Education, Media Literacy, News

Educators and Parents: You’re Already Teaching Media Literacy

For Elementary and Secondary Students

AME board members have created a new elementary handout for teachers just in time for Media Literacy Week, with a reminder that we can use these ideas every day of the year. Special thanks to Kathryn Egawa, Anne Aliverti, Shawn Sheller for their work on these handouts.  Also check out our handout for secondary school teachers developed by Kathryn Egawa, Ethan Delavan, Janith Pewitt, and Michael Danielson. 

Please click on each image to download the pdfs.

Education, Media Literacy, News, Social Media

Joanne Lisosky Interview: Media Literacy Week challenges students to be critical media consumers. Adults, too.

Media Literacy Week asks people to think hard about the information they're consuming, and asks teachers to talk about it in their classrooms.

Media Literacy Week asks people to think hard about the information they’re consuming, and asks teachers to talk about it in their classrooms. PAULA WISSEL /  KNKX

Educators in Washington state — and around the world — are spending time this week talking about media literacy. It’s part of a special week designed to boost students’ understanding of how different forms of media function.

“When it comes to media literacy, we mean everything,” said Joanne Lisosky, who taught media studies at Pacific Lutheran University prior to her recent retirement. Social media, visual media, aural media — any outside stimulus counts.

“Media literacy education didn’t start in the U.S.,” she said. “It started in Europe and Australia and Canada. You can’t graduate from high school without having a class in media literacy.”
“When it comes to media literacy, we mean everything,” said Joanne Lisosky, who taught media studies at Pacific Lutheran University prior to her recent retirement. Social media, visual media, aural media — any outside stimulus counts.

“Media literacy education didn’t start in the U.S.,” she said. “It started in Europe and Australia and Canada. You can’t graduate from high school without having a class in media literacy.”

That’s not the case in the United States, and Lisosky worries that makes Americans more susceptible to being tricked by fake news.

Washington state officially recognized Media Literacy Week when Gov. Jay Inslee signed a proclamation in 2016. It encourages teachers across the state to talk about media literacy in their classrooms.

But media literacy is important for adults, too, and Lisosky says she regularly hears from people who want help deconstructing journalism – figuring out why a story was done a certain way, and why certain outlets favor one type of story over another.

Lisosky says there are five questions any of us can ask ourselves to start critically analyzing what we’re receiving from any kind of media, from TV programs to news to highway billboards:

  • Who made this up? Think about who wrote the story, or paid for the ad, or made the film.
  • What strategies were used to get my attention? “If you can figure that out,” Lisosky said, “then you’ll have an idea of why you were watching this.”
  • How might someone else view this differently than I am viewing this?
  • What is the point of view of the sender?
  • Why are they motivated to send this message to me?

Hear Joanne Lisosky’s full conversation. And check out resources for both teachers and parents on our website.

Education, Media Literacy, News

Media Literacy Planning Grants Available

Here’s something to share with your friends in K-12 education: we are excited about the new media literacy grant program from the Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Grants of up to $25,000 are available for teaching teams representing school districts across Washington State. 

 October 21 is the deadline, but if you feel you’re not quite ready to submit a full proposal, here’s another option.  Planning grants of $5000 are also now available.  

Submit a planning grant by October 21st and you’ll be ready for the next grant round in spring 2020. All you need to do is assemble a small team of educators who would work together, describe briefly the idea on which your team will focus and outline the budget needed for up to $5000.

Grant applications are available online at https://www.k12.wa.us/policy-funding/school-technology/free-software-grants

For more information, contact Dennis Small,  dennis.small@k12.wa.us or 360-725-6384.

Education, Media Literacy, Take Action

Grant Details Announced for K-12 Media Literacy Curriculum

History was made this month when the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) announced its new media literacy education grant program, funded by recently passed legislation. The grant application package was released September 16, 2019. 

The submission deadline is 4 p.m., October 21, 2019.  

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to educational teams representing Washington’s K-12 system. Teams will be expected to develop and share openly-licensed curriculum unitsfocused on one of three subject areas:social studies, English language arts, or health. A unique feature of these units will be that they will be developed using a media literacy lens to address the content that is commonly considered in one of these subject areas. 

Check out this link for a 30-minute recording of the webinar that explains the new grant program, the PowerPoint for the webinar, and a Q & A document.

