IT has become part of the everyday world of today. Children use electronic media regularly and mostly with a lot of enthusiasm.
Modern media has various different functions and satisfies various needs . First, it is used for entertainment and relaxation. In addition to books, electronic media is today’s storyteller; stimulating the imagination and creating emotion. They allow us to enter other worlds. Children often strongly identify with their media heroes, and this can help them overcome fears and build self-confidence.
Children also use media to develop social contacts and participate in peer discussions. The individual preference for a specific media content makes them part of a group of likeminded students and offers topics for conversations and play together.
As kids get older and their literacy improves, they also use media as a means of gathering information and communicating.
Children develop an understanding of intentions, functions and the production of media best through practical activities, experiential learning and the creation of their own media products. LIS Hort uses this approach regularly in holiday Hort, projects and workshops. During the summer, holidays’ “City of Kids” children had the opportunity to produce a daily video news show and video commercials. One girl decided to publish a printed newspaper. In the recent Autumn Holiday Hort the theme was “Books Become Alive”, a clear sign, that books are an important media for children. On other occasions the children would write and record a Rap song about Leipzig or compete with others in a daily photo contest.
In regard to media LIS Hort offers a variety of opportunities, to deal with different media in a creative and playful way. This works well if media are embedded in a broader theme or context and used in a complementary way instead of being the focus. On the other hand we have mixed experiences with providing a few tablets that allow students to play educational games during afternoon Hort, a practice we ave discontinued.
Media competence also expresses itself in the awareness that media interaction cannot replace real life interaction and social connections. LIS Hort makes a continuous effort to open spaces and offer activities that allow real life experiences. The loose materials (logs, big stones, sand etc.) at the small playground, the Wood Workshop and the weekly Cooking & Baking Club are more recent examples.