Universities of CIS countries discussed the future of integrating media and information literacy into teacher training

The issues and practices of integrating media and information literacy into the system of higher pedagogical education were discussed at the first webinar held as part of the international project “Media and Information Literacy in the Digital Age: How to Teach the Teachers”, initiated by UNESCO IITE and the UNESCO Information for All Programme. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Moscow State Pedagogical University (MSPU) and the Eurasian Association of Pedagogical Universities (EAPU).

The webinar was moderated by Ms. Tatyana Murovana, Programme Specialist at UNESCO IITE, Member of the International Working Group on Information Literacy of the UNESCO Information for All Programme. The webinar was opened by Ms. Irina Zhilavskaya, Head of UNESCO Chair of Media and Information Literacy and Media Education of Citizens at MSPU (Russia), who presented the results of the monitoring of universities in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) with regard to the potential and relevance of media and information issues in the educational process. In total, the heads of 46 universities from the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States participated in the study. The heads of the universities almost unanimously proposed to include media and information disciplines in university educational programs as priority ones. For universities, the objective of introducing Media and Information Literacy / Fundamentals of Media Literacy disciplines into the core professional programmes of higher education was seen as essential. The proposals from universities had similar structure, and covered preparation of a strategy for the development of media and information literacy, scientific research in this field and organization of planned systematic work supported by regulatory documents and qualified personnel. This illustrated the willingness of higher education to integrate media and information education into the established system of teacher training.

Ms. Asel Myrzakhmetova, Associate Professor at E.A. Buketov University of Karaganda (Kazakhstan), spoke about the peculiarities of the formation of the information culture of modern Kazakhstani youth at the university. Mr. Alexander Saneev, Head of Department of Psychology and Pedagogy at National Institute for Higher Education (Belarus), described the challenges of training web psychologists. Representatives of the Orenburg State Pedagogical University – Professor Olga Skibina and Associate Professor Margarita Khaliullina (Russia) shared their experience in promoting disciplines in media and information literacy. Ms. Saule Isalieva, Doctoral Student at the Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University (Kazakhstan), spoke about the design of developing learning environment of the university for foreign students. Ms. Maria Svirina, Head of Information and Reference Service at MSPU Library (Russia), told about the ongoing work with students in the field of library literacy.

The live broadcast of the webinar and the recording available on the UNESCO IITE YouTube channel received over a thousand views. Within the project, four webinars and an online conference will be held; in addition, the publication aimed to summarize the experience and recommendations in this area is being prepared.

The next webinar “Media and information literacy in the system of teacher professional development: new courses and programs” will be held on 29 October 2020 at 12:00 (Moscow time). The webinar will be broadcast and recorded on the Facebook page of the project and the UNESCO IITE YouTube channel.

Activities implemented within the project “Media and Information Literacy in the Digital Age: How to Teach the Teachers” are held in conjunction with the UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Week, which is organized this year on 24-31 October.

The webinar recording is available on the UNESCO IITE YouTube channel.