6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media
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In December 2015, the Hungarian government adopted the 2012/2015. Government Decree on the Digital Success Programme to be implemented on the basis of the national consultation about internet and digital developments (InternetKon) by the Government [2012/2015. (XII. 29.) Korm. határozat], based on which three strategies were defined, two of which affect Hungarian youth:
- the Digital Child Protection Strategy of Hungary (Magyarország Digitális Gyermekvédelmi Stratégiája) and
- the Digital Education Strategy of Hungary (Magyarország Digitális Oktatási Stratégiája).
For more information see sub-chapter 8.7 Fostering the creative use of new technologies.
The Digital Child Protection Strategy of Hungary
The strategy was adopted in 2016. The relevant organisations for the strategy were:
- the former Ministry for Human Capacities,
- the former Ministry for Innovation and Technology and
- the Ministry of Interior (Belügyminisztérium).
Other respondents and consultants are (among others):
- the National Cyber-Security Center (Nemzeti Kibervédelmi Intézet),
- National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (Nemzeti Adatvédelmi és Információszabadság Hatóság),
- National Media and Infocommunications Authority (Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság),
- Media Council of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority,
- Internet Roundtable for Child Protection (Gyermekvédelmi Internet-kerekasztal),
- Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights (Alapvető Jogok Biztosának Hivatala),
- Office of the Commissioner for Educational Rights (Oktatási Jogok Biztosának Hivatala).
The main objectives of the strategy:
- Quality online content for children and young people;
- Development of awareness-raising and preparatory actions;
- Creating a secure online environment for children;
- Fight against the sexual harassment and exploitation of children.
The strategy's target system is based on three pillars:
- raising awareness and media literacy for both students, teachers and parents;
- the establishment of protection and security with state involvement, and
- sanctioning and assistance in the event of an offence.
In the frame of the strategy measurements, the following were launched:
- the Ministry of Human Capacities established contact with the Victim Support Centres (Áldozasegítő Központok) in connection with the RJ grievance handling,
- a professional forum was held in February 2018 with the participation of 100 teachers,
- the coeval supporting programme and the training of the parents have been started,
- the new National Core Curriculum pays emphasised attention to the strengthening of digital competencies,
- in the Digital Theme Week Programme (Digitális Témahét) the topic of media literacy appeared in 2020 and in 2022 and in 2023, the main themes were digitalisation in the 21st century, digital literature, child protection, and artificial intelligence (Digitális Témahét, Tudatos médiahasználat),
- a website will be set up where there will be useful information for young people, teachers and parents related to media literacy and the safe use of the internet.
There is also a program which was made available by the strategy, called NETMENTOR (NETMENTOR program), that aims to call attention to the advantages and safe use of internet through a peer person (from student to student). That means that teachers from the schools participate in a training, then, they train and mentor 9th grade students to provide information for other (usually younger) children in their own or another school on how to use the internet safely. The advantage is that a young person knows better what the other young people use the internet for, thus they could provide better help and support.
The Digital Education Strategy of Hungary
The strategy was adopted in 2016 and follows the learning pathway at all levels of the education system (school education, vocational training, higher education, adult learning), and considers it important to create equal opportunities and a secure digital environment. The strategy is designed to develop the following areas:
- applied methodology (teacher education and training, and institutional development);
- educators' digital skills and attitudes;
- physical infrastructure, access, internal networks;
- asset availability of educational institutions;
- content (Nat and Framework Surveillance, Digital Content Development);
- education management (administration and quality management, standard information system, student measurement, management information system).
The professional implementation of the Digital Education Strategy (Digitális Oktatási Stratégia) is supported by the Digital Pedagogical Methodology Centre (Digitális Pedagógiai Módszertani Központ), which provides methodological, professional background and expert base, and deals with the professional supervision of applications and projects related to the implementation of the strategy. The monitoring tasks of the strategy also relate to the Digital Pedagogical Methodology Centre.
In the frame of the Strategy the following measurements were implemented:
- Launching of the Digital Card System (Digitális Névjegy Rendszer) which is a complex feedback and development tool for schools to measure the level of digital skills in the educational institution. The aim of the System is to give the opportunity for the schools to better apply the digital tools and to develop the digital skills of the students.
- The Digital Pedagogical Methodology Centre launched a Digital Pedagogical Knowledge Database (Digitális Pedagógiai Tudásbázis) which provides methodological support to the teachers in the digital education.
The National Digitalization Strategy 2021 - 2030
The Ministry for Innovation and Technology and the Ministry of Interior prepared the National Digitalization Strategy 2021 – 2030 (Nemzeti Digitalizációs Stratégia 2021 - 2030) as a frame strategy of different digital strategies, initiatives, and documents. The four main aims of the Strategy focus on the Hungarian citizens in general, but some of them includes developments related also to youth:
- digital infrastructure (also includes the digital infrastructure development of schools and digital development of higher education institutions, research networks and public collections),
- digital competencies (includes supporting the structural change in education for the development of digital competencies),
- digital economy and
- digital state.
