EMMA was at the annual Media and Learning Conference on 10 and 11 March 2016, represented by Operations Manager, Ruth Kerr, from UNINA. The event was attended by 290 delegates from 30 countries.
The first day saw the keynote speakers highlighting the links between media production, teaching of media literacy, and current movements and trends in society. The Flemish Ministry for Culture, Youth Sport and Media, convinced that children should grow up knowing how media shapes their vision and thoughts about society, have backed the creation of video archives mapped to national education programmes. Roberto Viola – Director General of DG Connect at the European Commission – defined freedom within the EU as “the need to be critically informed about digital media and able to critically interact with it”.
Aidan White agreed, reminding us how disintermediated media is these days, with so much citizen production of media. He suggested that Internet communication should be governed by values of truth and accuracy, humanity, and accountability just like any other form of journalism. Barend van Heusden stressed the importance of cultural education but also the need for theory and research that underpin existing and various opinions of what cultural education is or should be. Jeff Rubenstein from Kaltura said that education is about managing societal change and not about content delivery. EMMA managed to convince Barend van Heusden to contribute to an upcoming collaborative EMMA MOOC so please watch this space.
During the second day of the conference EMMA had a stand and received visits from Institutional MOOC providers and associations interested in EMMA multilingual hosting services. There were also visits from film dubbers, film archivists and image banks enquiring about the possibility of collaboration.
The conference ended with a fascinating debate on radicalisation and the role of education and media in fomenting or reducing the phenomenon. Davina Frau-Meigs defined a new form of knowledge that she calls “forwardance”, which comes from open dialogue with our post-colonial past. She believes that self-actualisation and self-esteem can only happen if we have this knowledge, and without it civic agency is prevented, and the result is apathy at best and fierce anger at worst.