Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Scholars

Pre-conference of MEF 7.5.2014

Jin Muranen

The pre-conference of Media Education Futures were extremely fruitful. All presenters were PhD students. Their topics and interests stretch a wide range of different fields. And it is fascinating to hear all of them. It is like taking a journey without knowing the destiny, which turns out to be exciting and wonderful. Listening to those PhD students’ presentations was definitely inspiring and making me feel that “Today’s students will be tomorrow’s scholars!” And this is encouraging.

Their topics can be as subtle and detailed as “the role of the touch screen in families with children under 3”, and “visual literacy education in pre-school education” or be as broad and abstract as “how educational consciousness in relation to ME is formed”, and “research as a discursive resource of education policy”. Their methods also vary so much. Classic ways of research can be found as well as modern and innovative ones.

What fascinates me the most both contentwise and methodwise was Kristine øygardslia’s presentation. Kristine is from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). And her topic was “Creating computer games in the classroom as a method to promote global awareness: Digital skills in practice”. She is aiming to find out how students engage in meaning-making related to global awareness through the different stages of the game development processes: game design, storytelling, character development, concept art and animations, implementation, and play testing. Another aim is to develop theoretical and practical design principles for developing a framework for collaborative learning using computer games, with a focus on promoting global awareness and digital literacy. I believe that Kristine’s research is very meaningful and could be applied in wider fields, for example, in raising up children’s environmental awareness and making them becoming future responsible world citizens.

Media Education Futures conference is not only a gathering of professional minds, but also, probably more a discussion platform for learners to get inspirations and become futures’ professionals.

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