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Students taking on new skills, challenging authority

Here are two pieces from local and national papers highlighting students using media literacy tools to impact their communities.

This piece from the Kitsap Sun features elementary school students here in Washington tackling a popular advertising campaign.

Students in Heather Wilson’s library class frowned as they watched the time-lapse video of an ordinary woman transformed into a super-model. Bad enough the layering on of make-up, the teasing of hair. A few of the kids made gross-out faces, as the video showed the woman’s neck in a photo digitally lengthened before her image was slapped on a billboard.

The video, part of Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, has been around for a decade, but it was new to these fourth-graders, and it had the desired effect. The students learned — or had reinforced — the fact that images on the Internet can be digitally altered. Wilson asked them to think about an advertiser’s purpose in taking such liberties.

Read more at the Kitsap Sun.

Meanwhile these Kansas high school students began looking into their new principal’s past and discovered several discrepancies, causing her to resign. Their story of investigative journalism has since gone viral.

Connor Balthazor, 17, was in the middle of study hall when he was called into a meeting with his high school newspaper adviser.

A group of reporters and editors from the student newspaper, the Booster Redux at Pittsburg High School in southeastern Kansas, had gathered to talk about Amy Robertson, who was hired as the high school’s head principal on March 6.

The student journalists had begun researching Robertson, and quickly found some discrepancies in her education credentials.

Read more at The Washington Post.