For more information, contact Dennis Small, OSPI Educational Technology Director, dennis.small@k12.wa.us

Education, Media Literacy

AME Board Members Interviewed

Elementary students using technology and learning media literacy skills.

Two Action for Media Literacy (AME) board members were recently contacted by The 74, a “non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America” and a “voice for the 74 million school-aged children in America.” They wanted to learn more about what’s happening in Washington State, the first state to adopt media literacy into law.

The 74 interviewed Michael Danielson and Shawn Sheller for the article “Media Literacy Is Literacy.” Michael is a high school teacher who teaches a required one-semester media literacy class, and Shawn is an elementary teacher-librarian technology integration specialist. 

Shawn, when asked how she became involved and why media literacy is important, mentioned a lesson on media messaging where her elementary students talked about a local political race that called an opponent “Dr. Tax” in political ads. Real-life examples enrich and deepen lessons, and show the everyday need for students to be more media literate. 

Adults mistakenly believe that students, growing up in a digital world, have the skills to critically analyze and evaluate what they read and view. The Stanford History Education Group has done important work with this study from 2016 that indicates media literacy for our “digital natives” is still a critical need.

Since 1991, AME has advocated for media literacy as a fundamental literacy skill for students of all ages. 

by Sue Cook and Shawn Sheller

Education, Fake News, Media Literacy, Social Media, Technology

Media Literacy Is Literacy

Here’s How Educators and Lawmakers Are Working to Set Students Up for Success Online

Students in Michael Danielson’s media literacy class work on storyboards for public service announcements. (photo by Michael Danielson)

Michael Danielson gives students in his ninth-grade media literacy class a simple piece of homework each night: Pay attention.

The assignment is meant to prod them into thinking critically about the countless messages that bombard them every day. They report back to their teacher and classmates at the start of each class with “media literacy moments,” explaining how they discovered hidden motives and attempts to manipulate them or sell them products.

Seeing his students apply five core concepts about media to what they see on Netflix, at the movies and online is Danielson’s favorite part of his job. It’s how he knows he has altered the way they consume media.

“I’ve changed them for life,” he said.

Danielson teaches at Seattle Preparatory School, a private Catholic high school. In addition to the required one-semester media literacy class, he teaches yearbook and theology classes and advocates for media literacy as chair of Action 4 Media Education, a Washington state-based group.

Media literacy is a broad term that encompasses a wide set of skills ranging from thinking critically about news and opinion articles to dealing with cyberbullying to creating and sharing content online. The idea of media literacy is not new, but experts say it gained new momentum following the 2016 presidential election.

Across the country, lawmakers, educators and advocates are working to elevate the issue of media literacy in legislatures and schools. Washington state has been at the forefront of the movement.

In 2016, lawmakers in Washington state passed a bill with bipartisan support that created an advisory council to study media literacy and make recommendations to the legislature based on its research. The following year, legislators passed a law — based on the council’s recommendations — requiring the state superintendent’s office to survey educators and district officials about the state of media literacy in schools across Washington.

Now, lawmakers are considering a bill that would provide grants for educators to create curriculum for media literacy and to allocate money for the state Department of Education to hold two conferences on the subject.

The initial Washington measure to create the advisory council is now the basis of a model bill used by Media Literacy Now, a nonprofit organization that advocates for media literacy, to help lawmakers get the topic on the agenda in their states.

Other states have taken their own approaches to making media literacy a priority, some more forcefully than others. For example, Californialawmakers passed a law that requires the state Department of Education to provide a list of media literacy resources on its website by July 1. In a stronger move, Minnesota in 2017 added “digital and information literacy” to its required K-12 education standards.

For the rest of the article and a Media Literacy Legislation map tracking 15 bills in 12 states: The 74

written by Laura Fay,  staff producer at The 74

April 8, 2019


Education, News, Politics, Take Action

Local librarians, key partners in media literacy instruction, need your help

URGENT: Educators are fighting to protect their library programs, and none more so than those in Seattle Public Schools. While WA State recently increased its education budget, it also restricted the levy funds local districts can raise. This means that Seattle cannot fully collect the funds it has already approved! The result is a $39M budget deficit in Seattle Schools, with over $12M of the deficit directed at school budgets. Librarians, nurses, and counselors bear the brunt of the cuts. 

