Fact-checking as tool to teach critical multi-literacy to future voters

Media met literacy in Sarajevo!

Media literacy professionals from all over Europe were gathered in Sarajevo in September 2017 to explore the huge challenges of our rapidly changing media world.

The founder of the Faktabaari, Mikko Salo, and the Director of the French-Finnish school of Helsinki, were invited to present the  #media-literacy to future voters-project in the  Media Meets Literacy -conference  organised by Evens foundation.

#media-literacy to future voters-project

The Finnish school reform raises multiliteracy as one of the core elements in order to educate active citizens capable of acting in our complex societies.

During the school year 2016 – 2017 an unconventional collaboration took place between Faktabaari, the award-winning Finnish Fact-checking service, and French Finnish school.

The basic idea of the collaboration was to adapt the proved fact-checking approach and methods used by Faktabaari into the education field linked to the curriculum of the school in various subjects (mother tongue, history, social studies). The goal was to create a joint approach for critical medialiteracy skills with the objective to test tools and learn debunking dis-information and false claims

14-year old students received information about the principles of journalism and adapted key concepts on fact-checking (code) and disinformation by Faktabaari.  Students explored election materials applying the adapted fact-checking methods. They practiced question making and answering through a mock-interview panel and they participated in the real election panel with real candidates and practiced fact-checking activities in real life situation!

The basic principles of the fact-checking method adapted for schools are relatively simple:

  1. Choose election relevant & documented claim to be fact-checked
  2. Identify: who, where, when and what said?
  3. Go to primary sources – 2 independent (help from teacher / school librarian) / use tools
  4. Write fact-check proposal for review
  5. Present written fact-check to your class for judgement (“True, “False” or “50/50”)
  6. Results can be published (school paper, website, video, FaktabaariEDU blog)
  7. Share the fact-check in your social networks – build trust

The outcome of the pilot project was very positive. Students took a real interest in the local election and they learned how the local municipality works. They got really active young participants in the local debate. They were able to verify themselves if the news/claims were true or not. They learned to check the sources and learned where to find help.

Through the process they learned also to adapt the fact checking methods in other areas e.g. to the social media news – thinking-twice-before-sharing-approach!

In the school year 2017-2018 the pilot project will be widening to concern also primary pupils and upper secondary students.

We are convinced that fact-checking as approach vaccines students against populism and empower their critical thinking without political bias and it provides students general tools and skills to survive in the digital environment including social media and visuals and provides students with some internet-literacy skills!

You can find my presentation here: “Curriculum and Teaching Critical Skills in Schools – MIL session”

The presentation of Mikko Salo was titled: “Fact-checking as tool to teach critical media-literacy to future voters & vaccination against populism”

More information:


Intellectual Property Education in Europe

Intellectual Property and Education Workshop, 8 – 9 March, OHIM, Alicante, Spain

A workshop report by Kari Kivinen



According to WIPO, “Intellectual Property (IP)“refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works and symbols, names and images used in commerce”

IP is traditionally divided in:

  • Industrial property (inventions, patents, trade marks, designs)
  • Artistic work protected by copyright (original literary or artistic works, music, TV broadcasting, software..)
  • Commercial strategies (trade secrets, know-how)

According to the OHIM Observatory, the counterfeit goods cost legitimate industry in EU approximately €59 billion per year in lost market share. This has an important impact to the jobs in EU. Intellectual Property Rights-intensive industries as a whole support directly or indirectly 35% of jobs, almost 39% of the EU’s GDP and 90% of external trade. Mr. Campinos, the president of OHIM declared that this means in practice that 650.000 jobs in Europe are lost, at present.

IP rights are meant to help ordinary businesses, entrepreneurs, inventors, designers, authors and innovators to get on with their job of being innovative and IP rights encourage creative activity.

Unfortunately, this message is not well understood, or even believed – especially by the younger generations. Mr. Campinos reported that according to a recent on-line study , the attitudes and behavior of  15-24 years olds show, that

  • there is a lack of information to understand the facts
  • youngsters do not really care about copyright limitations
  • there is a lack of legal alternatives, and
  • for 66 % of youngsters the price is the most important factor when purchasing goods.