The Public Education Strategy 2021 - 2030
The Hungarian Government adopted the new Public Education Strategy 2021 -2030 (Köznevelési stratégia 2021 - 2030). One aim of the Strategy relates to 'Public education which reflects the challenges of the 21st century'. As a part of it
'supporting the digital culture of the students and teachers and the safe use of the Internet and to ensure appropriate methodological and technical support.'
As the Strategy states,
'the digital competencies go beyond using the digital devices: the safe and responsible use of new media and using the possibilities of it are important for stepping to the labour market and for everyday life.'
With regard to media literacy and online security, the new National Core Curriculum (Nemzeti Alaptanterv) contains elements by subjects.
The topic is covered by the students in the subject of Motion Picture Culture and Media Literacy. The aim of the course is
'to acquire basic media literacy, especially to develop cinematic comprehension, to explore the media's social role and mode of operation. The teaching of the course is strongly related to digital culture, Hungarian language and literature, and the arts.'
The topic is covered in the Digital Culture course.
'The course aims to transfer and develop up-to-date knowledge and skills that will make the learner a successful and useful member of the information society. Algorithmization and coding (…), problem-solving in a digital environment, creativity, cooperation and logical thinking play an important role in the course. (…) An important task of the course is to enable the student to solve the problems with the tools of the digital environment.'
The Accreditation Department of the Educational Authority (Oktatási Hivatal Akkreditációs Osztálya) organises several training sessions for educators in teacher's training in the field of online safety such as:
- 'Digital Signpost to Teachers - internet safety in schools' ('Digitális útjelzők pedagógusoknak - internetbiztonság az iskolában'),
- 'Online against the cyberbullying' ('Online az online bántalmazás ellen'),
- 'Education for internet consciousness' ('Tudatos internethasználatra nevelés').
The Public Education Strategy 2021 - 2030 (Köznevelési stratégia 2021 - 2030) highlights that the development of the digital competences of the teachers is important and in the future, the training of the teachers has to be more intensive and more targeted. That means the emphasis to acquire the knowledge of the digital methodologies and tools that could be applied already in the kindergartens and related to certain school subjects.
'DigiKomp' - a digital competence framework
In 2019, the Hungarian Government adopted the Government Decree 'On the Development and Implementation Steps of the Digital Competence Framework' submitted by the former Ministry for Innovation and Technology.
'The Hungarian system, called 'DigKomp', will operate not only as a reference framework, but as a unified system that enables the definition, development, measurement and evaluation of digital competence, as well as the verification of its existence and state recognition. With the development of 'DigKomp', it will be possible to uniformly interpret and assign digital competencies acquired in the education and training system, adult education, and independent learning to predefined competence levels.'
Hungary is seeking to raise awareness of the importance of media literacy and the importance of online security in non-formal and informal learning. As an example, in the framework of the TÁMOP-3.1.14-12-2013-0001 'Future Conscious Media Consumers - Media Literacy and Media Awareness dissemination' (TÁMOP-3.1.14-12-2013-0001- 'A Jövő tudatos médiafogyasztói – médiaműveltség és médiatudatosság elterjesztése') project, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (Nemzeti Média-és Hírközlési Hatóság) established the Magic Valley media education training centre (Bűvösvölgy médiaértés-oktató központot).
It aims to support the development of media awareness among young people. The first centre was opened in 2014 (according to the information provided by the Ministry, it was funded from the budget of the project [HUF 500 million (about EUR 1.6 million)] in Budapest, and another was opened in Debrecen in 2017 [according to the information provided by the Ministry, it was funded by HUF 295 million (about EUR 937 000)]. In 2020, one more centre was opened in Sopron ('Bűvösvölgy Sopron').
The former New Generation Centre [Új Nemzedék Központ (now it is Elisabeth Youth Fund) (Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap)] has a separate menu on its website called 'Digital life' (Digilét) where they post short articles on the risks posed by the new media (e.g. stealing personal or financial data, cyberbullying, Internet addiction, sending private pictures, using safety software and passwords, fake news, hacker attacks). The target groups of the articles are both parents and children.
The former Ministry of Human Capacities commissioned a media pedagogical association (Televele Médiapegagóiai Műhely Egyesület) in 2018 to create a media pedagogical curriculum to reflect the challenges of the changing media world. This curriculum was made primarily for the teachers who take part in the Digital Theme Week Programme (Digitális Témahét), but all of the teachers could access it. This curriculum consists of three study packs for the grades 1-4., 5-8., 9-12. The content of the curriculum for the youth age group in grades 9-12:
- fake news,
- online influence, and
- body and soul in the digital world, addictions.