Your initiative “Media sure! But secure” helps people build competence in regards to their internet and media usage. Part of this initiative is the platform “1001 Truth”. Was does it contain?
"1001 Truth" aims to prepare people with varying knowledge of digital topics about life in the digital age. An age in which many of us are already living. But once in a while we still run into phenomena that even the experts know nothing about, which is why our objective with "1001 Truth" is to prepare topics that will be of interest to a diverse group, regardless of people's background knowledge, their language or their experiences in the digital world.
Which topics are being talked about on this platform?
On the one hand, we investigated which topics everyone should know about with regard to media literacy, for example, the topic of data privacy and data security. On the other hand, we examined topics that have not yet been widely covered by the media or those that are confusing. Take the topic of "digital inheritance" as an example: What happens to our data when we are no longer here? Very few people have an idea of whether there are any laws about this; sometimes something pops up. But there are also things that we find quite secretive - in an unpleasant sense as well - such as the topic of the "Darknet," which leads to the question: Is there a good and a bad internet?
Your latest initiative is designated “1001 Truth”. Is this your answer to the abundant fake news, that we face all over the web?
We have prepared everything so that you can go through the modules by means of independent learning and decide for yourself how in-depth you wish to research - whether if it's to take a general look around or to achieve an expert knowledge level. And special adults, as you've designated them, are for us the opinion leaders. These are people who help expose others to digital topics, for example, at youth clubs or senior homes. For this purpose we have prepared guidelines that from a didactic viewpoint are intended for adults.
“1001 Truth” as you said addresses adults mainly, as you said – are you referring to a special group of adults?
For kids (especially nine-to-twelve-year-olds), their parents, grandparents and teachers - i.e., the adults who raise and educate them - we already have a platform called "Teach today," which has now simply been merged with "1001 Truth." If you want to see both at the same time, you must go to www.medienabersicher.de.
Digital natives are already experienced in the digital world. Yet, are you still addressing digital natives, too?
The answer is clearly yes. Even if the technical competence is generally higher among digital natives – that is, for example, people who quickly adapt to new technologies and new devices –‑ this does not at all necessarily mean that their information competence is also higher. In fact, studies have shown that young people cannot differentiate between advertising, fake news and real information. And this is exactly the purpose of "1001 Truth": to explain, present background information and provide practical tips for how to recognize certain things, such as fake news.
A large amount of people doesn’t even deal with the subject of digital media, because many are being scared off by the technical language. How do you cope with that on your platform?
Most of the topics we present are highly complex. That's why we thought: How can we make it so that everyone is not only interested in a topic but also truly understands it? We added many, many examples for each module. Above all, we provided practical exercises, and in addition, translated everything into simple language. This means that in most modules you have the option of switching to simple language - for example, for people who recently moved to Germany or people with handicaps - because we believe that we should not decide what interests whom, but rather should merely provide access. That way everyone can decide for themselves.
You have introduced a few topics on the platform. What are the next steps?
There are currently six topics online, and we're working on the next three. And that really says it all with respect to how we will proceed. This is not a static platform that will ever be finished in the traditional sense. Rather, we are continuously looking forward, talking with various target groups and listening to what interests different people. For example, we recently tackled the topic of "Digital Friendship – Digital Loneliness," which is now being prepared as a module. We want to understand and put together topics that interest society - or even individual target groups. We don't want to generate any new information, but rather to create an amazing overview. With this, we'll have the opportunity to reach as many people as possible.