How can you help? Spread the word among friends, family, colleagues.

5 MINUTES: Write or call WA State legislator Reuven Carlyle or other members of the Ways and Means Committee to support SB 5313, allowing for levy flexibility.

Contact the legislature TODAY!

Leave your comments on SB 5313

Contact SPS school board members, advocating for no cuts to library budgets.

10 MINUTES: Learn more. Read Keith Curry Lance and Debra Kachel’s article detailing research that correlates high quality school library programs and student achievement.

Why school librarians matter: What years of research tell us

5 HOURS: Head to Olympia on April 2 to join SPS librarians to rally and lobby for levy flexibility. #SPSLibrarians

By Kathryn Egawa, Action for Media Education Board Member


Education, News, Politics

It’s Time for the Press to Evolve

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The current political climate we find ourselves in could hardly be more divisive and confounding. One of the challenges for students and teachers in media literacy education is to evaluate this question: Has the media responded appropriately to the challenges of the Trump era? What do you think?

George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist and philosopher, is a leading expert on the framing of political ideas. In this article he offers concrete tools for the press to “evolve” in response to tactics that are being widely used.

His article from O Society:

Attacks on the free press, and constant lying by political leaders, aren’t just happening here in the United States. These tactics are also being used by authoritarian leaders in other countries who are taking power using the same tactics as Trump.

These leaders understand how the press works, and they use its own tendencies against it in their efforts to erode democracy and freedom. They lie, knowing the press will repeat the lies. They create distractions because they know the press will chase the distractions. They release bad news when they think no one is paying attention. Too often, these tactics succeed.

It’s time for the press to evolve. The press needs new rules, practices and guidelines to respond to the threat posed by lying authoritarians with no respect for truth, freedom, or democracy. These types of leaders attack the press because they see the truth as a threat. And it’s the job of the press to report the truth.

Here are some suggestions members of the press can follow to ProtectTheTruth:

 — Ban the lie from the headline/tweet/chyron. Repeating lies only spreads them, and spreading lies is a disservice to the truth. It’s possible to write engaging headlines without serving the lie. Always start with the truth, and always repeat the truth more than the lie.

 — Use Truth Sandwiches. When writing about lies, always start with the truth first. Then explain the lie. Then return to the truth. Sequence and repetition matter! Truth first! Always.

 — Separate News from Distractions. George Orwell said it best: “Journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed. Everything else is public relations.” Trump’s tweets have become a constant obsession for reporters. But his Twitter dramas generally just distract from the important news stories crucial to democracy. He issues crazy tweets, calls people names, and includes silly typos because he WANTS people to talk about his tweet. And those who give him what he wants need to remember Orwell’s quote. What was the big story in the news before the Twitter drama started? Keep a steely focus on things that matter.

 — Limit Trump photos. Images are crucial. Today, it seems like nearly every news story features a large photo of Trump. It’s all Trump, all the time. It’s a Trump overload. Editors need to be aware of the overall effect and make an effort to use a range of images to tell the story of our times. Politics is not just about the actors. It’s about the millions of people who are affected by those actions.

 — Outsmart the “Friday Dump.” Politicians and corporations tend to release bad or unflattering news late Fridays, and especially on three-day weekends. This is because people pay less attention to the news at this time. So, the use of the “Friday Dump” is a tactic for hiding the truth from people. Imagine if anyone who tried this was instead greeted with a big Sunday or Monday story that also told people they were trying to hide the truth by dumping it on Friday.

by George Lakoff Dec 19, 2018

Read more here

Podcast:  FrameLab: How To Protect the Truth

 

 

 

 

Education, News, Social Media

Interview with Marilyn Cohen, 2018 Jessie McCanse Award recipient

A highlight of Media Literacy Week here at AME is the presentation of the Jessie McCanse Award, deemed the “Nobel Prize” of media literacy, to Marilyn Cohen, Saturday, Nov. 10. The National Telemedia Council (NTC) is recognizing Marilyn’s longtime contributions to media literacy, high principles and dedication. Four recipients this year include Henry Jenkins of Los Angeles, CA, Bill Siemering of Philadelphia, PA, and Carolyn Wilson of Ontario, Canada.

