Students from Ludwigshafen report on their MEET workshops

From October 2017 to January 2018, students and teachers of the Ludwigshafen schools Ernst-Reuter-Realschule plus and the Berufsbildende Schule Technik 1 actively participated in the project “MEET”. As part of the “Safer Internet Day 2018” on February 6th, the 10th grade of the Ernst-Reuter Realschule plus and the 11th grade of the BBS Technik 1 presented the results of the workshops on opinion-giving and prejudice, propaganda and counter speech in the conference room of the Landeszentrale für Medien und Kommunikation Rheinland-Pfalz (Media Authority of Rhineland-Palatinate) in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Since the end of October 2017, the media educators Katja Mayer and Mario Di Carlo have tested the learning scenario “We are all different – opinion making, group building and deconstruction of stereotypes” with 23 pupils from a 10th grade of the Ernst Reuter Realschule plus and the teachers Christian Bedersdorfer and Julia Schuster. From November, the test-run of the learning scenario “In my own words – Expose propaganda and formulate own statements” followed with 27 students from 11th grade of the Berufsbildende Schule (vocational school) Technik 1 and the teachers Ruth Ludwig and Magret Gerdes-Pfeiffer.

The students of both schools reported positively on the forms of learning in the workshops. The work in changing small groups was very well received. The participants had great fun and learning success in the creative use of tablets for the design of comics and video clips. The students were impressed by the films shown, for example a clip by the Comedians of “Rebel Comedy”, which compares the experiences of refugees in the time of the Third Reich and the present.

Participants felt it was important to tackle prejudice and question the source of information. The opinions of others and the rights of minorities should be respected. “You can not believe everything you see, images can be manipulated,” said a participant. “I now see everything with different eyes,” judged another participant.

Both groups of students had produced creative, bold, thoughtful comics and video clips shown at the event. They were skeptical about whether they would post their media products on social media. “Depends on the topic and the time,” was an answer. Many of the teenagers have problems with the idea of publicly addressing fake news and hate speech.