The Media Education Conference organized by the Ministry of Education concluded its business in the presence of H.E Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and a number of officials. Execution of workshops and programs which reached 30 workshops during the second day was supervised by a number of educational experts and media figures.
The Conference hosted around 2000 teachers, parents, students, Ministry employees and media figures and included during its two days duration 60 workshops and specialized programs for the purpose of raising complete awareness in the community through a focused media message to protect it from attacks and malicious media messages, and to employ media, whether in digital or traditional form, in a positive manner.
H.E Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, ensured to follow-up and attend some workshops where he enjoyed listening to the opinions of those individuals targeted by the Conference, and the developments they aspire for and the benefit they gained from attending such workshops for the purpose of future improvements and developments.
His Excellency reiterated that the Ministry of Education has decided to organize the Conference on an annual basis, indicating that the scope of targeted individuals will be expanded and more media figures and specialized experts will be hosted, whether from inside or outside the UAE to achieve the desired benefits.
His Excellency stated that the Ministry of Education seeks to instil a media culture to conform to the new phase of media momentum that is dominating our daily lives in light of the tremendous growth in modern technology and the appearance of various forms of digital and social media which has become a major influence to various groups of society.
His Excellency noted that media is considered a strategic partner for the achievement of success at all levels, and when dealing with media, we should be cautious and aware of how to deal with its different aspects with the ability to have a critical set of thinking towards media contents, and this is how we can instil the culture of media with everyone, including students who are exposed to a torrent of information, news and many other media contents of both poor and sound substance.
His Excellency explained that the Ministry of Education seeks to form a modern vision of knowledge that can constitute a real guarantee in creating a conscious school community that can deal well with media, and at this point, it is worthy to mention the importance of integrating all roles within the school community as they form one connected, coherent sequence comprising of parents, teachers, students and administration staff.
Qualitative Workshops & Programs
His Excellency stated the Ministry is adopting a new initiative that includes implementation of qualitative specialized workshops and programs targeted at all schools in the State throughout the year that focus on the concept of modern media education, whether in the “new” digital or traditional media forms, for parents, teachers and students.
His Excellency considered openness to the media, if not made in a cautious and conscious manner that stems from thorough familiarity of its characteristics and fallacies may lead individuals to great deal of confusion that can pose a risk for themselves and their community.
He stressed that we should all possess critical thinking skills and this was the purpose behind the Media Education Conference to enhance learners’ skills in research, analysis and consideration of all that is presented through various media channels, and from this context, the Ministry is keen to and has already began working on merging media education skills within the academic curriculum to establish supportive frames for students’ thinking and immune them against any risks resulting from inaccurate dealings with the media whose contents are sometimes far from reality and truth and are a means of exploiting others to serve self-interests.
His Excellency pointed out that the Conference provides a great amount of media knowledge under the supervision of a selection of Emirati and Arab media figures to establish an accurate image for recipients on how to handle rumours and false media contents and to familiarize them with the skills for use of information technology and internet browsing and to present prominent international experiences in the field of media education, as well as to raise awareness and provide training on optimal utilization of various social media networks.
His Excellency extended his sincere gratitude for all strategic media partners who had greatly influenced all aspects of the Conference and had left a clear imprint that contributed to its success, being: Abu Dhabi Media, Al Ittihad Newspaper, Emirates News Agency (WAM), Emirates Vision, Alsayegh Media and Reporters.
The 30 specialized workshops implemented during the last day discussed how to benefit from the concept of media education and its manifestations whether through the “new” digital or traditional media forms, and also presented contemporary mechanisms and ideas to prevent the dangers and risks posed by irresponsible use of social media networks.
A workshop entitled “Professional Speaker” delivered by Dr. Essam Mahou described how to use sound and body language to influence media and educational content and link them. The workshop also presented skills of accessing and educational talk etiquettes and vision engineering to influence recipients which would improve the form and content of the educational media message.
Mohammad Kafaween presented a workshop entitled “Producing photos and videos through mobile phones” where participants were trained on the production of news and images on smartphones and methods of managing news and the mechanism of delivering the same to the community in a responsible manner without invading privacy, while Abir Wakeel delivered a workshops entitled “Emerging Media” which aims at training educational cadres on directing children on how to use social media networks in responsible manner that achieves public interest, in addition to studying psychological aspects that motivate children to accept positive media messages.
Haitham Al Handasi presented a workshop entitled “The Positives of Modern Media” where he described the mechanisms for the achievement of optimal benefit from electronic media, like job opportunities, spreading the spirit of understanding and forgiveness as well as providing educational content within media messages to improve students’ academic achievements, while a workshop entitled “The Cons of the Virtual World” social media networks, presented by Mohammad Al Thafri recounted the behavioural risks produced by social media in the minds of emerging youths as it has become a popular market for false ideas and malicious rumours that attack communities and try to destroy those values that constitute a true fortress of society.
Workshops also included a discussion session delivered by Moza Al Shuqairi regarding security of mobile phones and methods of maintaining privacy while using app and play stores via smartphones; and Reda Al Elami Al Bawardi presented a workshop entitled circulation of news without verifying the broadcasting sources and the role of this in the dissemination of rumours and false news among social media users.
Mariam Al Obeidi presented a workshop related to the important role of parents in monitoring and guiding their children on the use of various social media sites and the establishment of a positive media culture with them. Meanwhile, the workshop presented by Dr. Abdullah Al Omari entitled “Electronic Awareness” discussed the most significant risks posed by irresponsible and careless use of different media channels, and the importance of guidance to protect communities from the dangers of the technological revolution of our times.
Hamad Al Kaabi presented through a workshop entitled “Ethics and the Media” a series of media values from a direct responsibility aspect and the messages portrayed by modern and traditional media sources that can affect community traditions and provide inappropriate content for children that does not contribute to proper comprehension, particularly in educational messages and media.