In a role play (round table discussion) the students find arguments for the pros and cons of „media use in the classroom“.

Aims and objectives

  • to discuss the potentials of media for sustainable, self-responsible learning processes
  • to try out one broadly usable, exemplary method of how to integrate media in learning situations

Material needed

  • 4 microphones, 1 mixer and recording device (one audio recording device or video camera is basically enough)
  • Audio programme (e.g. Audacity)

Alternatively the activity can be carried out as a panel discussion in front of a life audience and not be recorded at all.

Preparation

  • Decide whether the activity will be a panel discussion or a “life broadcasting” and prepare the setting of the scene (either with or without devices).
  • The technical equipment (which is not necessary, as described) should be prepared before starting the lesson, otherwise it would take more time. You can also prepare it together with the students and show them how to work with the equipment.
  • Put 7-8 chairs (6 discussion participants, 1 or 2 hosts) in front of the audience as well as chairs for the audience and for 1-2 „technicians“.

Step by step description

  1. Explain to the students: You are invited to participate in a radio talk (or, alternatively, a panel discussion) on the topic „future school – full of media“.
  2. The following roles are distributed for the radio talk: 1-2 hosts, 6 discussion participants (3 for more media use at school, 3 against), 1-2 technicians. Other students are audience.
    Contra/educational expert (PISA): „School needs to focus on the basic skills of reading and writing.“
    Contra/school girl/boy: „I want somebody to filter what is really relevant.“
    Contra/parent: „They just play with media at school and learn nothing properly.“
    Pro/educational expert/progressive teacher: „Most important is to learn how to learn.“
    Pro/politician: „Media skills are relevant for tomorrow’s labour market.“
    Pro/school girl/boy: „School knowledge has little practical relevance for me.“

    First, there is time for everyone to prepare for the discussion (20 min.). The audience is active as well: They coach the discussion participants and help them to develop their arguments.

  3. The students invent names and titles for their roles.
  4. The host/hosts prepare for their tasks (keep the discussion going, ´keep track of the requests to speak and to obtain a dialogical culture upright, e.g. let others finish their sentences, time management etc.) and are briefed on roles, names and titles while taking notes.
  5. For the audio recording a trial run is set to obtain useful material.
  6. „Live broadcasting time“ (15 min). Alternatively, a panel discussion is carried out.
  7. In case the talk has been broadcasted the recordings are cut with an audio programme (e.g. Audacity).
  8. In the following sequence, the students listen to the results and discuss the outcome.

Reflection for the students / questions for debriefing

Questions for debriefing immediately after the discussion:

  • How did the students feel in their roles during the discussion?
  • Was it easy or difficult to find arguments and to react to arguments of other participants in the discussion?

Questions for debriefing after cuts by an audio program:

  • Which participant could bring the best arguments and why?
  • Which role was particularly sympathetic and why?
  • Who had the most speaking time and why? (From the media educational point of view special emphasis should be put on the question “why”.)

Suggestions for adaptations and variations

The final outcome is broadcasted on a web platform (e.g. Youtube) or in school-related platforms.

Reference / original source of the method

This method was taken from Anu Pöyskö’s workshop „Future school – full of media“ which took place at the aces Academy 2012 in Senec, Slovak Republic.

Further tips and resources

Introduction to the key concepts of media literacy: Jones, Sigrid (2006): MedienABC. Introduction into Media Education

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