Marilyn was recently interviewed by the Consortium for Media Literacy newsletter, Connections. Here is part of that interview:

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 3.47.09 PM.pngFor the whole interview: Global Connections Newsletter

Education, Events, Fake News, Social Media, Technology

Download our handout “You already teach media literacy if…”

Teachers and parents can be at a loss on the topic of media literacy.  We know it’s important—our young people are bombarded with messages constantly. How can we help them understand what they’re seeing, reading, and hearing? Let alone creating and sharing themselves! How can we help them evaluate the messenger as well as the message?

Click the image below to open it in a new window.AMEMediaLiteracyInfoGraphicThis guide for teachers and parents has been created as part of Media Literacy Week by two AME board members, Ethan Delavan (high school IT director) and Janith Pewitt (high school classroom teacher). Michael Danielson, board chair (teacher and EdTech director) designed the publication.

Click here for a printer-friendly version of all 14 ideas.

Guess what, you’re already teaching media literacy!

 

Education, Events, Fake News, News, Social Media

WA Governor Jay Inslee proclaims Media Literacy Week, Nov. 5-9

For the first time, the State of Washington has issued a proclamation to raise awareness of Media Literacy Education and commemorate the 4th Annual Media Literacy Week, which is observed locally, nationally, and internationally.

Educators, students, parents, and adult advocates invite you to participate in a week of student activities, discussions, idea sharing, and celebration of work that promotes media literacy in communities around the world as an essential life skill for the 21st century.

Media Literacy Week is hosted by The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), with hundreds of organizations, schools, educators, partners, and supporters in the U.S. alone. See how you can participate!

Thank you to Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature for your continued support of media literacy education for students of all ages.

To download or view the proclamation, click on the image below or click here.

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Education, Events, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media

UW Lecture Series on Media Literacy

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The University of Washington public lecture series, BUNK: The Information Series, brings an impressive lineup of speakers to Seattle.

  • Author and political scientist Cornell Clayton will speak October 9, “Off the Rails: Populism and Paranoia in American Politics.”
  • Renee Hobbs, a leader in the field of media literacy education, will speak November 28, “Mind Over Media: Teaching About Propaganda.”

The lectures are free and open to the public, but reservations are required and you must act quickly to reserve a seat.

See the full schedule of speakers.

Media Literacy Week, November 5-9, 2018 — It’s less than a month away!

Media Literacy Week activities and events raise awareness about the importance of media literacy education for today’s students, and showcase the amazing work of educators, students, and organizations across the US. Now in its fourth year, Media Literacy Week is sponsored by the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).

NAMLE has named Ethan Delavan, Action for Media Education (AME) board member, as Washington’s Media Literacy Week chair. AME is a NAMLE partner in this annual event.

For updates on Media Literacy Week in Washington, check the AME blogFacebook, or Twitter.

Education, Events, Fake News

You can be a part of Media Literacy Week, Nov. 5-9

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From the website of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, NAMLE

Media Literacy Week is designed to bring attention and visibility to media literacy education in the United States. Inspired by Canada’s Media Literacy Week now in its 13th year, the National Association for Media Literacy Education leads the efforts to coordinate a media literacy week in the United States to showcase the work of amazing media literacy educators and organizations around the country.

The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.

Whether you are an individual teacher, an employee at an organization, or a researcher, you can get involved with Media Literacy Week. Between November 5 and 9, plan your own Media Literacy Event for your community. It’s up to you to decide what you want to organize, but if you need help planning, feel free to reach out to medialiteracyweek@namle.net.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Gather teachers for a professional development workshop
  • Organize a screening and panel discussion at your school or in your community
  • Create a film festival of youth media projects developed in your classroom
  • Take your students on a tour of a local television station
  • Host a webinar about news literacy
  • Partner with your local maker space and explore new forms of reading and writing with emergent technology
  • Explore a community issue and have youth come up with civically-minded creative solutions
  • Debate the ethical opportunities and challenges of what “free” or “private” means online

Share your plans with NAMLE and we will post your event on the Media Literacy Week website. Send us your logo and we will add you to the list of partners.

We hope you will be a part of the 4th Annual Media Literacy Week in the United States.

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media, Technology

Media Literacy Project: Why should we trust journalists?

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Professional journalists face more scrutiny in today’s crowded information marketplace because readers confuse them with bloggers and a cadre of online opinion scribes.

