Media literacy has become a frequently discussed area of research with regard to older people, and supporting agency in media-related issues – often referred to in the Finnish context as ‘media bildung’ – has an established tradition of pedagogical practice. How do elderly people gain agency in using digital media? How to support MIL work among older generations?
Webinar: MIL and Senior Citizens, Lessons Learned from Finland
Speaker: Päivi Rasi, Associate Professor at University of Lapland and Chair of the Finnish Society on Media Education
Host: Maarit Jaakkola, Co-Director at Nordicom
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The objective of this webinar series is to focus on current research and ongoing projects related to media and information literacy (MIL) in different counties. The first three webinars will deal with the Nordic countries. The opening webinar engages with Finland, which is one of the few countries in the world with centralized structure for MIL policy. The recent policy guidelines, updated in 2019, suggest that media education should be more inclusive. In this webinar, we will thus take a look at older generations, their MIL needs and related research.
Päivi Rasi, PhD, works as an Associate Professor in Media Education at University of Lapland in Rovaniemi. The Faculty of Education hosts the Media Education Hub (MEH) that has over 15 years been advancing media education and literacy research. University of Lapland also provides an English-language Master’s Degree Programme in Media Education. Dr. Rasi is currently chairing the Finnish Society on Media Education (Mediakasvatusseura – Sällskapet för mediefostran), an association founded in 2005 to bring researchers, practitioners and policymakers together. In her research, Päivi Rasi has been interested in older people’s media literacy, multi literacy and digital competence, and internet non-use. She is the principal investigator of the research project Developing teacher education of adult educators – targeting older people’s media education (2018–2020), funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and involved in the research project HARVEST, leading the Finnish subproject eHealth and Ageing in Rural Areas: Transforming Everyday Life, Digital Competences and Technology (2018–2021), funded by the Academy of Finland.
“Media literacy for older people has received very little attention so far. Yet with regard to the changing age structures in Western societies it is a highly topical issue – and an emerging area of research.”Päivi Rasi
This is the recording of the webinar, hold on 23 September 2020. Length: 45 minutes. Older people’s media literacy skills is an emerging research area. In Finland, the study and development of senior citizens media and information literacy is supported by the recent media education policy that urges the media education activities to become more inclusive. Päivi Rasi talks about the possible exclusionary effects of digitalization, identifying existing venues and practices of media education targeting people aged 65+.
Muruset.fi: A virtual care center for younger people, run by grandmothers? Yes! Muruset is an Finnish online space bringing two generations together. In Muruset (in Finnish: ‘sweeties’), senior volunteers chat with children and teens. Volunteer work is carried out from home around an hour a week. Muruset is founded and coordinated by the Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention EHYT.
Digital Skills for Senior Citizens
Entersenior.fi: An association for seniors who are interested in today’s information and communications technology (ICT). It provides peer-to-peer ICT-tutoring for free to seniors who have computer or mobile phone problems, as well as organizes lectures, trips and events to its members who are all located in the capital area. The association even intends to work as an expert body to ensure that seniors’ needs will be taken into account in public ICT projects.
Recent Academic Research
Airola, E., Rasi, P. & Outila, M. (2020). Older people as users and non-users of a video conferencing service for promoting social connectedness and well-being: A case study from Finnish Lapland. Educational Gerontology, 46(5), 285–269.
Cornér, T., Rivinen, S., Rasi, P., Vuojärvi, H., Kynäslahti, H., & Purtilo-Nieminen, S. (2020). Principles for designing older people’s media-literacy education. Proceedings for the EdMedia + Innovate Learning Conference, Jun 23, 2020 in Online.
Rasi, P., Vuojärvi, H. & Rivinen, S. (2020). Promoting media literacy among older people: A systematic review. Adult Education Quarterly, published online before print 25 May 2020.
Rivinen, S. (2020). Media education for older people: Views of stakeholders. Educational Gerontology, 46(4), 195–206.
Taipale, S. (2019). Intergenerational connections in digital families. Springer.
Taipale, S., Wilska, T.-A., & Gilleard, C. (eds.) (2018). Digital technologies and generational identity: ICT usage across the life course. Routledge.
Special thanks for the preparations of this webinar to Iia Haavanoksa (Muruset.fi), Juulia Andersson, Anu Laurell and Esko Metsola (Enter ry), Liisa Tiainen (SeniorSurf), Kaisa Pihlainen (University of Eastern Finland), Sally Reynolds (Media & Learning Association), and Jonatan Rolfer, Lianna Halsénius and Martina Wagner (Swedish Media Council).
Photos: Marko Junttila, IkäihMe Project