Marat Sargsyan

Partner – Meno avilys
Duration – 2016–2021
Regions – Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šalčininkai, Vilnius and Visaginas; Švenčionys and Vilnius districts 

The Big Small Screens project aimed to develop media literacy skills amongst the students and teachers of secondary schools in Lithuania, helping to discover and explore their community, and to nurture the dialogue with other communities by utilising creative and analytical media literacy activities. Together with media experts and partners, workshops were organised for students and teachers who developed skills and awareness on the different sources and types of media. The primary focus was directed towards audiovisual media and media products of particular interest to students, such as films, advertisements, computer games, social networks, television and multimedia journalism. 

Students developed their creativity through meetings with audiovisual-media industry professionals, and engaging in creative workshops to improve technical skills like filming, coding and editing, while enhancing communication competency through public speaking and discussions. They also learned how various media channels function, improved their critical thinking and analytic skills, and enhanced their resilience to false narratives and disinformation.

As a final outcome, the students created audiovisual media products by implementing every step of the process, working in conjunction with inspirational professionals, experimenting with new professions, and developing a deeper understanding of how various media products and outlets operate. After participating in the project, some of the students gave serious consideration to a career in the media industry.

The project was also of particular benefit to teachers, who acquired the required knowledge and belief to consider media literacy as a field of specialisation. After completion of the training and having gained the skills and tools necessary for the critical analysis of different media products, the teachers felt well-equipped and confident to integrate media literacy teaching or introduce diverse forms of media into their lessons. 

From 2016, 89 schools and more than 16,400 teachers, students and school community members participated in the project activities, resulting in: 

- the implementation of 23 training sessions and creative workshops for more than 400 teachers with media education experts from the UK and Lithuania; 

- 75 creative student workshops (involving over 3000 participants) being conducted with media industry professionals from throughout Lithuania; 

- students creating more than 300 audiovisual media products; 

- the development of teaching tools for educators, encompassing six forms and areas of audiovisual media, 24 lessons plans and 24 video lessons;

- teachers conducting over 630 media literacy lessons based on these tools;  

- five annual media festivals being held, reaching more than 2,000 participants annually; and   

- the project airing 15 short media literacy lessons in October 2020 on Lithuania’s Lietuvos Rytas TV channel, where these lessons inviting an enhanced understanding of screen culture were watched by more than 200,000 viewers.