Last week, EDMO Ireland’s media literacy coordinator Ricardo Castellini da Silva delivered a workshop entitled ‘The role of adult educators in the fight against disinformation’ for EPALE, the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe. In Ireland, EPALE is managed by Léargas, a not-for-profit organisation that work by remit of the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. EPALE is specifically for people working within the adult learning education sector and it offers a platform for professionals to connect, collaborate and share experiences.
Rising levels of disinformation in recent years have increased the public interest in media literacy, and this is no different within the educational sector. Teachers have increasingly expressed concerns over issues related to false information, unreliable sources and conspiracy theories inside the classroom. With this in mind, Epale decided to organize a learning experience where adult educators could discuss disinformation and reflect on best practices to tackle the problem.
Ricardo designed a 2-hour online workshop covering the main concepts associated with the disinformation problem and correlated topics. In groups of 4, participants had the opportunity to talk about sources of information and analyse media messages in breakout rooms, and later present to and discuss their conclusions with the other participants. According to Ricardo, the discussion was very rich and the diversity of the group in terms of professional expertise was surely a contributory factor. National Adult Literacy Agency, National Learning Network, Maynooth University and the Careers Portal were some of the organizations represented in the session.
In the last part of the workshop, Ricardo gave practical tips and discussed some media literacy best practices with participants. He also showed some teaching and learning resources available on the Training and Development section of the Media Literacy Ireland website that educators can use in their activities.
Attendees expressed a huge interest in media literacy to tackle disinformation and said that they would be happy to attend more sessions on the same topic in the future.