Developing Media and Digital Literacies in Children Aged 5 to 10 through Play
Topics of the games
Need for the Games: Media Literacy in Estonia
Estonia acknowledges media literacy’s importance in its national curriculum. Still, its uneven implementation across schools, as noted by the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) in 2022, contributes to societal division and knowledge disparities. Moreover, media education lacks a standardized approach and doesn’t fully meet the practical needs of children and teenagers.
Media education in Estonia primarily occurs in high schools through the mandatory “Media and Influence” course in the 11th-grade Estonian language curriculum. However, young children start using smart devices at ages 0-3 (Nevski, 2019), often receiving their first personal devices around age 7, leaving those under 17 to navigate media literacy independently. The ICDS 2022 report notes that children up to 12 receive the least media literacy attention compared to other Media and Information Literacy (MIL) projects.
Although primary and basic schools incorporate media competence through various outside-of-school activities (Blaubrük 2023), Nõmm‘s master’s thesis (2023) reports that only 3% of the country’s 514 general education schools provided dedicated media and information extracurriculars during the initial schooling stage in the 2021/2022 academic year. This is compounded by the fact that media education is often delivered by individuals without formal teaching backgrounds, and this shortfall is especially pronounced in rural areas, leaving residents more vulnerable to echo chambers, information bubbles, and radicalization.
Children experience media through social media, for example, platforms like YouTube and TikTok, which blend various activities and pose risks. Research indicates that encountering one form of harmful content often leads to exposure to other online risks (Stoilova et al. 2023). Furthermore, because of rapid technology development, teachers struggle with knowing the needs for students’ media and digital literacy education (Eickelmann et al., 2022). Blaubrük’s 2023 study also revealed teachers’ difficulties in social media usage, algorithms, targeted media use, security, and privacy.
To address this complexity, Laste Aeg uses a research-based and systematic approach called the 4C internet risks classification by Livingstone and Stoilova. During discussion-based games, teachers observe effective media literacy teaching methods, access essential resources, and receive guidance and support from our experienced team.
More than 4,000 children have participated in the games
The games are conducted by students and alumni of the University of Tartu’s Journalism and Communication department.
“OÜ Laste Aeg creator, trainer, and enthusiast of game-based learning
Tegus ja energiline loovhing, kes lihtsalt peab saama mängida!
2023 Tartu Ülikool, ajakirjanduse ja kommunikatsiooni eriala magistrikraad cum laude
2017 Tartu Ülikool, ajakirjanduse ja kommunikatsiooni eriala bakalaureusekraad
3rd-year undergraduate student in Journalism and Communication at the University of Tartu
Inimesena soe ja sõbralik, töistes tegemistes väga põhjalik ja täpne.
2021- Tartu Ülikool, ajakirjanduse ja kommunikatsiooni eriala bakalaureusekraad (omandamisel)
Gretel Juhansoo valiti 19.-20. aprillil 2023 IREXI korraldatud meediapädevuse konverentsile ühena kolmest tudengist rääkima, kuidas ta Tartu Valguskülas TikToki maja kaudu meediapädevusi õpetas.