Rethinking the way we learn

Children love discovering with new things, especially in the digital world. Several playful initiatives support them doing so.

S ometimes they are only three years old when they find their way to YouTube – thanks to mom's tablet. At school it's usually the students who show teachers how to use a computer. Has the world turned upside down? According to the German science show „Abenteuer” Forschung", which is a broadcast by the TV station ZDF, young people spend up to 7 hours a day in front of a screen. But many of them don't know about the dangers lurking online. Enter the wrong search term in Google and inappropriate results pop up right away. Not to mention data privacy risks. And the Internet does not forget! Embarrassing pictures or a fight with the first boyfriend – it's all still there years later. Prohibiting the use of media is a drastic measure and not a practical solution. What is important is to use entertaining methods to help children learn how to use media appropriately.

What apps are ok for my child to use? How much do my students know about using modern media safely? Deutsche Telekom provides answers to questions like these through its „Teachtoday” initiative

What apps are ok for my child to use? How much do my students know about using modern media safely? Deutsche Telekom provides answers to questions like these through its „Teachtoday” initiative and on the Internet portal under the same name. Parents and educators will find a variety of material ranging from an app featuring tips on media use and a test on new media skills to an online training program called „My first cell phone”. And the portal offers content for kids as well. The children's magazine SCROLLER helps kids to become aware of how long they are using their cell phones, teaches them how to protect their privacy and much more. Action-packed stories, puzzles and interactive offers encourage safe and competent use of digital media.

The media obstacle course

In this obstacle course especially developped for the 11-13 years old, young people get to playfully reflect on how to deal with the media.

The media obstacle course organized by „Teachtoday” uses fun and sports to motivate kids to think about how they use media. Different aspects of media use are addressed at 5 different stations through action-packed exercises and activities dealing with topics such as time spent playing games, data privacy and cyberbullying. Kids love the event and even get a media obstacle course certificate to take home with them. The obstacle course can be booked by recreational facilities, children and youth centers as well as schools in Germany. The „Teachtoday” initiative provides the school or facility with all the material they need along with explanatory films so that they can organize their own obstacle course. And by the way: The initiative also offers a do-it-yourself obstacle course! All the material you need can be downloaded at

The „Media, sure! But secure.” competition recognizes projects that promote media literacy through ingenuity and enthusiasm. Because innovative ideas need creative minds to put them into practice. And creative minds need a forum where they can share their ideas. Kick and learn, dribble and improve your social skills: The project "Soccer meets culture" conducted by LitCam gGmbH was one of the projects recognized by „Media, sure! But secure.” in 2016. The project combines soccer training, extra-curricular tutoring and cultural activities, making kids more motivated to learn and getting them interested in cultural topics. The competition awards ceremony was held at the Summit for Kids, an activity day for children on using media safely.

Learning can be fun

The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation is dedicated to improving education in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and in connection with digital teaching and learning. The foundation helps get children, young people and educators ready for digital learning and teaching with a number of projects.

  • Picture: Deutsche-Telekom-Stiftung / Wolfram Scheible

  • Picture: Christoph Wehrer / Foundation Haus der kleinen Forscher

  • Picture: Roland-Berger-Stiftung

Initiative of the Telekom Stiftung

  • Volunteer Readers

    What happens during a volcanic eruption? Why does a tiny rock sink, but a huge ship float? Many technical or scientific phenomena can be explained or described by exciting stories that are fun for kids and adults alike. This goal – to learn about STEM subjects while reading – is being supported by a partnership between Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and Stiftung Lesen.

  • MINTeinander

    In the MINTeinander foundation project, a team of experts made up of academics from the universities of Frankfurt/Main, Gießen, Kassel and Münster are developing teaching materials for daycare centers, elementary schools and secondary schools. They build up on each other like a spiral, thus producing a consistent style of teaching and learning that spans the different levels of education. Children in pre-elementary and elementary school, for example, acquire foundational skills that help them learn more advanced topics in higher grades. For example, material on magnetism has been distributed to 24 carefully selected networks comprising 101 schools and daycare centers.

  • Forschergeist

    Curiosity is nothing other than the joy of learning. When taught in a way appropriate to the age group, mathematics, technical subjects and natural science can therefore be intensely interesting for even the youngest children. The Forschergeist ("Explorer") competition recognizes the commitment of educators who do precisely this. With a great deal of imagination they integrate games involving figures, dimensions and weights into the everyday routine at day care centers, research phenomena like light and shade or observe the growth of plants.

  • Research Camp

    What are ice crystals made of? What properties does paper have? How do you make glass? At Research Camp, elementary school students explore all kinds of questions related to chemistry. During their holidays, boys and girls aged seven to eleven go on field trips and perform their own experiments at the university laboratory, just like adult researchers.