Journalism’s essence is a “discipline of verification,” according to Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute. This means that journalists pursue verification of facts as the first order of business. If the journalists do not follow these standards, their careers and reputations are on the line.

Readers should understand there are important differences between professional journalists and everyday bloggers. Journalists are held to higher standards. They are required to get specific training through journalism degrees and are held to employment standards that ensure they serve their audiences by providing relevant and reliable stories that matter to their communities.

Read more at The Free Press

By Kevin Krohn and Austin Moorhouse   July 14, 2017

 

Education, People, Technology

Study: Gen Z prefers YouTube over books for learning

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A new US study by Pearson has found that 60% of Gen Z kids prefer YouTube for learning over printed books, but still value “traditional” methods of instruction.

New field research by global education company Pearson has revealed that Gen Z kids in the US like learning from YouTube more than printed books.

Conducted for Pearson by New York-based global market research firm The Harris Poll, Beyond Millennials: The Next Generation of Learners surveyed 2,587 14- to 40-year-olds to examine the differences between Generation Z and Millennials in terms of their outlooks, values, education experiences and technology usage.

According to the study, nearly 60% of Gen Z respondents prefer YouTube for learning compared to 47% who prefer printed books. Millennials, meanwhile, prefer printed books (60%) over YouTube (55%).

Read more, with a link to the full version of the Pearson study at kidscreen

By Jeremy Dickson    August 27, 2018

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Resources

Information, propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation: A guide to evaluating information

hearing-clipart-hearing-ears-clipart-1.pngWhat’s the difference between propaganda and disinformation? Why is misinformation different from disinformation? Not completely sure?

Parents, teachers, and anyone interested in media literacy can sort out what’s coming at us in today’s news cycle with the help of this website from the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries.

Two short videos, Evaluating Sources for Credibility, and Quick Check for your Sources: The TRAPP Method are a good place to start, and could generate lively classroom discussions.

Is someone trying to provoke you to a desired response, using information based in fact? Or is the information just wrong or mistaken? What if it’s a calculated, deliberate lie?

Find out now! Check out the guide from Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries

Education, People

The Social Classroom

Increasingly, modern classrooms support group work and peer-to-peer collaboration. The science says that’s right on.

Transcript:

Dr. Patricia Kuhl: We use a social context to learn about the world. We learn from others by watching what they’re interested in, and we learn by collaborating with them and discovering their ideas. When I went to school, all the desks faced forward, theater seating, and the teacher was at the front. And learning was thought of as a one-way street between the teacher and the vessels, we were the vessels. Pour in the information, and everything’s gonna be good. But now we realize that learning has to be more interactive, and this notion that interactivity comes from a social context. So what does that say about classrooms? It says that kids ought to face one another, that circles, or U-shaped, or anything that gets kids looking at one another, interacting with one another. Also, classrooms that allow kids to move and regroup, that they come together in larger groups facing each other. They come together in small groups facing each other. They work one on one. Anytime in which students have access to one another and are allowed and encouraged to move and act on the knowledge, and create together, co-create, co-design, that’s the classroom that will be more successful than the face-forward, one-way street that many of us experienced when we were children.

This video is part of the Edutopia Brain-Based Learning series on researcher Patricia Kuhl’s work around learning and the social brain.

Visit the website of the Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington for more information.

Video: George Lucas Educational Foundation

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media

New WordPress policy allows it to shut down blogs of Sandy Hook deniers

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The crackdown on hate speech continues:

WordPress has taken down a handful alt-right blogs, according to several complaints from affected blog owners and readers who claim the sites were removed from WordPress.com, despite not being in violation of the company’s Terms of Service. Some site owners also said they were not notified of the shutdown in advance and have lost their work. The removals, we’ve learned, are in part due to a new policy WordPress has rolled out that now prohibits blogs from the “malicious publication of unauthorized, identifying images of minors.”

Yes, that’s right: the company has created a new rule to specifically handle the Sandy Hook conspiracists, and boot them from WordPress.com.

While some of the affected sites had already been flagged for other violations, many were hosting Sandy Hook conspiracy theories and other “false flag” content.

Read more at TechCrunch

By Sarah Perez    August 16, 2018

Education, News, Politics

Tom Steyer plans to register 100,000 millennials to vote

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Tom Steyer’s NextGen America organization is working to register 100,000 students in one month at college campuses across 11 states as part of its “Welcome Week” program launching this week.

