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CCI Contact Desk @ Media Lab > Tartu


On 14 January our project manager Denis Merkulov took part as a guest speaker and jury member at the final event of the Media Lab > Tartu. Baltic Media Lab & Mentor Network was a one-year educational project aimed to work with highly motivated high school students who would serve as youth leaders in their communities and schools and would in turn raise the awareness of their fellow high school students about critical thinking and disinformation to achieve greater media literacy. The project was implemented by VitaTiim (Narva, Estonia) and New East (Daugavpils, Latvia) in Russian and in English, and was part of the U.S. Department of State 2021 Alumni Affairs funded initiative facilitated by Embassies of the United States of America in Tallinn, Estonia, and Riga, Latvia.

During the one-year project, adolescents from Estonia and Latvia received professional offline and online coaching on media literacy, fact-checking, critical thinking, and project development. At the final event in Tartu, the teams had to come up with ideas for a media literacy skills enhancement game (key concept – gamification in edutainment) and to present it in English. There were seven game concepts presented: board games, card games, video games, mobile applications, and even a peer-to-peer podcast. The winning team from Narva received a 1000-euro grant for the future development and release of their card game where the participants have to talk about the media using different emotions, circumstances, media formats, and extra words. It is worth mentioning that not only the jury (consisting of the organizers and speakers) voted for the projects, but also the teams themselves, distributing special wooden coins among each other.

The project pitch was preceded by inspirational inputs on youth involvement in media education (Young Media Sharks, Latvia), critical thinking and media literacy (Denis Merkulov), and design thinking (Alexander Bitskov, serial entrepreneur, Estonia). In the form of interactive workshop sessions, games, group work, and networking coffee breaks the participants could elaborate their ideas and propose competitive and creative media literacy game concepts. For the CCI Contact Desk, it was a useful networking opportunity in regard to entrepreneurship, youth involvement, and the media industry in the Baltic Sea Region.


Picture © Lila Fadeeva