Module Modern Media – program (adT)


Program (adT) has been translated into a four-year curriculum module for the ZSO nr 5 high school in Gdańsk, Poland, under the name ‘Modern media’ (Wspólczesne media – WM). The module is optional; it is part of a profile called ‘media class’. It consists of 35 didactic hours a year, bundled into five seven-hour sessions. It functions within the context of the regular four-year curriculum for general high schools. The module exists since the school year 2019/ 2020. Clearance for the initiative was given by the Gdańsk Municipality (Department of social development).

Position of the module within the school

The module has been granted certain privileges by the school management. The maximum size of the group of students is sixteen – half the size of a regular class, which means a sister module is available for the other half. Two teachers are providing the lessons. The module takes place in the largest teaching space: the smaller assembly hall. The selection of students, while based on their expressed will, is skewed towards students with the lowest primary school exam results.

The module nor the module teachers are especially popular among the other teachers. Even though a part of these teachers has been trained on the principles underlying the module by the WM teachers, many look upon the module as ‘external’ and ‘different’. To some, the module is a fad, to others, it is a safety net to which they turn in case an intervention is required.

Notwithstanding the privileges and opinions of other teachers, the module functions as a regular school subject logistically. All the requirements valid for school subjects apply, from signifying absence and grades in the online school application to notifications in case of illness of the WM teachers.

Set-up of the module

The module consists broadly of three parts: transfer of knowledge, interaction, and student creation of media.

The transfer of knowledge concerns a wide range of topics, all organized under the umbrella of what a responsible journalist should know. The first set of topics is about students getting to understand themselves: their identities, their communication style, their self-presentation, their fallibility, their adolescent brain, their generation, their habits, their social roles, and their current state of emotions. The second set of topics is related to communication in general: styles, online and offline communication, blockades in communication, communication between generations, safe communication online, and conflict resolution (mediation). The third set concerns content types. The fourth set focuses on technologies: types of technology, effects of technologies, information technologies online and their uses, and research online. The fifth set concerns statistics. The sixth set encompasses media creation: text (blogs), photo report, and video.

The interaction elements often follow up on transfers of knowledge but sometimes also function stand-alone. They consist of two types: one-on-one and one-on-many. The one-on-one version is implemented most often and is present from the outset and throughout. The simplest version occurs at the beginning and at the end of a seven-hour session in the form of check-in and check-out. During check-in, all students are asked by a teacher, one by one, in an order decided by random selection, how they feel today. During check-out, they are asked what sense the session made to them. In both versions the essential ingredients of WM interactions are present: all students are involved, not just a few; the teacher asks each student with fresh concentration and openness; the teacher does not react to the answers, other than with a formal: “Thank you”; and the selection of students is established by randomly selecting little cards in front of the teacher containing the initials of a student. The second type of one-on-one interaction is student-on-student interaction. There are two flavors at present: modeled discussion and modeled dialogue. For both varieties, the teacher randomly selects couples. During the modeled discussion the teacher poses a question to the class after which students write their individual answers down during a 90-second period. The teacher then selects the first couple. The first student of the couple now repeats the question, to which the second student answers by reading what they have written down on their card. Then the roles reverse. Next, the teacher thanks both and selects the next couple. In case the number of students present is odd, the teacher includes themselves in the selection process. The modeled dialogue is more elaborate. In this interaction also couples are selected but they will sit in front of the other students on chairs facing each other. One of the students is designated to ask questions, and the other to answer these questions. The theme is provided by the teacher. The dialogue is bound to simple rules such as showing courtesy and sticking to the theme and is to last 90 seconds.  After 80 seconds the teacher, who sits on a chair next to the student who is answering, shows a T-sign to the student asking so that they know they should wrap the dialogue up. The one-on-many type of interaction is used sparsely at the outset but more frequently over the years.

The student creation of media rests upon an initial transfer of knowledge. It involves the writing of blogs, based on a deductive or inductive logical structure; the creation of photo reports; and the creation of short videos. The stress is on the creation of text and film. Students are first supervised but in the end create independently. A new type that will be introduced this year is radio.

A special activity within the module is the implementation of a vox pop. Students are required to research a research question that is chosen together with the teacher. The first step, after choosing the question, is to enter different classrooms and request the students present to answer the question on paper within 90 seconds. The WM students then gather the answers. The collected answers from all classes involved are subsequently digitalized and then edited for intelligibility and to avoid too much repetition. After that, the edited answers are read, one by one, into a microphone. The teacher then creates a film in which all answers are represented in writing with the student voice-overs reading the answers. Finally, the resulting film is shown to students, teachers, and optionally parents. The films are appreciated by the vast majority of teachers who take the students’ answers in the films to heart.


During the first three years of the module, the seven-hour sessions always kick off with check-in, then are followed up with two lessons that focus on media creation, then involve four hours of lessons consisting of a transfer of knowledge and interaction, and are concluded by one hour of creating a media product and check-out. The media creation lessons are spontaneous in form while the lessons involving transfer of knowledge and interaction often resemble the (adT) activity plan that was included in the European Commission’s Guidelines for teachers and educators on tackling disinformation and promoting digital literacy through education and training. The creation of a media project in the first two years means the writing of a blog text; in the third year, videos are created.

The fourth year is entirely dedicated to creating three products: a blog post, a photo report, and a video – all from scratch. The individual products are discussed during individual oral exams.