6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media
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The Ministry of Digital Governance has developed and is implementing a national strategy for the digital transformation of the entire Greek society and economy with specific goals and a structured action plan. This reflects the guiding principles, but also the necessary short-term and medium-term interventions that will implement the vision for Digital Greece.
The Digital Transformation Book 2020-2025 sets out the new national strategy for digital transformation and summarizes it into seven objectives:
- Safe, fast and reliable internet access for everyone
- A digital state, which offers better digital services to citizens in all the events of their lives
- The development of digital skills of all citizens
- The facility to convert any Greek company into a digital company
- Supporting and enhancing digital innovation
- The productive utilization of public data
- The integration of modern technologies in all sectors of the economy
The development of digital culture, the integration of new learning objects, interactive learning and personalized education are the current trends that educational policy must take into account. Therefore, the strategy of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Governance is to strengthen the digital experience at every level of operation of Education, including the administration of education, the educational process, but also services offered to citizens. The main goal is the development of digital skills in the educational community as a whole, which presupposes the creation of a digital learning culture.
As stated in the Digital Transformation Book 2020-2025, priority is given to digital learning culture. The digital learning culture focuses on the development of digital content, the development of synchronous and asynchronous distance learning tools and platforms, as well as the infrastructure and equipment of physical education spaces of all levels.
At the same time, one of the strategic axes of intervention is the Digital Capabilities and Skills. Specifically, Objective 3.1 refers to Digital Citizenship for children aged 4-15+ years old. The goal is for children as Digital Citizens to be able to use digital technology effectively, safely and responsibly. Objective 3.2 refers to the Contribution to the Development of Digital Skills in Compulsory and Secondary Education. Objective 3.3 concerns the Contribution to the acquisition of digital skills in Higher Education.
At the core of the strategy lies the National Academy of Digital Skills, which having as an executive arm the Directorate of Digital Skills aims at:
- Accelerating digital literacy, especially for vulnerable populations, in order to achieve social cohesion and a smooth transition to Digital Society, alleviating educational, economic and social inequalities
- Strengthening the digital profile of employees in order to accelerate the change of the development model of the country
- Changing the educational model at all levels of education, so that education can be the guide for the digital future of the country
In Greece, a coalition of organizations that constitutes the National Alliance for Digital Skills and Employment has been established, with the aim of bridging the digital gap and promoting digital skills in Greek society. The General Secretariat of Digital Governance & Simplification of Procedures of the Ministry of Digital Governance is responsible for the organization and operation of the Alliance at national, European and international level. In comparison with the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, the target groups aim, among others, at the following:
- Education: Seeks the enrichment and digital transformation of learning and teaching of pupils and students. This effort includes providing incentives for teacher training
- Training: Upgrades the digital skills of employees, the unemployed, and other population groups in order to promote the digital economy
In the context of the safe use of new media, the National Cyber Security Strategy 2020-2025 has been published by the Ministry of Digital Governance.
Media literacy and online safety through formal education
In the context of formal education, the writing of new Curricula, under the supervision of the Institute of Educational Policy, incorporates the positives of the previous actions and responds to the development of the skills that are necessary for the citizens of the 21st century. Digital Literacy is a target in the course of Informatics.
In the new Curriculum, the Informatics course for Senior High School classes will focus on four axes:
- Development of computational thinking skills
- Connecting computing and digital capabilities with 21st century skills
- Adoption of digital technologies as a tool and learning environment
- Development of students' digital culture and citizenship
The content of studies in Informatics is structured in two axes:
- Thematic Fields of Informatics, which include Digital Literacy and Digital Technologies and Society
- Computational practices
Regarding the subject of Digital Literacy, in the framework of the new Curriculum of Informatics, the coverage of five topics is expected. Specifically:
- Search and evaluation of information and digital content
- Communication and collaboration through digital environments
- Digital content creation and multimedia editing
- Composition, integration and liable adaptation of digital content
- Learning technologies and e-learning
Regarding the subject of Digital Technologies and Society, the following topics will be covered:
- Digital citizenship
- Ethical behavior on the internet
- Intellectual property and licenses of use
- Digital technologies in art, culture and education
- Digital technologies, well-being, physical and mental health
- Globalization of the internet
- Algorithms, data science and artificial intelligence in modern society
- Digital technologies and sustainability
- Digital future
Specific learning outcomes are also anticipated for the students of B' and C' class of Senior High School.
Regarding online safety and risks, there is no integrated material in secondary education curricula. However, organized and targeted efforts are made to inform students, teachers and their families, through organizations and partnerships.
Promoting media literacy and online safety through non-formal and informal learning
In the context of non-formal and informal learning, as mentioned in the section of National Strategy, an alliance of organizations from the public, private sector and civil society has come together in Greece, the National Alliance for Digital Skills and Employment has been formed with the aim of promoting digital skills in Greek society.
The Hellenic National Alliance for Digital Skills and Employment is open to any body that embraces its aims and objectives. Its members come from both the public and private sectors and participate in the work of the five groups of the Alliance. For the year 2020, the coordinators of the groups are the following:
- The Onassis Foundation for the Education Team
- The Rebrain Greece initiative for the Training Team
- The Association of IT & Communications Companies of Greece - for the ICT Professionals Team
- The Municipality of Athens for the Citizens' Group
- The National Center for Documentation & Electronic Content/Ministry of Digital Governance for the Funding - Communication team
Through education and training programs, citizens can participate in seminars and training programs and enrich their digital skills.
Raising awareness about the risks posed by new media
The Hellenic Center for Safe Internet started operating in July 2016 under the auspices of the Institute of Technology and Research and more specifically of the Institute of Informatics. It is the official representative in Greece of the Pan-European Insafe/ INHOPE Organizations that shape the European strategy for a safe and quality internet, as well as the recognized representative of Greece in the Expert Group on Safer Internet for Children of the European Commission.
The Hellenic Center for Safe Internet provides information, assistance and support to internet users by developing three distinct actions:
- SaferInternet4Kids.gr website
Through this website one can be informed and obtain material related to the safe use of the Internet and the use of social networks, which in turn can inform interactive children and young people of all ages. This information portal is addressed to both parents and teachers as well as to teenagers and children and includes appropriate multimedia material which is approved by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.
Through the Helpline Help-line, qualified psychologists provide support and advice on issues related to excessive Internet use, cyberbullying, exposure to inappropriate content and other concerns regarding internet and mobile phone use and online games
- Safe-Line Open Complaints Line
The Open Line of Complaints, regarding the illegal content of the safe-Line internet, receives complaints about child abuse and illegal internet use and cooperates with both the Greek police and INTERPOL through the European organization INHOPE
At the same time, the website cyberkid.gov.gr operates, an initiative of the Ministry of Citizen Protection and the Hellenic Police Headquarters, implemented by the Cybercrime Prosecution Directorate, within the framework of informing and raising awareness of children up to 18 years old, as well as their parents on internet security issues. CyberKid aims to familiarize the public with safe access to new technologies, especially the Internet.