world around them, and the many messages they’re exposed to. It’s designed to help children develop a greater understanding of what’s being suggested, promised and sold to them. This will equip them with the skills to make more informed choices.

Primary Schoolteacher at St Senan’s Primary School, Enniscorthy, Gearóid McCauley explains: “Children are very media and technology savvy but less aware of why the media sends them these messages, and the point of view these messages are trying to get across. As children believe what they see and hear, I feel it’s really important we give children the opportunity to understand what’s coming at them from the media and how they process that information.”

Media-literacy in the modern age needs to focus as much on our understanding of what we see, as it does on how we use technology to access content. With product placement, celebrity endorsement, photoshop, and sponsorship; advertising has gone far beyond the tv commercials of old, and it's becoming more and more difficult to decipher: What we see, is not necessarily what we should believe.

Read next: How Can I Keep My Children Safe Online?

Media specialist Sheena Horgan confirmed: “Media literacy is an important and necessary contemporary life skill for children growing up in today’s Information Age. It’s also a requirement for full social participation and active citizenship … We have a duty of care to our children, to ensure that the dominance of contemporary media culture is of benefit to our children.MediaWise is about empowering our primary school children to have an active and critical relationship with current and emerging media.  A relationship that is based on understanding and self-confidence, that will benefit them as they progress through their childhood and into adult life”.

MediaWise will provide lesson plans for each of the four age groups across primary school. Lessons are suitable for each class grade, linking with a variety of curricular subjects, and using teaching methodologies including interactive, child-friendly activities. Primary schools can access their free copy of MediaWise online by visiting www.mediawise.ie where schools can register their interest in the resource.

How do you teach your children about the Media, and messages they receive from it? Is this something you're conscious of? We'd love to hear. You might also enjoy reading Is Peppa Pig A Bad Influence?

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