How can we prepare our children and young people to cope with the new media and the digitalization of everyday life, work and politics? What educational offers do schools and teachers need to make in order to enable young people to look behind the technical constructs and thus to deal with digital applications in an informed and responsible manner? The Minister of Education discussed these questions at the beginning of the event with Katja Friedrich, Managing Director of medien+bildung.com, a subsidiary of the LMK, and then had four digital projects explained to her by the children and young people present.
The film "Emma and Cubetto" from the kindergarten workshop of medien+bildung.com impressively presented how even kindergarten children can stage little stories and adventures with a small wooden robot called "Cubetto". The kindergarten children playfully grasped the idea of programming by letting the wooden robot run through a course and giving it orders with simple commands.
Highly motivated and excited students from the third and fourth grades of Dolgesheim Elementary School, which is also one of ten pilot elementary schools in the state's "Media Competence Makes Schools" program, showed how they used the "Lego We.Do" program and Lego technology to develop self-controlled vehicles in science class and steer them through a course with the help of robotics.
A "hot line to the digital future" was presented by young people from Class 6 at the IGS Ludwigshafen Edigheim. In cooperation with medien+bildung.com, they had programmed a game of skill with this name and demonstrated their diverse creations to the astonished attendees.
An insight into the work of the EU initiative klicksafe, which is coordinated by the LMK, was given by the two young people David Knauf and Lukas Lösche. They had programmed the "cyber bullying first aid app" a year ago. They showed the minister how this app, which is now widely used by young people and has won awards, works.
"You can very quickly generate a basic understanding of algorithms and how they work in children and young people with age-appropriate coding activities. The projects presented all invite imitation and are easy to follow even for digital laypeople," Katja Friedrich, who heads the "Future of Education" staff unit at the LMK, was pleased to report.
With the new project "Emma and Cubetto", medien+bildung.com is now providing daycare centers in Rhineland-Palatinate with a didactic material package and qualification offers to give daycare children access to digital education in an age-appropriate, playful way.
"Digital teaching and learning has been a focus of Rhineland-Palatinate's education policy for years. We are staying on top of this important issue and are therefore expanding our successful state program 'Medienkompetenz macht Schule' (Media Competence in Schools) to the elementary school level for the 2017/2018 school year," the education minister had already emphasized in her opening statement. Following a pilot phase, 125 additional elementary schools will be included in the state program in the coming school year. This also makes it clear that the promotion of media skills must begin at a very young age in order to give the next generation a confident start into the digital future.