Media education strongly present in Ministry’s desired outcomes for digitalisation

The desired outcomes for digitalisation for early childhood education and care and basic education, published in November 2023, is an important policy for promoting media literacy. In the publication of the Ministry of Education and Culture, media literacy and media education are clearly highlighted as part of digital literacy. The desired outcome also indicates that, in addition to the digital literacy descriptions for children and young people, descriptions will also be produced for teaching staff.

Digitalisation has made strong progress in the field of education and training, but the overall picture of the needs of the different actors and the ongoing developments has been incomplete and development work has been sporadic and ad hoc. This is described in the newly published Desired outcome for digitalisation, which is part of the Framework for Digitalisation in Early Childhood Education and Care, Comprehensive School Education and Liberal Adult Education’ project, launched by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2022. The purpose of the description of the desired outcome is to concretise the targets set by the Digital Compass for Finland, the Guidelines for Digitalisation in Education 2027 and other important documents defining digitalisation in the sector from the perspective of early childhood education and comprehensive school education.

The desired outcome sets the basis for future development work by showing the direction to which all actors in education and training can aim in their development work. As a result, national strategic guidance will lead to concrete measures that will contribute to the development of digitalisation towards a commonly shared target state in the sector.

Gaps in training are recognised – special attention to media education

In the desired outcome paper, digitalisation is considered through seven strands:

conditions for developing digitalisation, digital competence, support for developing digital infrastructure, services and interoperability, information management and quality, data protection and data security, legislation on digitalisation and its interpretation, and research on digitalisation.

The most important area for media literacy is digital competence, with the aim of creating a coherent learning pathway from early childhood education onwards. The target states that “[t]he digital literacy of children and young people has not developed as required by the existing early childhood, pre-primary and primary education curricula.” One of the challenges is that although digital literacy and multiliteracies (including media literacy) are included in the curricula as areas of transversal competences, many teachers have received little training on the topics in their own pre-service training. In-service training for both teaching staff and administrators has also been inadequate.

Regarding media literacy, the target state clearly states that “[s]pecial attention will be paid to the media literacy of children and young people and the media education skills of staff. AI literacy and critical literacy will also be strengthened.”

The paper also emphasises digital well-being and states that “the flood of misinformation and disinformation highlights the importance of media literacy not only at the level of individuals, but also from the point of view of social resilience and democratic development.”

The desired outcome indicates that the development and maintenance of competence descriptions for children and young people will continue and that specific competence descriptions will be produced for teaching staff. KAVI is involved in the work on the desired outcome for the digitalisation and we will continue to communicate on the progress of the work.

Read more:

Policies for the digitalisation of education and training until 2027

Julia Alajärvi, Senior Adviser

National Audiovisual Institute

Image: Rabbit Visuals