One of the key objectives of the Digital Single Market in EU is to boost digital skills and learning.

Education seems to be one of the key instruments to raise understanding and respect for Intellectual Property. The question of the day was:  what path should the EU  follow?

The recently published “Intellectual Property and Education in Europe ” study notes that the most innovative non-EU countries or regions already teach IP related issues at primary level and place IP more commonly as a part of citizenship education, focusing on morals and ethics.

Education is, of course, a national competence inside of the EU. The role of the OHIM and EPO should be that of a facilitator, supporter and resources provider in issues related to the IP education in several levels.

The challenge of the IP Education Workshop was to find ways to promote IP education in the 28 Member States, and reflect what would be the most efficient strategy and methods to do so.

IP jpg

Intellectual Property and Education in Europe study 2016

The study on IP education in school curricula in the EU Member States is an excellent starting point and benchmark! The main findings were:

  • IP is not a stand-alone subject in any MS
  • Aspects of IP are mentioned in 33 curricula of EU countries/regions
  • IP connected learning areas mentioned in the curricula of 33 EU countries/regions
  • Good practices are identified

IP Curricula jpg


The study concluded that

  • IP has the potential to be integrated into mainstream subjects of all educational levels,
  • IP can easily be adapted to cross-curricula teaching
  • Provision of relevant and up-to-date professional resources to empower teachers is recommended
  • Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship could be fostered

According to the study the objective of the IP Education could be formulated in a following way:

“IP education should include references to skills and competences that young people can be expected to acquire in the classroom that enable them to become familiar with IP, understand its potential to generate income and economic growth and lead them to respect IP rights, whether their own or those of others”

In the meeting additional and completing objectives were identified. IP education should

  • raise IP awareness
  • promote innovation
  • fight against piracy and counterfeits
  • support pupils to become responsible consumers

IP Kivinen jpg

Next steps

In my presentation “Intellectual Property Education in Europe” (download here the “intellectual property education” PDF file ) I tried to explore who are the key stakeholders, which are the main objectives, obstacles and challenges, and I made some proposals to tackle the issues.

I proposed to take concrete  “top down” and “down up” actions which should be carefully planned and prepared by the Task Force. The mandate of the Task Force could be as follows:

  • Produce facts and figures of the IP impact for educational leaders
  • Produce relevant IP contents for various subjects (simple, positive, benefit-orientated, objective and factual (public domain, open source)
  • Develop a set of curricula learning outcomes/standards/competences for syllabuses of various subjects
  • Formulate ethical standards and guidelines for schools
  • Map and collect good IP education practice recourses from member states and non EU-countries
  • Prepare training concept for educational leaders, Principals & teachers
  • Initiate positive campaigns, competitions and events to promote innovation
  • Propose partnerships and synergies ( artist, designers, creators, ambassadors..)
  • Launch a pilot projects to test & validate the educational program materials in some schools

I shared  a good practice example from Finland in the meeting.

Finnish Kopiosto is an umbrella organisation for associations representing performing art­ists, authors and publishers. In February 2016,  they negotiated a license deal with the Finnish Ministry of Education. The licence covers all free-of-charge education and photocopies delivered to the pupils and students of comprehen­sive schools, gymnasiums, vocational insti­tutions and universities.

Kopiosto also provides educational institutions with licences for the digital use of material. Kopiosto’s Digital licence enables the scanning of publications, copy­ing them from open Internet sites, remote education and sharing copies through school intranets.

In addition they have publish an excellent and clear worded ABC-guide for students, teachers and parents concerning all the key questions and areas related to the IP rights ( see kopiraitti.fi). This type of approach will create a safe and sound legal framework for positive collaboration between IP officers and educators!

In Brussels, 13.3.2016, Kari Kivinen

PS. See also the EURYDICE report about Entrepreneurship Education at School in Europe


KiVa goes international!

Photo friends

KiVa is an evidence-based program to prevent bullying and to tackle the cases of bullying effectively. It has been developed at the University of Turku in Finland. Its developers are experts who have been studying the phenomenon of bullying and its mechanisms for decades. The team is led by PhD, Professor Christina Salmivalli and PhD, Special Researcher Elisa Poskiparta.

