Berne, 06 March 2013
After attending a media course, pupils are more media-savvy, have a greater awareness of security issues, and exercise greater responsibility when handling new media. These are the findings of a study conducted by the Valais Distance-Learning University of Applied Sciences (Fernfachhochschule Wallis). Swisscom is now extending its offerings: now even primary schools (intermediate grade) can register for an age-appropriate course.
Swisscom is strongly committed to promoting media skills. In 2011 the company launched special courses to promote media skills among secondary school pupils. Last year alone, more than 12,000 schoolchildren were trained in the correct usage of media.
An external evaluation commissioned by Swisscom shows that the courses are bearing fruit. Schoolchildren are aware of the dangers and are changing their media consumption accordingly. Around half of the schoolchildren surveyed choose more secure passwords after attending the course. And 74 per cent of the young people who took part in the survey know about the official office for cybermobbing, and learned how to exercise their privacy rights. As the course progressed, general interest in the topics grew and pupils' awareness of their personal media consumption habits was significantly heightened.
The study was conducted by the Valais Distance-Learning University of Applied Sciences in Brig, under the leadership of Prof. Per Bergamin. According to Per Bergamin, "The courses are having a visible and positive impact. The results show that schoolchildren have a heightened awareness of the risks once they have attended the course.“ Detailed findings of the study will be presented in Berne on 7 March at the Federal Social Insurance Office's National Expert Forum on Media Competence, following which they will be published online at www.swisscom.ch/mediacourses.
To teach schoolchildren in grades 4 to 6 how to handle media responsibly, Swisscom is further extending its range of media competency courses for schoolchildren. The new modules "Media Consumption", "Surfing the Web", "Community" and "Internet Applications" now help teachers to instruct intermediate school pupils on media skills. The content of the courses was put together in conjunction with the LerNetz Agency and a working group of primary-school teachers. "Many teachers would like to see media instruction start earlier than at secondary-school level, since bad habits often set in at a much earlier age," says Martin Zünd, Programme Manager at Swisscom.