Our second "School of Independent Life" camp taught media literacy skills to 25 teenagers who are fostered or have difficult circumstances at home in the Lviv Region. Over two days the young people learned how to use critical thinking skills to evaluate information from a variety of sources, and took a delve into understanding information bubbles and how to create the information stream they want to have. Each of our three charismatic speakers taught their specialism.
“The information bubble reinforces our own ideas, limiting access to information that is different from our worldview."
At our camp, teenagers enjoyed learning about the information bubble phenomenon and how to get out of it, as well as tips for how to create their own media content. They also participated in fun challenges, competitions, sports, games and of course our camp tradition of goodies and lots of conversation around the evening campfire.
Media literacy is an important skill, as without making much effort, we experience a stream of information every day. The media space affects our decisions, views and even quality of life. Since teenagers today have grown up with social networks, continuous access to information is commonplace. They are not only under the influence of their media environment, some from early childhood, they also need to stay digitally connected.
“The Internet is a huge space with significant amounts of diverse information, which is not always true."
With all of these factors, it is important that teenagers are able to filter information, understand the basic principles of how media works, and be able to analyze and evaluate what they see. If they can distinguish fake from real information they can also use methods to protect themselves against possible negative influences. This is why we have included the topic within our STEP Life Skills programme.
“The main thing when creating your own content is to be sincere! Share truthful information in which you are competent and can be useful to others.”
We would like to thank our trainers, Oleg Adlyuk, Vita Gradyuk and Tetiana Firley, who gave professional and engaging presentations to share their knowledge and experience with teenagers. Our volunteers also deserve special thanks for their help with organizing the event. Iryna Voytovych kindly donated gingerbread cookies with the media literacy theme from Smachni Vurobu, and “Good Bread" donated snacks.
We sincerely thank Ukraine Charity and the Lviv Educational Foundation for financing the camp.