6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media
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In 2021 the Ministry of Children and Families released a National strategy for safe digital upbringing (Rett på nett. Nasjonal strategi for trygg digital oppvekst). The strategy points to positive aspects and opportunities for children and young people's internet use, but also risks and challenges.The strategy aims to:
- Increase the digital competence of children and young people.
- Increase the digital competence of parents and adults who work with children.
- Protect children and young people from internet-related abuse, harmful content and harmful use.
- Ensure the personal and consumer protection of children and young people.
- Initiate research and make knowledge available.
- Strengthen cross sectoral coordination.
In April 2023 Government also set down a public committee to summarize the knowledge base and propose measures related to children and young people's screen use, mental health and learning challenges.
The Government's Digitization strategy for basic education 2017–2021 [Digitaliseringstrategi for grunnopplæringen 2017–2021] aims to make new technologies readily available to empower young people's leaning and creativity, including capacity for innovation. The main goals of the strategy are:
Pupils should have digital skills that enable them to experience life's challenges and succeed in further education, work and community participation.
ICT should be well utilized in the organization and implementation of training to increase pupils' learning outcomes.
Specific measures include developing safe digital infrastructures and raising skills among teachers as well as measures for:
- Student learning and school content
- Technology and coding into school curricula.
- Elective in coding permanent scheme from 2019.
- National pilot on coding as a program in higher education.
- Universal design of digital teaching materials.
- Spread knowledge about the use of technology and digital learning materials for students with special needs.
- Stimulating grants to develop new, digital teaching tools in vocational and vocational education.
In addition, a new strategy for digital expertise and infrastructure in kindergarten and school was presented in 2023 which looks specifically at how national authorities can assist counties and municipalities in the face of new technologies, digital tools in education and the increasing pressure on children and young people's privacy. The strategy aims to:
- establish a common support service for privacy and universal design, so that schools can get help in the assessment of digital resources.
- create a public overview of available digital teaching aids and the extent to which they meet legal and technical requirements. This will make it easier for schools to purchase learning materials that meet the regulations.
- assess how national authorities, together with the sector, can identify new technologies more effectively so that they can provide support to the municipalities more quickly.
The strategy also comes with several measures to support schools in handling artificial intelligence in education.
The Framework for basic skills (The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, 2013) defines and describes five basic skills – oral skills, reading, writing, digital skills and numeracy. All subject-specific curricula describe how the five basic skills contribute to developing learner competence and qualifications and how they are integrated into the subject.
Digital skills involve being able to use digital tools, media and resources, efficiently and responsibly, to solve practical tasks, find and process information, design digital products and communicate content. Digital skills also include developing digital judgment by acquiring knowledge and good strategies for using the Internet. They are seen as a prerequisite for further learning and for active participation in working life and a society in a constant change.
The framework defines five subcategories of digital skills: Use and understand, search and process, produce, communicate, and digital judgement.
Pedagogical tools and teacher support
The Framework for the Teacher´s Professional Digital Competence (Rammeverk for lærerens digitale kompetanse) is a guidance for teacher students, teachers, policymakers and others to improve the teachers digital knowledge, skills and general competence in the teacher initial education (ITE) and in the teachers continuing professional development (CPD).
As a continuing support, Skills Norway [Kompetanse Norge] offers a launch site for teachers and care takers on digital skills [Digitale Ferdigheter].
The site offers:
Tools, tests and questionnaires on digital skills and safety.
Web-based courses, training programmes and mapping tools.
Educational programmes, like online educational quizzes and games for children and youth.
Equivalent pedagogical tools and teacher support is also offered by the Norwegian Directorate for Education e.g. for the national project Lower Secondary Education in Development (2012-2017) [Ungdomstrinn i utvikling].
Norway does not have national policy, programme, project or initiative enhancing young people’s media literacy and awareness about online safety issues in the context of non-formal or informal learning.
Youth workers and others in non-formal/informal learning environments have access to digital resources and tools offered by The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training and from Skills Norway (see description above).
Information providers/ counselling structures
The Center for ICT in Education (IKT-senteret), The Norwegian Data Protection Authority (Datatilsynet) and The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (Utdanningsdirektoratet) have developed a common web site with resources for children, youth and adults to strengthen privacy, safe use of Internett and digital judgement: Dubestemmer.no (You decide).
The Norwegian Data Protection Authority [Datatilsynet] acts as the Ombudsman for Privacy (Personvernombud) in Norway. The authority protects the right to privacy and strives to prevent misuse of personal data and offers several practical online resources of particular relevance to children, youth, parents, and schools on digital safety:
Children, Youth and Schools (Barn, ungdom og skole) Relevant regulations, guidance etc.
Personvernbloggen [‘Privacy blog’] General blog on issues regarding privacy.
Dubestemmer.no [‘You decide’] Particularly for the age groups of 9-13, and 13-18. Presents facts, stories, exercises and videos about privacy and digital responsibility
Slettmeg.no [‘delete me’] The aim of the service is to help people who experience privacy violations online.
The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufdir) is the main information provider in terms of a dedicated website to youth (ung.no), and topics addressed includes bullying/cyber bullying, grooming, identity theft, social media sharing etc.
Awareness raising initiatives
The Ombudsperson for Children has been advocating for coordinated and long-term joint efforts for safer digital spaces for children and young people. It organised an expert group of youth aged 14-18 that delivered a report on youth and digital media in 2019, including a number of recommendations to improve digital safety for young people.
The Norwegian Media Authority [Medietilsynet] is coordinating the National strategy for safe digital upbringing (Rett på nett. Nasjonal strategi for trygg digital oppvekst) and offers a wide range of teaching and conversation tools about online hate.