Why it matters: This is the group’s biggest voter registration effort yet, focused specifically on the most crucial bloc of non-voters, and it’s happening just three months before the 2018 midterm election.

  • They’ve already registered 80,000 millennials, and now they want to register 100,000 more through mid-September.

By the numbers: NextGen will deploy 765 organizers to 420 campuses — including 135 community colleges and 14 historically black colleges and universities — to engage with students during “Welcome Week” as they’re headed back to school.

  • In 2016, their youth voter registration effort sent 500 NextGen organizers to 300 college campuses.
  • There are 70 million eligible voters between the ages of 18-35.
  • NextGen will pledge 40,000 young people to actually show up and vote in November.
  • The group is also launching a $250,000 digital ad campaign across these campuses.
  • The 11 targeted states include Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

What they’re saying: “Young voters … are essential to propelling progressives to victory in 2018 and beyond,” said NextGen America President Tom Steyer. “In November, young people can take back the House and take a stand against the divisive policies of Donald Trump.”

Be smart: Voter registration might be a non-partisan effort, but Democrats will certainly be the ones to benefit from this. Steyer has been an outspoken advocate of impeaching President Trump, and he’s now the biggest individual source of money and resources for Democrats.

 

From Axios

By    August 14, 2018   Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Education, News, Resources, Take Action, Technology

School libraries compete with leaky roofs for money

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It’s no secret that public schools, despite getting baseline funding from the State of Washington, vary widely in the money they have to spend. In the ongoing struggle to provide equitable access for all students, school libraries play a critical, and often underfunded, part.

An article from the Seattle Times (May 7, 2016) made these points:

  • Washington state school libraries are not guaranteed any money for books or materials.
  • In 2016, for example, 75% of Seattle Public School library funding was provided by PTAs, book fairs, and grants.
  • The rest came from Seattle’s district office, averaging $2.55 a year for each student (less than the cost of one magazine).
  • The statewide average was from $1 – $10.
  • The national average was $10.­­
  • Seattle schools reported a range of $1.69 – $29.88 per student, per year.

But why such a difference? Wealthier schools have PTAs that raise money for their libraries. Other schools face difficult challenges, especially, of course, poverty: families working long hours for low pay, limited English and mobility, and the shocking reality of increasing numbers of homeless students.

Schools with inadequate funding, in fiscally challenged communities, may not have a PTA to pitch in and provide money for their libraries. They have to find the money for competing, substantial needs. These schools depend on grant money, or donations from partner school PTAs and book fairs. Underfunded school libraries with out-of-date books and materials are the rule, not the exception.

In 2016, teacher librarians requested equitable funding for all schools, with full-time librarians in every school. They asked the state to allocate $10 per student for library materials each year. Well, here it is, 2018. Did they get what they wanted?

Teacher Librarians get what they wish for. Almost.

Good news! After the passage of Senate Bill 6362, starting in fall 2018, each school district will be allocated $20 for each full-time student, per year, for school library materials.

With some school libraries spending $29.88 per student, while others scrimp by on $1.69, the chance of every library having $20 per student is a dream come true, right?

Not so fast. That amount isn’t mandated, so it’s up to each school district to decide whether or not they will comply.

Also, the 2018 Legislature didn’t actually make any new money available: since 2009 it’s been in the budget, under “other supplies.” But now the legislature has made it clear that this allocation is to be used specifically for library materials, and has provided reporting accountability.

What happens next?

  • You can help! Speak to your local school principal and ask about library funding. Share your strong support for the school library and, especially, the state’s newly identified library allocation.
  • Contact your local school board members to thank them for their service. Ask how the district will address this new legislative directive.
  • Contact your state elected officials to thank them for the allocation. Explain that without the mandate to spend the money on library materials, you’re concerned that this money may not be spent as intended. Tell them you would appreciate stronger language that mandates the money identified in SB 6362 is spent on library materials.
  • Spread the word to other interested parties and ask that they take action too.

Advocates in the school library community, like members of the Washington Library Association, are gearing up to ensure this opportunity isn’t lost in “other supplies.” They’re making lists of what they need to update obsolete print and electronic collections. They’re gathering data on the age of their collections and their sources of funding. They’ll be going to their school and district leaderships with clear and compelling written proposals.

