Erasmus+ Youth Exchange
The skill to be free
The project was a youth exchange that addressed “Media literacy” topic and gathered 36 youngsters (17 to 29 year old) form Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Cyprus, Poland and Ukraine near the town of Devin, Bulgaria for 9 days between 18-26 September 2020.
In recent years the whole of Europe was and continues to be a target of countless campaigns with black PR, fake news and media manipulations, which frighten our democracies, create conflicts and hatred among our societies and are often a serious treat for the national security of our countries. The media literacy is the only democratic tool for protecting our citizens and we believe that it is a key competence which each European should acquire from a very early age. No matter what choices we make each day of our life, the ability to critically analyze all the information we receive is the main skill making us free!
- Increase participants’ emotional intelligence level for making them less susceptible to emotional manipulation and letting them have more harmonious and peaceful relationships;
- Get to know the concept of Netiquette and how to build a positive image in the online space;
- Support participants to develop their critical thinking skills, informed choice ability and active civic capacity. In addition, improving their ability to learn and gather scientific information from credible sources;
- Turning media literacy and counterfeit fake news and misinformation into a personal cause for many of the young people involved in the project and providing them with tools to effectively combat misinformation as well as appropriate presentation skills so that they can teach their peers on the subject like our activists do.
The activity program included four separate elements that followed in a logical sequence and so, each one was built on the previous one.
The first part of the activity program was devoted to emotional intelligence and non-violent communication. It included workshops for resolving conflicts, as well as for recognizing and expressing one’s own emotions and empathy and understanding the feelings and emotions of others.
The second one was related to the so-called Netiquette and within it, the participants learned how to build themselves a positive image on the internet and how to recognize and combat cyberbullying. Also, they prepared a manual with examples of good practice online, which you can find below.
The third part was related to fake science and the tools to perform a complete and qualitative search for information and scientific data on the Internet. It also included a workshop on using all the functionality of the most popular web-based search tools and finding credible data through source verification.
Fake on the internet
The last element contained workshops to identify fake news and Internet trolls, such as the so-called “clickbait”, as well as sharing effective practices to counteract misinformation. In addition, the participants had the opportunity to visit a local media and to discuss with its journalists in order to learn more about media literacy, fake news protection tips & tricks.
You can download here the good practice manual created by the participants. It contains information about how to build a good digital reputation and how to keep yourself safe in the online environment.
The manual is free to use in any way as long as you do not modify its content and keep the visual identity elements.
Of course, during this whole learning process, we did not forget to have fun!
The project „The skill to be free” was financed with the support of European Commission through Erasmus+ Programme. This blog reflects only the author’s views, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
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