Why was Y2K such a big deal
The year 2020 presents many people and institutions with new challenges and demands new ideas, creative approaches and sometimes a rethink. This year gave me food for thought with everything that was and was new. For a long time, and now much more intensely, I have been asking myself two questions with a view to my professional activities: What is it, what I do here and what do I call it?
My website says I'm a freelance media educator. I've been saying that for ten years. I locate myself, also through inquiries, networks and projects, somewhere in the context of education, media and 'something with digital'. When asked what my job is, I have always said “media pedagogue” for the sake of simplicity. I associate this with the hope that people might be able to imagine something by this. At the same time, I notice that I struggle with this term and with everything that is understood by it. There are three reasons for this:
Different understandings: At the moment I am always thinking fundamentally about the term 'media education' because I notice that the things that happen with and under this term are very complex, extensive and diverse. There are very different understandings of media education. For me, for example, principles such as openness and participation are a very natural part of my work. At the same time, I notice that other people in my professional field do not share this understanding and this attitude to the same extent. That brings me to reason two.
Different self-perception and perception of others: I have the impression that when someone calls themselves a media educator, they never see themselves in exactly the same way as a second media educator: from the practitioners of active media work to the self-appointed experts for everything (to do with media and digitization). Just as differently as we see ourselves, we are perceived from the outside and by those who approach us with their concerns. Do you need a more detailed profile description?
Different activities: I often reflect on my professional activities and the inquiries that I receive. I really enjoy organizing practical making projects with children and young people, training specialists and developing concepts for (digital) educational settings. But I am not an expert in radio play workshops or media educational work with senior citizens. I am extremely pleased that we media educators are currently in demand in many areas. At the same time I notice that the different understandings, perceptions and activities diverge in such a way that it is difficult to find a common thread. I have my focal points and topics that I know my way around and that I want to grow on. At the same time, there are also things that I can't and don't want to do. Others can do better, others want more. So: what is this actually what I'm doing here and what do I call it?
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