School libraries are a precious resource and are critical to media literacy education. Our children deserve equitable support. Every district should have the means to build excellent library collections that reflect the diversity of their readers, offer a wide range of reading materials, and provide current, high-quality research tools.

Also, did you hug a teacher librarian today?

By Sue D. Cook   Thank you to AME board members Shawn Sheller and Kathryn Egawa.

 

Education, News, Politics, Social Media

Teens are debating the news on Instagram

More teenagers are getting their information from so-called flop accounts.

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…Luna, a 15-year-old admin on @Flops.R.us, said that she and other teens use flop accounts as a space, away from parents, teachers, or people who don’t take them seriously, to discuss issues and formulate ideas. “Flop accounts are your place where you can get your or other people’s opinions out,” she said.

“Teenagers want an outlet to express their opinions with the same kind of conviction that they generally might not be able to express at home or other parts of their life,” said Hal, a 17-year-old admin on @toomanyflops_.

“Liberal flop accounts point out problematic behavior or spread liberal opinions,” said Bea, a 16-year-old in Maryland who founded the account @hackflops. “Conservative accounts post about feminism and whether the movement is good or bad, whether you can be conservative and LGBT, or Black Lives Matter and whether it’s better or worse than All Lives Matter … I’ve formed my opinions largely based upon what I see in the flop community…

Siva Vaidhyanathan, a media-studies professor at the University of Virginia, said he thinks flop accounts are a good thing. “You have people engaging directly with claims about the world and arguing about truthfulness and relevance in the comments. It’s good that that’s happening,” he said. “If young people are getting more politically engaged because of it, all the better.”

By Taylor Lorenz, July 26, 2018    Read more at The Atlantic

Image courtesy of INSTAGRAM / THANH DO / THE ATLANTIC

Education, News, Privacy, Social Media

If you’re not ready to delete Facebook, here’s how to limit the data you give it

sub-buzz-14990-1521577163-5.jpgAccording to reports by the New York Times and the Observer, a research firm called Cambridge Analytica collected millions of Facebook users’ personal information without their consent — and people are mad. Many don’t trust Facebook with their data anymore, and they’re threatening to delete their accounts.

But Facebook and its network of apps, including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, are important communication lines for a lot of people, so deleting your account might not be a realistic option. You can, however, dial back your use and reduce the amount of information you give the site. Here’s how.

Break your habit and limit your use of the platform.

Just by signing up for the service, you’ve agreed to let Facebook track your activity and constantly collect data about you. By reducing the time you spend on the site, interaction with posts, and content you upload, you are also reducing the amount of data Facebook is gathering from you. And remember, this data collection applies to Facebook — and everywhere you’ve signed in with Facebook, including Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as, to a lesser extent, third-party websites like Spotify.

Log out of Facebook before browsing the web.

Non-Facebook websites use what’s called the Facebook Pixel, a small piece of JavaScript code that tracks your browsing activity across the web and tells Facebook what you’re looking at when you’re not on Facebook’s site and apps.

Any page that has a Facebook Like button installed most likely uses a Facebook pixel. Even pages that don’t have a Like button can have a pixel. This means it’s possible that Facebook knows most of your web browsing history.

You can prevent this tracking by logging out of Facebook and using Facebook only in “incognito” or “private” browsing mode in your web browser. Once you’ve logged out, be sure to clear your cookies. In Chrome, select Chrome from menu bar > Clear browsing data > Time range: All time (Note: This will sign you out of most websites).

By Nicole Nguyen, March 20, 2018     Read more at BuzzFeed News

Image courtesy of Chesnot / Getty Images

Education, Fake News, News, Politics, Social Media

The death of truth: how we gave up on facts and ended up with Trump

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Media literacy education teaches us how to evaluate sources and understand how information can be manipulated. This excellent article from The Guardian is well worth reading.

For decades now, objectivity – or even the idea that people can aspire toward ascertaining the best available truth – has been falling out of favour. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s well-known observation that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts” is more timely than ever: polarisation has grown so extreme that voters have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts. This has been exponentially accelerated by social media, which connects users with like-minded members and supplies them with customised news feeds that reinforce their preconceptions, allowing them to live in ever narrower silos.

Read more at The Guardian.