AJMAN -- The activities of the first Media Education Conference organised by the Ministry of Education with the participation of several employees, teachers, students and an elite of academics and media personalities, concluded today in Ajman.

The two-day conference, held under the patronage of Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, discussed the role of education while considering new media, to distinguish between reality and the aspirations of the future.

The second day of the conference, which included 30 workshops by education and media specialists, was also attended by Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi and several officials.

The conference attracted around 2,000 educators, parents, students, employees of the ministry and media personalities. It also included 60 workshops and a specialised programme to achieve wider community awareness through a purposeful media message, to protect it from misleading media attacks and messages and to employ digital and traditional media in a positive way.

Al Hammadi desired to follow and attend part of the workshops, organised throughout the day, and listened to the points of view of those targeted by the first Media Education Conference, including the types of improvements they hope for and the benefits of the workshops they attended, for future improvement and development.

On the sidelines of the conference, he stressed that the Ministry of Education has decided to organise the conference annually, pointing out the increased participation of those targeted and for attracting specialised local and international media personalities and experts.

"The ministry looks forward to establishing a media culture that keeps pace with the momentum of new media developments that now control the workings of our day, in light of the tremendous boom in modern technology and the prominence of numerous forms of digital and social media, which greatly affect different sections of the community."

He added that the media is considered a strategic partner in achieving success in all sectors, and when we deal with the media, we must be specific and knowledgeable about dealing with its various aspects while having the ability of critical thinking about media content. This highlights the importance of embedding a media culture in everyone, especially students who are exposed to a flow of information, news and other types of media content, he added.

He highlighted the ministry's efforts to create a modern vision for knowledge institutions that represent a real guarantee for the awareness of academic communities, to effectively deal with the media. He also stressed the importance of integrating the roles of the academic community, as it is a connected and consolidated chain formed by the parent, teacher, student and executive.

He also highlighted the ministry's adoption of a new initiative for organising specialised qualitative workshops and programmes in different schools around the country over the course of the year, based on the concept of modern media education that targets the parent, teacher, and student, both in the new digital media and traditional media.

He also considered the concept of media openness when not studied with awareness, which comes from his deep understanding of its characteristics, caveats and weaknesses. This leads to an individual falling into a maze that poses dangers for them and the community.

He added that everyone should gain the skills of critical thinking, and the Media Education Conference supports the learner's skills in researching, analysing and evaluating everything shown through various media tools.

"From this point, there is a direction for the ministry. This started by working on integrating media education skills in the educational curriculum, to set a framework that supports the student's intellect, protecting them from any dangers from the incorrect use of media tools, which sometimes carry contents that do not represent reality, strays from the truth and plays with the minds of many for purposes, goals and benefits that are personal or otherwise," he added.

He pointed out that the conference offers great room for media knowledge with the supervision of an elite of Emirati and Arab media personalities. It helps understand how to face rumours and erroneous media content, get familiarised with the skills of using information technology, browsing digital networks, viewing the leading experiences in the world in the field of media education and increasing awareness about the best ways of using different social media tools."

He thanked the strategic media partners, Abu Dhabi Media, Al Ittihad Newspaper, Emirates News Agency, WAM, UAE Vision, Alsayegh Media, and Reporters. He said they enriched the axes and works of the conference that contributed to its success.

The 30 specialised workshops on the last day explored the concept of media education and its representations in reality, whether through digital or traditional mediums. It also suggested modern mechanism to curb the dangers of irresponsible behaviour on social media.

"The Professional Speaker" workshop, presented by Dr. Essam Mahu, discussed ways to employ the language of sound and body to affect media and educational content and connect them. It demonstrated entrance skills, the etiquette of educational speaking, and the engineering of using vision in affecting the receiver, which should improve the shape and content of the educational media message.

Mohammed Kafaween presented the "Producing Pictures and Videos Through the Mobile Phone" workshop, during which the participants were trained on creating news using smartphones. They were also told how to manage news and the mechanism of delivering it to the community in a responsible way without infringing the privacy of individuals in the community.

Abeer Wakeel presented "The Youth's Media" workshop, which aimed to train personnel in the educational field on directing children to use social media in a responsible way. This would help understand the psychological aspect that encourages children to accept positive messages from the media.

Haitham Al Hendasi through "The Positive Sides of Modern Media" workshop discussed the mechanisms of achieving the ultimate benefit from electronic media tools. This includes finding employment opportunities, spreading the spirit of understanding and tolerance, and providing educational content to elevate the academic performance of students.

The "Negative Sides of the Virtual World" workshop, which was presented by Mohammed Al Dhafri, explored a group of behavioural dangers that might be generated by social media tools in the minds of the youth. This is considering that it has become a popular market for erroneous thoughts and rumours that attack communities and try to destroy the value system.

The workshop included a discussion session by Mouza Al Shuqairi about mobile phone security and how to maintain privacy while using the app and game stores through smartphones. Reda Al Bawardi presented the "Circulation of News Without Checking the Transmission Sources" workshop and discussed how rumours are spread among users.

Mariam Al Obaidi's workshop discussed the importance of the role of parents as a guard and guide for children using different social media channels, in addition to establishing a positive media culture for children. Dr. Abdullah Al Omari's "Electronic Awareness" workshop discussed the most prominent dangers resulting from the irresponsible use of different media channels and the importance of direction in protecting the community from the dangers of the technological revolution witnessed by our current age.

Hamad Al Kaabi demonstrated through the "Ethics and Media" workshop, the values of media from the perspective of direct responsibility. He explored the messages from traditional and modern media tools that can offend a community's traditions or present content to children in an inappropriate way.

Source: Emirates News Agency