(MENAFN - Jordan Times) AMMAN — Teachers, principals and master trainers from Irbid, Zarqa and Maan gathered in Amman this week for a workshop to raise awareness on media and information literacy (MIL) skills.
In total, 20 educators participated in the workshop, which was held under the EU-funded 'Youth Empowerment' project and implemented by the UNESCO Amman office, according to a UNESCO statement. The project aims to foster the safe and ethical use, consumption and production of media and Internet among youth in Jordan, and is carried out in cooperation with the office of the minister of state for media affairs, the Ministry of Education, the media community and civil society in Jordan.
'In our work, it is so important for us to focus on the psychological preparation of young people so they can work towards being positive examples online, using well-developed critical thinking skills,' Intisar Bdour, a principal from Maan, said in the statement.
Trainer Tom Fransimparts added: 'Critical thinking is not just about trying to find truth but about trying to look at another perspective and seeking to develop your own, nuanced perspective.'
In Bdour's MIL club in Maan, the 17 young women she has been teaching have demonstrated how they are using their new skills in day-to-day life, the statement read.
'When we had the rainstorms in the spring, a rumour went around about the house of one of the club members. People all said that one of the walls had been destroyed, as this is what was being spread. During the meeting of the club, we learned that in fact, her house was intact. We used this example to illustrate how such news gets spread and how we can do better, to check facts and sources.'
Bdour has also spent time encouraging her students to be aware of the stereotypes they are exposed to on a daily basis in the media. 'I reinforce to them that these are not realistic — that women don't need to be thin to be beautiful. At this age, girls are so susceptible to negative messaging and MIL skills can help them to confront the ideas being imposed upon them,' she said.
MIL clubs have been active in 15 schools across Jordan this year, as one component of the 'Youth Empowerment' project. This year, the clubs have been focusing on freedom of expression, digital media literacy, visual media creation, authenticity of news, ethical reporting and online privacy and security, among other topics.
The workshop was conducted with support from new partners, DROG and DOT Jordan, using interactive games to counter misinformation, according to the statement.