KiVa is an evidence-based program to prevent bullying and to tackle the cases of bullying effectively (prevention, intervention, and monitoring).

KiVa includes both universal and indicated actions: 

  • The universal actions, such as the KiVa curriculum (student lessons and online games), are directed at all students and focus mainly on preventing bullying.
  • The indicated actions are to be used when a bullying case has emerged.

In Finland KiVa has been evaluated in a large randomized controlled trial including 117 intervention schools and 117 control schools. The program has been shown to reduce both self- and peer-reported bullying and victimization significantly (see Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Poskiparta, E., Kaljonen, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). A large-scale evaluation of the KiVa antibullying program. Child Development, 82, 311-330.).

A remarkable 98% of victims involved in discussions with the schools’ KiVa teams felt that their situation improved (see Garandeau, C. F., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). Tackling acute cases of school bullying in the KiVa anti-bullying program: A comparison of two approaches. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 981-991.).

There is  positive evidence of the effectiveness of KiVa also from studies made in Italy, Netherlands and UK ( see http://www.kivaprogram.net/is-kiva-effective).

There is rather impressive amount of media links to KiVa globally.

KiVa & European Schools

KiVa has already been implemented in six European Schools with altogether 13 Certified KiVa Trainers

  • Luxembourg 1,
  • Bergen,
  • Munich,
  • Brussels 1,
  • Frankfurt and
  • Luxembourg 2

Luxembourg 1 is an official KiVa partner school, which coordinates and manages KiVa project inside of the European School system.

You can find here (KiVa 2016 JTC ) the presentation I made in the Joint Teaching Committee of the European Schools on the 18.2.2016.

Kari Kivinen



Arvojen Eurooppa-foorumi Brysselissä 3-4.3.2014


Arkkipiispa Kari Mäkisen kutsusta, Brysselissä kokoontui 3-4.3.2014 joukko pääasiassa Brysselissä asuvia ja työskenteleviä suomalaisia pohtimaan eurooppalaisia arvoja, ja niihin liittyviä haasteita ja mahdollisuuksia.

Ohessa alustukseni aiheesta “Talouden vai kansalaisten Eurooppa”.

Klikkaa tästä “Alustus arvojen Eurooppa” ja voit lukea pdf-version alustuksesta!

Potentiel et limites de l’apprentissage des langues



Plan Marnix : Evénement inaugural

Samedi 28 septembre 2013, 10h-18h, Salle Zinneke, Brussels Information Point, 10-11 Place Royale 


est un effort collectif pour promouvoir au sein de l’ensemble de la population bruxelloise l’apprentissage aussi précoce que possible de plusieurs langues.

Il accorde une priorité au français, au néerlandais et à l’anglais, tout en encourageant la transmission de toutes les langues maternelles.

10h-11h30 : Séance plénière

• Introduction: 

• Les objectifs du plan Marnix et les convictions qui le sous-tendent (Philippe Van Parijs, Chaire Hoover, UCL,)

• Apprendre plusieurs langues à la maison : possibilités et défis (Anna Sole-Mena, CE, auteure de Multilingues desde la cuna)

• Apprendre plusieurs langues à l’école: possibilités et défis (Alex Housen, professeur de linguistique appliquée, VUB

Potentiel et limites de l’apprentissage des langues

– dans le système scolaire du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg (Kasper Juffermans, assistant-chercheur à l’Université du Luxembourg)

dans les écoles européennes de Bruxelles (Kari Kivinen, secrétaire général du Conseil supérieur des Ecoles européennes

– dans les classes d’immersion de l’enseignement francophone bruxellois (Jessica Mathy, chargée de mission à la Fédération des associations de parents de l’enseignement officiel)

– dans les écoles néerlandophones bruxelloises comptant de nombreux élèves non-néerlandophones (Piet Vervaecke, Directeur Onderwijscentrum Brussel)



Voila ma presentation: 28-09-2013-Language-potential-FR