Kit@ project – Media competency training for professionals in day-care centres and comparable institutions in rural areas of Europe

State of the art

Children come already into contact with a variety of media in early childhood. In addition to classic media such as children’s books, radio play cassettes, television and radio, more and more new media such as smart phones, tablets and iPad are entering the children’s room. Interacting with the Internet has become a part of the children’s everyday life. Children’s worlds are the media worlds. Children bring their “media trails” into their facilities and thus they should be accompanied by pedagogically educated adults both in the daycare centres and in the family environment in the processing of their experiences. At the same time, conscious handling of the children regarding the media in the daycare centres has to be strengthened.

In order to make the children aware of the usefulness and the effect of media, we need specialists in the kindergarten schools who have practical knowledge of the subject of media education and the ability to implement this within their pedagogical work with the children. It is a fact that this kind of staff is not sufficiently available and thus there are very often strong barriers to use these media by pedagogically trained staff. This is where the project starts. To achieve this, a target group-oriented qualification of the pedagogical staff is necessary. There is also a pool of materials, such as guidance, methodologies, e-learning offers or practical examples that are essential in order to eliminate the barriers to the children’s targeted media education that the daycare staff can use. The project is focusing on rural areas, which lack specialised staff and they have at their disposal poor pedagogical material and consequently information technology conditions tighten the problem.

Project theme & objectives

The objectives of the project are the creation of innovative solutions for the development of media pedagogical competences using ICT and the acquisition of digital skills of the specialists in child daycare centres and similar establishments, especially in rural regions. The teaching of knowledge aims at applying innovative methods and pedagogical approaches to educate children how to use digital media. Substantial synergies can be used through international cooperation. Different levels, approaches and methods of solution in the partner countries can be transferred. This is particularly possible due to the fact that the IT platforms are essentially the same in the participating countries and are bound to lead to transnational sustainable innovations.

The project responds to the fact that children’s worlds are also media worlds through the use of tablets, smart phones, PCs and the like. Specialists in institutions need practical suggestions for media education in educational concepts and concrete activities with children.

Rural areas are disadvantaged as educational places, in particular in the ICT sector, because equipment and, first of all, specialists are few and far between. ICT itself is important for the quality of life of rural areas. The disengagement of regions and the exclusion of social groups are threatening. All rural European regions face similar problems.

Target groups

A direct target group are the nursery school teachers in the children’s daycare centres and similar establishments. In addition, the professional actors or institutions involved in early childhood / preschool education (e.g. administrators) should be included in the transfer and thus benefit. This also applies to institutions for the guidance of professionals.