This year the MEDEA Awards are open again for all media (audio, video, graphics, and animation) that are produced in the higher education, continuing education, or training sectors, and that are aimed at all types of learners. The deadline for entries is 31 May 2021, participation is free, submit your entries from now on.
The MEDEA judges are looking especially for entries that are innovative and that show good practice in the use of media in education. The MEDEA Awards recognise and promote excellence in the production and pedagogical design of media-rich learning resources and bring to the forefront those producers, designers and teaching staff who provide such inspiration to the entire educational community, particularly in Europe.
The MEDEA Awards is an initiative of the Media and Learning Association to encourage and reward high standards of quality in the production and use of media in education. Since the first edition of the MEDEA Awards back in 2008 thousands of entries have been submitted to the secretariat to compete every year for the MEDEA statuettes, a unique and exclusive bronze artwork by Flemish painter and sculptor Mariek Vanbuel.
From the beginning, the MEDEA Awards were a considerable success. In the first edition of the Awards in 2008, more than 100 entries were received from 25 countries, ranging from complex video imagery used to train medical students in anatomy along with videos created by secondary students to illustrate the poetry they were studying, documentary style programmes on subjects as diverse as depression, alternative watering systems and the use of laboratory instruments, web sites rich in multimedia to support intercultural awareness programmes in secondary school teaching and highly personalised language training resources for adult learning. Ever since, every year the rich diversity of entries has illustrated how media is now penetrating in every level and every subject of teaching and learning. The first year the Award went to Sweden for “Rättegångsskolan på webben” a web‐based programme that combines real life video with animation, using fictionalised as well as documentary elements that explains what happens before, during and after court proceedings. This programme was an excellent demonstration of how effective use of media can make teaching and learning efficient and engaging. Since the beginning, the secretariat has recruited volunteer judges from the educational media community to support the annual organisation of the MEDEA Awards. Up to now, over 320 judges from 52 countries have assisted the secretariat to evaluate the entries in an impartial, professional, and constructive manner to find every year those entries that have that extra little bit of excellence, creativity or appeal that makes them stand out to become a MEDEA Awards finalist. The MEDEA judges use five well-defined criteria in this process: pedagogical quality is of the essence and hence this criterium scores double points, but beside that judges will also be looking for outstanding technical and aesthetic quality, for high degrees of usability and innovation and finally they evaluate the appropriateness of the choice of media.
In 2009, over 250 entries from 39 countries reached the secretariat. And the winner of that year was “Know IT All for Primary Schools” by Childnet International, a media literacy programme that makes children aware of issues related to the safe use of internet and mobile phones. In 2010 a MEDEA statuette traveled to the BBC Headquarters for the BBC News School Report, a very engaging programme that makes adolescents aware of the mechanisms behind the screens of the news studio. Since then, the awards have gone to games for maths learning or accountancy as well as to straightforward linear videos like the very moving 4 minute long “Et si c’etait toi?” made by 17 year old students from Lycée Technique du Centre in Luxembourg or to “Quand la colère fait tomber les masques” by Université Paris 1, a 35 minute movie with a gripping story of a social conflict, a case study for Master Students in human resource management, employees’ rights, conflict management, business ethics and corporate law, demonstrating how much more effective video can be in engaging students.
Over the last 13 years, more than two thousand entries have been submitted, almost half of them in English, even though there is no language restriction, and the huge diversity of the MEDEA judges guarantees that entries in other languages also get a fair and proper evaluation. Entries cover all subjects of the spectrum: from ICT, Arts and Literature, Language, Social Sciences to Mathematics, Physical Education and even Religion/Ethics. The MEDEA entries database has become a rich resource for finding excellent examples of how media can be used in teaching and to compare how media education is being used. The finalists for each year of the MEDEA Awards and other excellent examples of use of media in learning and teaching can be found on the MEDEA web site, where you can also submit your own entries for this year’s competition along with all the information you will need to submit your entry.
Good luck to everyone taking part!
Mathy Vanbuel, Chair of the MEDEA Awards Judging Committee