Media Education in Finnish Schools
Media education is a part of the Finnish national core curriculum and media education begins in the early childhood education in Finland. Coding is also a mandatory part of the Finnish curriculum since 2016 and it begins in the first grade. Media skills are an essential part of EduGems camps and courses. Children will learn, how they can utilize and produce media in their studies and life in general.
In Finland, media education is not only learning about media devices and how to use them, but also learning about media content and how to analyze what we see, hear and read about in the media. Already small children use media devices on a daily basis, so it’s important to teach children early on what media is as a whole and how they can safely navigate through all the media content.
At first, it is important to know what kind of information is reliable and what information children should learn to critically analyze.
Secondly, today children also play an increasing role as content creators as they write and publish blog posts and other content as part of their schoolwork or create media content on their free time. With this comes a responsibility of understanding what one can publish and what not, and how it becomes easily accessible to many people online. With media education children hopefully learn to pause and reconsider if these really are the right things to post and share, as they might stay online forever.
Teachers in Finland are continuously educated about media education. Media education is a field that is rapidly evolving and media itself is a vast term. There are constantly new social media platforms available and new tools teachers can use in their work, thus media education is something that needs constant attention from educators, and teachers should be ready to learn new things all the time. There is an increasing amount of apps and other media tools that teachers can use at schools to create new, fun and inspiring ways to learn.