Paper Title
Fostering Media Literacy Across Romanian Higher Education

We are leaving nowadays in a world where technologies are ubiquitous, where digital products and services are transforming industries, enriching lives, and propelling progress. Therefore, many students entering the university today have had already a large exposure to digital technologies and media. They are exposed to an abundance of information, but how to cope with these digital “assets” and use them to cross properly the bridge between the personal and academic use of technologies is our role as educators to teach them. They need to learn how to integrate a proper use of media in their daily lives and how to blend properly the digital know-how and academic practices in order to succeed in any chosen occupation. Thus, a certain degree of media literacy is necessary for each student in order to use media appropriately and to become active and responsible digital citizens. There are several definitions of media literacy and according to European Commission, “media literacy refers to all the technical, cognitive, social, civic and creative capacities that allow us to access and have a critical understanding of and interact with media. These capacities allow us to exercise critical thinking while participating in the economic, social and cultural aspects of society and playing an active role in the democratic process.” Nevertheless, under the umbrella term of media literacy, it can be integrated the context (e.g. social, educational, commercial), the content (knowledge, insights, skills, attitudes) and the actors involved (academics, policymakers, developers etc.). However, media literacy can be spread in several ways both to education and to educators, no matter of the subjects they teach, such as Social Sciences, Arts, Humanities or STEM. As education should pay attention to an active and creative use of media as a learning tool, the main role in this process is carried out by teachers. Are they prepared to teach students toward understanding how and why people engage with media, how they make sense of what they consume and how on long-term individuals are affected by their “digital media consumption”? In these circumstances, a measurement of teachers’ media literacy is difficult and instruments for measuring teachers’ competencies in the field of media education are very rare, quite a few. Therefore, through this paper the research questions are as follows: Are the teachers equipped with an adequate level of media literacy themselves as they are expected to foster among their students?; Are they able to recognize, to reflect on their improvement and to address gaps related to their digital media skills?; Are they able to include the development of digital media skills and capabilities in their teaching?; Are they coping with new media applications and sources and identify the adequate media literacy needed in order to be promoted properly among their students?; Do they need an institutional support (i.e. guidance as professional development provided by teachers to complement each other (with different level of media literacy) and thus to achieve the educational goals for their students) and/or policy recommendation for evaluating and fostering media literacy across the curriculum? By addressing such questions through an online questionnaire provided to Romanian teachers, we intend to obtain an adequate and updated view of teachers’ media literacy competencies in order to assess their needs, to initiate specific actions for a proper and specific improvement and development. Such actions could be in line with those recommended by European Commission or could vary, opening new research areas and topics of interest. Index Terms - Media Literacy, Media Education, Digital Literacy, Romania